2023-24 Distinguished Scholar Award

Senior professors are honored for their exceptional scholarly accomplishments and younger faculty members for their demonstrated scholarly potential

Amal Amer

Professor, Vice Chair for Translational Research, Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity  
College of Medicine 

Amal Amer’s projects tackle important questions about innate immunity, inflammasome functions, pathogenesis, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. She has played a central role in bringing together multidisciplinary translational research teams that include trainees, MDs and PhDs from Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH), the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) and the College of Medicine (COM). Amer’s recent work in neuro-inflammation led to the discovery that the inflammasome contributes to Alzheimer’s disease pathobiology and SARS-CoV-2-mediated brain inflammation. Ongoing research funded by the National Institutes of Health aims to understand the mechanism by which pathogens evade or exploit host immunity to establish disease. These projects have implications for developing new treatments that can be applied to different disease conditions. Amer’s leadership and innovative thinking enabled her to bring together prominent scientists from the COM, CVM and NCH and receive a $15M program grant
(P01) focused on Long Covid, immunity and the brain.

Sara M. Butler

Professor and King George III Chair in British History, Department of History Director, Center for Historical Research 
College of Arts and Sciences

Sara M. Butler’s research publications lie in the history of the law, including four books on social issues in Medieval England. Her current research focuses on inquests of hate and spite, particularly accusations of homicide in 13th-century England. She received the Ohio Academy of History Distinguished Teaching Award in 2023, the Clio Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2019 and 2024 and the American Society for Legal History’s Sutherland Prize in 2007. Butler is the director of the Department of History’s Center for Historical Research and is also the co-founder of Legal History Miscellany, a blog aiming to make England’s early legal history accessible to a broader audience. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. 

Smita Mathur

Professor, Department of Astronomy 
College of Arts and Sciences 

Smita Mathur uses powerful X-ray telescopes to study the flows of matter around supermassive black holes and the tenuous hot gas in the outer reaches of galaxies and the vast spaces between them. Her most noted work revealed a halo of million-degree gas surrounding the stellar disk of the Milky Way galaxy, extending hundreds of thousands of light years, with a total mass exceeding that of all the Milky Way’s stars. She has discovered similar hot gas halos around other galaxies, and her recent Milky Way studies reveal still hotter, 10-million-degree gas. Prior to Ohio State, Mathur was an associate of Harvard College Observatory and an astrophysicist at the High Energy Astrophysics Division at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.  

Srinivasan Parthasarathy

Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering
College of Engineering

Srinivasan Parthasarathy directs Ohio State’s Data Mining Research Laboratory, which is a part of the High End Systems Group and affiliated with the Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence Research. He is the founder and co-director of the Data Analytics major. He also co-leads the Responsible Data Science Community of Practice as part of the Translational Data Analytics Institute leadership team. He has designed award-winning novel architecture-conscious data structures and tiling strategies to enhance chip utilization and out-of-core performance on single-node and cluster systems. Parthasarathy was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers for his contributions to high-performance data mining and network analysis. 

Robyn Warhol

College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor 
Department of English 

A feminist narratologist, Robyn Warhol studies the interrelations between gender and narrative forms. She is especially known for her pioneering work on the relation of gender to narrative forms in the 19th-century novel. Widely recognized among feminist scholars, she is the co-editor and author of several books. In 2022, Warhol received the Wayne C. Booth Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for the Study of Narrative. She has been a Senior Fellow at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Study, an Einstein Fellow at the Free University of Berlin’s Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, a Mellon Fellow at Harvard University, and a short-term Fellow at the Huntington Library. 

Shang-Tian Yang

Professor, David H. George Endowed Chair in Chemical Engineering  
William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
College of Engineering 

Shang-Tian Yang has been involved in bioprocessing research for more than 40 years and has 12 related patents, including several licenses for commercial development. His research group developed the first 3D cell culture system that can mimic in vivo tissue environment and be used reliably in high-throughput screening of chemicals for their embryotoxic potentials and/or as cancer drug targets. His current research involves biocatalysis, fermentation for value-added products from biomass and industrial wastes, metabolic engineering, stem cell and tissue engineering, and biochips for high-throughput cell-based assays and biodiagnostics. A prolific researcher, Yang has published more than 375 journal papers, proceeding articles and book chapters in bioprocess engineering.

Nominations                    Previous Winners