Select Page

    RBHS Chancellor Awardees


    The Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor’s office is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 Third Annual RBHS Chancellor Awards. The RBHS Chancellor Awards were established to acknowledge the extraordinary work of our faculty and staff.

    In addition to the high recognition, the awardees will be honored during a celebratory event to be held later this year.

    A special thank you to all the nominators and those who participated on the committees to review the nominations. There were many highly qualified nominees for these recognitions, so the selection committees had a challenging task. It’s important to highlight that a nomination in and of itself is an important form of recognition by a co-worker, colleague, mentee, or unit director.

    Please join us in congratulating the following honorees:


    2022 Awardees

    Basic Sciences Researcher Award

    • Early Career
      • Anna Konova (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University Behavioral Health Care, and Brain Health Institute), Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry: “For research on the cognitive mechanisms and neuroscience of human drug addiction to opioids.”
      • Shuo Xiao (Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy), Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology: “For the development of novel approaches to investigate female reproductive health and pathophysiology in response to drugs and toxicants.”
    • Established Investigator
      • Chaoyang Xue (New Jersey Medical School), Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics: “For innovative research in fungal infection pathogenesis, drug resistance, and protective immunity including the development of a promising vaccine against fungal disease.”

    Clinical or Health Sciences Investigator Award

    • Established Investigator
      • Lawrence Kleinman (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Professor, Vice Chair for Academic Development, and Director, Division of Population Health, Quality, and Implementation Science, Department of Pediatrics: “For sustained research that continues to stimulate new ways of understanding health services, child health, and policy.”
      • Weili Lu (School of Health Professions), Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Counseling Professions: “For research on trauma-informed care that is critical to improving clinical services for individuals with serious mental illness and post-traumatic stress disorder.”

    Distinguished Educator Award

    • Liza Barbarello-Andrews (Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy), Clinical Director, Simulation and Clinical Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administration: “For leadership, mentorship, and transformative vision in simulation-enhanced learning and interprofessional education.”
    • Diana Glendinning (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology: “For dedication to teaching innovations to educate physicians with excellent clinical reasoning and life-long learning skills.”

    Distinguished Innovator Award

    • Peter Lobel (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine), Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: “For groundbreaking translational research on lysosomal proteins and lysosomal storage diseases resulting in an FDA-approved therapy.”

    Distinguished Mentor Award

    • Lauren Aleksunes (Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy), Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology: “For enthusiastic, dedicated, and unrelenting efforts in mentoring the next generation of toxicologists and clinician-scientists.”
    • Cheryl Dreyfus (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology: “For being an inspiring mentor who has made a tremendous impact on the careers of many trainees and junior faculty.”

    Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award

    • Nancy Cintron (Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy), Associate Dean for Student Services and Director for the Educational Opportunity Fund, Office for Student Development/EOF: “For promoting and enacting diversity, equity, and inclusion principles at Rutgers University for 35 years.”
    • Charlotte Thomas-Hawkins (School of Nursing), Associate Dean and Associate Professor, Center for Healthcare Quality, Division of Nursing Science: “For disparity-focused research and leadership that have made substantial contributions toward reducing disparities and creating inclusivity.”
    • Kyle D. Warren (School of Nursing), Senior Vice Dean, Administration and Student Services: “For being a role model and champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and working tirelessly to promote inclusive culture.”

    Community Service Award

    • Wilson Ng (School of Nursing), Program Coordinator, Institutional Research and Sponsored Programs: “For giving unselfishly, and exemplifying the best in volunteerism by demonstrating a sense of care and responsibility for his community.”

    Sustained Service Award

    • Mojgan ‘Moj’ Bruzios (Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine), Pre-Award Manager: “For being an invaluable asset to CABM in ensuring effective essential grants support functions.”
    • Lena Fullem (posthumously) (Brain Health Institute), Administrative Services Manager: “For providing extraordinary service to Rutgers for over 16 years and believing deeply in our mission.”
    • Lauren Kelly (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Program Administrator, Department of Neurology: “For raising the team’s impact with her exceptional resourcefulness, professionalism, dedication, and positive outlook.”
    • Joan Mordes (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Program Assistant, Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology: “For being highly accomplished and committed to supporting students, faculty, and staff with a can-do and enthusiastic attitude.”
    • Deborah A. Stalling (Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy), Business Manager, Department of Chemical Biology: “For providing outstanding administrative leadership, personnel management, and mentoring at Rutgers for 47 years and counting.”
    • Cynthia Washington (School of Dental Medicine), Registered Dental Assistant, Department of Orthodontics: “For decades of excellence as an RBHS clinical employee and an unwavering commitment to orthodontic patients, staff, faculty, and residents.”

    Emerging Leader Award

    • Lisa Mulé (Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy), Director of Administration, Office of the Dean: “For organizational and leadership abilities in keeping the administrative functions of the school thriving, particularly in light of challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

    Leadership Award

    • Vincent Nacco (School of Dental Medicine), Chief Financial Officer, Administration: “For visionary leadership that inspires and fosters teams by example that has benefited the RSDM community and beyond.”

    Team Award

    • The Department of Student Engagement at the School of Nursing
      • Shakira Adams, Mehtap S. Ferrazzano, Laura Stone, Michael Varano (School of Nursing), Senior Student Program Coordinator; Assistant Dean for Student Engagement and Wellness; Senior Student Program Coordinator; Director of Student Engagement, respectively: “For always putting students first, including responding to wellness and mental health challenges experienced by nursing students during the COVID-19 pandemic and helping them cope with multiple transitions during their college careers.”
    • The New Brunswick Point of Dispensing Vaccine Clinic
      • Leslie Barta, Donna Feudo, Nina Raps, Michala Rose, Parth Shah, Machelle Woolston (Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy), Director of Simulation and COVID-19 Vaccination POD Manager; Associate Dean of Experiential Education Program and Adjunct Clinical Professor; COVID Vaccine Management Leader; Program Coordinator of Student – Rutgers Immunization Group; Assistant Point of Dispensing Manager; Covid Vaccine Clinic Clinical Lead, respectively: “For their contributions to provide interprofessional experiential learning while providing critical healthcare for the Rutgers community.”
    • The Office of Research at the School of Public Health
      • Amanda Allen, Morgan Pesanelli, Katherine Zapert (School of Public Health), Pre-Awards Grants Manager; Research Analyst; Assistant Dean of Research, respectively: “For being an efficient, effective, well-organized, nimble, unflappable, responsive, and ‘customer-friendly’ administrative team.”

    Staff Mentoring Award

    • Marsha Gordon (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Executive Director, RWJMS Center Advancing Research and Evaluation for Patient-Centered Care, and Administrator, Research Division, RWJMS Department of Family Medicine and Community Health: “For encouraging staff and students to leverage their strengths to lead change in their personal and professional lives.”




    Lifetime Distinguished Achievement Award

    • Debra Laskin (Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy), Distinguished Professor and Roy A. Bowers Endowed Chair of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology: “For pioneering research on the role of inflammatory macrophages in tissue injury and chronic disease induced by drugs and chemicals.”
    • Michael Lewis (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), University Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, and Director of the Institute for the Study of Child Development, Department of Pediatrics: “For pioneering research in the field of child development that continues to influence and shape thinking and practices.”
    2021 Chancellor Lifetime Achievement Award

    The Chancellor’s office is pleased to announce the inaugural Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) Chancellor Lifetime Achievement Award. This important annual recognition was established to acknowledge the extraordinary, transformative, and significant lifetime contributions of our faculty to their academic profession and to Rutgers University.

    We are proud to announce that Joseph R. Bertino, M.D. is the inaugural and 2021 recipient of the RBHS Chancellor Lifetime Achievement Award. This honor is bestowed posthumously in recognition of Dr. Bertino’s unmatched fundamental contributions to cancer research as a renowned scientist, inspirational mentor, cherished colleague, University Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and former Chief Scientific Officer at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ).

    Dr. Bertino’s passion for improving cancer therapies and furthering cancer research was fostered early in his career by the loss of a family member to leukemia and his experiences with patients while fulfilling his medical training. In the 60+ years since, Dr. Bertino devoted his career to devising and improving treatments for cancer and hematologic disorders – leaving an indelible mark on modern cancer research.

    After joining CINJ in 2002, Dr. Bertino collaborated with top experts to help develop the latest generation of cancer treatments. He had a particular interest in the development of new treatments and in understanding why certain drugs, such as methotrexate, were effective (or ineffective) therapies. A dedicated physician, Dr. Bertino was adept at translating the latest findings into patient therapies and educating his patients about the treatment options available to them.

    In honor of Dr. Bertino’s legacy, the RBHS Chancellor Lifetime Achievement award plaque will be presented to his family, and CINJ has established a named lectureship in his honor – the details of which will be shared via separate communication. Additionally, his remarkable achievements will be honored in a video to be shared with you later this month as part of the celebration that honors the 2021 RBHS Chancellor Awards.

    We will continue soliciting and look forward to nominations from you next year for this newly established award.

    2021 Awardees

    2021 RBHS Chancellor Awards Virtual Ceremony

    Clinical or Healthcare Excellence Award

    • Marc Klapholz (New Jersey Medical School), Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine: For his excellence in developing and implementing innovative programs to expand and improve the delivery and quality of health care to an underserved minority community.

