RBC Faculty Awards

Please note that the list of awards provided is only a small sampling or highlights a few achievements, and is not exhaustive.

Students and staff in lab
Dr. Lohitash Karumbaiah in the lab with new ‘Brain Glue’ technology.

CAES Alumni Association 2024 Award of Excellence recognizes alumni who have achieved excellence in their chosen field or in service to their community.

Dr. Handa at the RBC Symposium

Handa is developing nitric oxide (NO) releasing biomaterials for medical devices to decrease the morbidity, mortality, and hospitalization costs associated with thrombosis and infection.

Kisaalita named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).


Kisaalita is being recognized for his contributions to the field of development engineering, particularly in the use of human-centered design for the creation of technology-based interventions for low-resource settings. The title is bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers, recognizing distinguished contributions to the advancement of science or its applications, whether scientific or social in nature.

Yao, awarded DOD Therapeutic Idea Award


Yao Yao’s extraordinary ‘rags to riches’ was anchored by the REM Seed Grant program, kickstarting a series of achievements. She first received a $4k CAES Grants on Edge Award, reviving her previously rejected proposal and generating stronger data. This success opened doors to secure a $100k FY20 REM Seed Grant in collaboration with Emory researcher Jie Jiang. Yao’s string of successes persisted into FY21, with an impressive $664k grant from the Department of Defense, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Research Program (ALSRP) Therapeutic Idea Award.

Easley secures both a GRA Small Business Phase 1 award and a grant from the Gates Foundation.


Research in the Easley lab focuses on 3 major goals: 1) impacts of environmental exposures on spermatogenesis and future generations, 2) regenerative medicine by developing stem cell treatment options for male factor infertility, and 3) drug discovery for identifying unique compounds which may serve as male contraceptives. READ ON

West, Best Performance Author, by journal Neural Regeneration Research.


Neural Regeneration Research is a peer-reviewed scientific journal covering research on neuroregeneration and stem cells. Topics covered include neural stem cells, neural tissue engineering, gene therapy, and minimally-invasive treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

AR3T pilot grant, awarded to Call


AR3T pilot grant, initially granted to Jarrod Call in 2018, followed by Lohitash Karumbaiah in 2019, and ultimately awarded to Frank West in 2022—all facilitated through word-of-mouth connections, transmission of knowledge and meetings within the RBC community. LEARN MORE

MohanKumar: Entrepreneur of the Year 2023


Puliyur MohanKumar formed the company, SG Endocrine Research, with Sheba MohanKumar to pursue commercial development of nanoparticle-based technologies to facilitate non-invasive imaging of brain neurotransmitters, a prostate cancer therapy and other applications. LEARN MORE

Peroni named Giguère Memorial Professor of Large Animal Medicine


The professorship embodies Dr. Giguère’s lifelong passion and dedication to equine medicine and, in 2022, was awarded to Dr. John Peroni, esteemed large animal clinician and dear friend of Dr. Giguère. LEARN MORE

Mortensen wins 2nd Scialog Award


Luke Mortensen is among 21 early career researchers on 10 multidisciplinary teams to receive a combined $1,180,000 in funding from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation, and Walder Foundation in the second year of Scialog: Advancing BioImaging, an initiative that aims to accelerate the development of the next generation of imaging technologies. The 21 individual awards are $50,000 each in direct costs.

Xie, Outstanding Editor Award, Journal of Nanobiotechnology


Journal of Nanobiotechnology is an open access peer-reviewed journal communicating scientific and technological advances in the fields of medicine and biology, with an emphasis in their interface with nanoscale sciences.

Mao, selected as 2023 NAI Senior Member


Dr. Mao, a leading researcher in the field of nanoscale engineering, holds 20 invention disclosures and has been named inventor of five U.S.-issued patents, three of which are licensed to biomedical companies for the development of diagnostic and therapeutic devices. The National Academy of Inventors® is a member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutes.