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4.10.2014

Three Stand-Out Scholars Recognized for Their Achievements

Her work is reminiscent of Fantastic Voyage, the 1966 science fiction film in which a submarine and its crew — reduced to microscope size — enter the bloodstream of a comatose patient and embark on a journey to his brain to destroy a clot with a surgical laser.

In Sylvia Daunert’s case, however, she is experimenting with nano-sized particles, not miniature submarines, to deliver drugs to specific targets in the human body.

The Lucille P. Markey Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Miller School, Daunert earned a prestigious Provost’s Award for Scholarly Activity for her research in bionanotechnology. She accepted the honor from Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc April 4 at the BankUnited Fieldhouse, sharing the spotlight with two other prominent UM researchers — Andrew Leone and Michael Miller — who also received accolades.

The award recognizes demonstrated excellence in research by either a single unique achievement or several years of scholarly productivity.

Daunert is a pioneer in her field, genetically engineering living cells and proteins for molecular sensing, diagnostics, and drug delivery. Working with the photoprotein Aequorin, which is native to jellyfish and responsible for their bright blue flashes of luminescence, her team has created biosensors that emit an optical signal in response to a single target molecule in biomedical or environmental samples. These biosensors have been adopted by NASA and used in Space Shuttle missions.

Daunert is associate director of UM’s Dr. John T. MacDonald Foundation Biomedical Nanotechnology Institute. Her research group has attracted more than $67 million in extramural funding, and she has authored nearly 200 peer-reviewed journal articles.

Leone, who is vice dean of faculty and the Arthur P. Metzger Professor of Accounting at the School of Business Administration, conducts research into the interplay between management incentives, accounting choice, and capital markets. He has published 19 papers altogether, most of them in A-journals, and he serves on the editorial board of The Accounting Review.

In 2005 Leone received the American Accounting Association’s Notable Contributions to Management Accounting Literature Award for his 2002 article, “Empirical tests of budget ratcheting and its effect on managers’ discretionary accrual choices.” His coauthored article from 2005, “Performance matched discretionary accrual measures” in the Journal of Accounting and Economics, has been cited more than 2,000 times.

His recent article, “The Importance of Distinguishing Errors from Irregularities In Restatement Research: The Case of Restatements and CEO/CFO Turnover,” received the American Accounting Association’s 2013 Notable Contribution to the Literature Award, which is presented to the single best accounting paper published in any journal within the past five years. The paper also won an Emerald Management Citation of Excellence award for 2012, given to the top 50 most-cited peer-reviewed management papers from among 15,000 papers evaluated in all business disciplines.

Professor of history in the College of Arts and Sciences, Miller has established himself as one of the most distinctive voices writing on the history of modern France, the modern business world, and globalization. His first book, The Bon Marche: Bourgeouis Culture and the Department Store 1869-1920 (1981) pioneered the field of consumer studies. His second book, Shanghai on the Metro: Spies, Intrigue, and the French Between Wars (1994), addressed security issues in interwar France.

His latest book, Europe and the Maritime World: A Twentieth-Century History, was published by Cambridge Press in 2012 and received two major prizes in business history: the 2013 Hagley Prize for the best book in Business History and the 2010-2012 Alfred and Fay Chandler Book Award. The Chandler Award is selected by a committee of the most prominent names in the field of business history and has only been awarded twice, the first recipient in 2007-09 being Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas K. McCraw.

Even before this most recent book was published, Miller had begun crafting another innovative project looking at France and its waterways. He is a prolific and ambitious researcher whose work has received nearly every grant and award available to a historian, including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council on Learned Societies.

As was the case at last year’s ceremony, recipients of the Provost’s Research Awards were acknowledged. The awards are classified into three categories—the Max Orovitz Research Awards in the Arts and Humanities, the James W. McLamore Research Awards in Business and Social Sciences, and the Research Awards in Natural Sciences and Engineering. They were established to foster excellence in research and creative scholarship and provide support for salary, direct research costs, or both.

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