    Clinical or Health Sciences Investigator Award

    • Early Career
      • Daniel B. Horton (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, School of Public Health, Rutgers Institute for Health), Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, RWJMS, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, SPH, Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Treatment Science, Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research: For his institutional contributions to advancing child health research at Rutgers.
      • Olga F. Jarrin Montaner (School of Nursing), Assistant Professor, Division of Nursing Science:  For her research in nursing, gerontology, and health services to better support community-residing elders and their caregivers.
    • Established Investigator
      • Cande Ananth (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences: For his unique ability to blend epidemiologic and clinical research through meaningful collaboration to promote women’s health.

    Distinguished Mentor Award

    • Judith Deutsch (School of Health Professions), Professor and Director, Rivers Lab, Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Science:  For being a highly competent mentor, challenging her mentees to problem-solve through constructive feedback.
    • Debra L. Laskin (Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy), Distinguished Professor and Chair, Roy A. Bowers Endowed Chair, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology: For being a dedicated, selfless, and effective teacher, advocate, and mentor to scores of high school, undergraduate and graduate students, postgraduate trainees, and new faculty throughout her career.

    Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award

    • Charletta Ayers (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Associate Professor, Vice-Chair, Clinical Services, Chief, Division of General OB/GYN, Director, Urban & Global Scholars Program, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences: For promoting and advocating diversity, equity and inclusion for learners, faculty, and patients locally and globally.
    • Michelle DallaPiazza (New Jersey Medical School), Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases:  For championing health equity and social justice education, and patient care.
    • Fatmata Kabia (School of Health Professions), Co-Chair of Admissions/ Program Development Analyst, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program: For working diligently to create equitable admissions criteria, and to recruit, admit, and support a more diverse student body.
    • Ravi Maharajh (University Behavioral Health Care), Director, Marketing & Communications: For developing the UBHC Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, and creating a UBHC Black, Indigenous, (and) People of Color (BIPOC) mentorship program.

    Basic Sciences Researcher Award

    • Early Career
      • Phoebe Stapleton (Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy), Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology: For identifying molecular links between maternal inhalation of nanoparticles and generational disease.
    • Established Investigators
      • Zhiyuan Shen (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Professor of Radiation Oncology, Professor of Pharmacology, Chief of Division of Radiation Cancer Biology: For his pioneering work on DNA damage and for building a world class radiation cancer biology program at Rutgers.
      • Yuan-Xiang Tao (New Jersey Medical School), Professor/Vice Chair of Research, Director, Center for Pain Medicine Research, Department of Anesthesiology: For his fundamental discoveries in understanding the mechanisms of neuropathic pain.

    Community Service Award

    • Karen D’Alonzo (School of Nursing), Associate Professor, Director, Center for Community Health Partnerships, Division of Nursing Science: For striving to improve the quality of life for Latina immigrant families using culturally appropriate community engagement strategies.
    • Tynisha Coleman (Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Central Administration), Director of Special Projects: For her contributions to the Alumnae at Douglass College.
    • Shawna Hudson (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Professor, Research Division Chief and Henry Rutgers Chair of Family Medicine and Community Health, Director, Center Advancing Research and Evaluation for Patient-Centered Care (CARE-PC): For her leadership and commitment to community-engaged, health equity-focused research and cultivating trusted community partnerships.

    Distinguished Educator Award

    • Janet Alder (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Associate Professor, Dept of Neuroscience & Cell Biology, Assistant Dean for Graduate Academic and Student Affairs, SGS: For her creative implementation of new curricula, and mentoring of students and faculty.
    • Margaret Quinn (School of Nursing), Clinical Associate Professor, Specialty Director – Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program: For demonstrating qualities of a well-rounded and well-qualified practitioner and educator and an exemplar whom all nurse educators aspire to be.

    Sustained Service Award

    • Suzanne L. Anderson (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Program Assistant, Chair’s Office, Department of Pediatrics: For her unwavering support for a division, a department and to RWJMS in the midst of a challenge, exemplifying a positive attitude, persistence, professionalism, and fortitude.
    • Filiz Carus Ozen (School of Health Professions), Instructional Designer, Dean’s Office: For being the sole SHP Instructional Designer who goes above and beyond to promote the success of the educational mission.
    • Arlene F. Clarke (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Manager of Administrative Services, Office of the Dean/Operations & Administration: For persistently going above and beyond to meet the needs of RWJMS employees, students, and patients in a manner that exceeds all expectations.
    • Cynthia Ferrer-Cespedes (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Program Director, Offices of Student and Multicultural Affairs, Assistant Director, Office of Special Academic Programs: For making it seem easy to be instrumental to the functioning of the offices of student affairs, special academic programs, and student groups.
    • Lisa A. Mulé (Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy), Senior Executive Associate for Administration: For working tirelessly to foster a positive work environment successfully supporting EMSOP’s core missions.
    • Bruce Ruck (New Jersey Medical School), Managing Director, NJ Poison Information and Education System: For overseeing the New Jersey Poison Control Center, and being instrumental in launching, operating, and maintaining the NJ COVID-19 Information Hotline.

