CPHG’s Own Stephen S Rich, Director Emeritus, Receives the 2022 UVA Distinguished Researcher Award

February 1, 2023 by   |   Leave a Comment

The University of Virginia honored faculty members across Grounds for their outstanding research and scholarship on Tuesday at the fourth annual Research Achievement Awards, held at The Pavilion at the Boar’s Head Resort.

“We are glad to gather in person again to celebrate the achievements of our faculty in research, collaboration, mentorship and public-impact focused research,” Melur “Ram” Ramasubramanian, UVA’s vice president for research, said.

The research highlighted at the ceremony reveals the vast scope of work underway at UVA.

“The faculty honored during the awards ceremony have advanced knowledge in topics ranging from Type 1 diabetes and adolescent health to indigenous history and the Milky Way,” Ian Baucom, executive vice president and provost, said. “Their work shows the outstanding depth and breadth of research at UVA.”

Devin Harris, professor and chair​ of the Department of Engineering Systems and Environment​ in the School of Engineering and Applied Science,​ delivered the keynote address, “Built to Last:​ The Evolving Role of Infrastructure in our Society ​… the Silent Partner in our Success.” A civil engineer, his research is in built environments, or the physical places where people live and interact, such as homes, office buildings and streets.

“This year’s awardees are an incredibly talented group of faculty who are working every day to advance the frontiers of knowledge and human progress, and it was a pleasure to recognize their achievements in this way,” UVA President Jim Ryan said. “I’m grateful for their efforts and excited about what’s next for research at UVA, across disciplines, schools, and areas of study.”

Distinguished Researcher Award: Stephen S. Rich, School of Medicine

Portrait of Stephen Rich(Photo by Tom Cogill)

Rich, Harrison Professor of Public Health Science and director emeritus of the Center for Public Health Genomics, is a leader in the field of human genetics and has made groundbreaking and impactful contributions to the understanding of the genetics of Type I diabetes and many other complex diseases. He has published more than 700 manuscripts, including many in the journals Nature, Science and Cell.

He and his team are responsible for uncovering sources that explain nearly all the genetic risk for Type 1 diabetes, and these discoveries are transforming its prevention and treatment. Rich has led numerous national and international genetics consortia, served on the advisory board of the National Human Genome Research Institute and founded the Center for Public Health Genomics at UVA.

“Steve is a most generous scientist, a valued colleague, and ultimate team player. It’s hard for me to imagine anyone more deserving of the University of Virginia Distinguished Research Award than Steve Rich,” Dr. Francis Collins, emeritus director of the National Institutes of Health and current scientific adviser to President Biden, said.

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