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Oklahoma State University

Top OSU researchers honored

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Dr. Jennifer Hays-Grudo, Dr. Robert Matts, Dr. Flera Rizatdinova, Mark Sisson, Dr. Doug Smith and, Dr. Kelvin Wang.

Oklahoma State University has honored six faculty with the 2017 Regents Distinguished Research Award on Dec. 6 at the annual University Awards Convocation. Recipients are selected based on evidence of outstanding and meritorious research achievements and are recognized nationally and internationally in their fields of study. 

This year’s winners included: 


Dr. Jennifer Hays-Grudo, Regents Professor of Human Development and Family Science

College of Human Sciences

Hays-Grudo studies childhood risks contributing to long-term disparities in health and development. She investigates how adverse childhood experiences, such as poverty, abuse, neglect and family dysfunction, can be risk factors for physical and mental health problems that can be passed from generation to generation. In 2016, she was named director of the Center for Integrative Research on Childhood Diversity. 


Dr. Robert Matts, Regents Professor and Sarkeys Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

The internationally recognized work of Matts focuses on protein synthesis and function in cells and particularly a protein that regulates cell growth and differentiation. His investigations of protein function in cells is contributing to the understanding of cardiac disease, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. His basic and clinical research is the foundation for the potential development of new cancer treatments. 


Dr. Flera Rizatdinova, Professor of Physics

College of Arts and Sciences

Rizatdinova investigates high-energy physics to understand properties of fundamental elements in the universe. She came to OSU in 2005 to start a high-energy physics research group, which led OSU scientists to join two international research collaborations, the ATLAS Detector experiment at CERN in Switzerland and a study of the interaction of elements at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois. 


Mark Sisson, MFA, Professor of Art

College of Arts and Sciences

A professor of printmaking and drawing, Mark Sisson’s work has been accepted into 166 national and international competitive juried exhibitions. His prints have been shown in many prestigious printmaking exhibitions in the United States and around the world. Sisson received the endowed Wise-Diggs-Berry Award for excellence in visual, performance or written arts from the College of Arts and Sciences. 


Dr. Doug Smith, Associate Professor of Exercise Physiology

College of Education, Health and Aviation

With a focus on the human performance of athletes and people at varying stages of life, Smith studies variables affecting body composition and weight, muscle strength, range of motion and fall prevention with aging. Smith has made integrating his students into research an important part of his work and has mentored seven doctoral students, now with physiology careers.


Dr. Kelvin Wang, Professor and Gilbert, Cooper, W&W Steel Chair of Civil Engineering

College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology

Wang is regarded as one of the top researchers of automated pavement survey sensors for both roadways and airport runways. He invented a widely-used 3D laser imaging system and was presented with the 2011 Frank M. Masters Transportation Engineering Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers for his research into automated pavement survey and data analysis.

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