    Emerging Leader Award

    • Erik Bopp (Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute), Business Manager I: For being the epitome of an emerging leader, gaining the respect and trust of mentees, co-workers, and leadership.

    Leadership Award

    • Kathleen Faup (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Faculty Practice Manager, Dept. of Pediatrics: For being a creative problem-solver and leader during RWJMS clinical services pod reorganization, COVID transformation of services, and EPIC implementation.

    Team Award

    • Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance Team (Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Central Administration) – Kerry Camerer, Director; Sana Chawla, MS Candidate-Health Outcomes, Policy and Economics; Sheetal Ganesan, Graduate Assistant; and Taylor Miller, Education & Programming Coordinator: For their creative, responsive, and full engagement with RBHS schools and students in violence prevention and victim assistance.
    2020 Awardees

    2020 RBHS Chancellor Awards Virtual Ceremony

    Chancellor Basic Sciences Researcher Award 

    • Emily Barrett (School of Public Health and the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute), Associate Professor: For her leading role in assessing the early life effects of environmental and occupational exposures on maternal and child health. 
    • Maria L. Gennaro (New Jersey Medical School and the Public Health Research Institute), Professor of Medicine: For her work in infectious diseases with emphasis on host-pathogen interactions in tuberculosis. 
    • Zhiping Pang (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Associate Professor: For his contributions to the study of neurodevelopment and neuropsychiatric disorders and discovery of new technologies to advance neuroscience research. 


    Chancellor Clinical or Health Sciences Investigator Award 

    • Nancy Reichman (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Professor of Pediatrics: For her studies of the effect of socioeconomic status on infant and child health.
    • Corina Weinberger (School of Nursing and the Global Health Institute), Assistant Professor:  For her contributions to our understanding of the health and well-being of stigmatized populations including LGBT and racial and ethnic minorities.   


    Chancellor Clinical or Health Care Excellence Award 

    • Judith Barberio (School of Nursing), Associate Professor: For her contributions to clinical practice, nursing education, and the community, and her efforts in caring for minority, underserved populations. 
    • Bruce Haffty (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey), Professor and Associate Vice Chancellor for Cancer Programs: For promoting excellence in the delivery of clinical and health care services by expanding clinical programs, improving access to care, and strengthening patient care, safety, and education. 


    Chancellor Community Service Award 

    • Damali Campbell (New Jersey Medical School), Assistant Professor: For her leadership in, and passion for, community service – bridging the gaps in care for underserved and underrepresented women.
    • Lucio Volino (Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy), Associate Professor: For his efforts in implementing numerous disease management and prevention programs for underserved communities.


    Chancellor Distinguished Mentor Award 

    • Cristine Delnevo (School of Public Health and the Global Health Institute), Professor and Director, Center for Tobacco Studies:  For her outstanding mentorship, best evidenced by the positive career trajectories of her mentees.    


    Chancellor Educator of the Year Award 

    • Lauren Aleksunes (Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy and the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute), Professor: For her dedication to the education and mentoring of students across multiple disciplines. 
    • Sarang Kim (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Associate Professor of Medicine: For her dedication to clinical education, instilling in her learners the need to provide high quality and evidence-based care. 


    Chancellor Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award 

    • Pat Whitley-Williams (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Allergy, Immunology and Infectious Diseases:  For her passion and achievements in promoting diversity and inclusion in academic medicine and the communities she serves. 


    Chancellor Staff Service Award

    • James McIntosh (School of Dental Medicine), Director of Facility Administration: For his strong commitment, citizenship, and going above and beyond to support the needs of RBHS faculty.


    Chancellor Staff Award for Emerging Leaders

    • Bianca Thompson-Owen (School of Health Professions), Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Success, Director of the Educational Opportunity Fund Program: For her commitment to the education and success of students in the health care professions.              


    Chancellor Staff Support Award

    • Donna Weeks (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Department of Pediatrics, Program Support and HR Management: For her many years of dedicated service to the clinical mission of RBHS.


    We take pride in the accomplishments and dedication of these outstanding individuals and, indeed, all those whose names were put forth as exemplary representatives of our remarkable community of faculty and staff.