October 17, 2008

Awards laud assistants’ crucial role in process of discovery

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Diane Kent, R.N., left, William Boeglin and Christa Hedstrom, Ed.D., R.N., received honors for research excellence at the annual Research Staff Awards luncheon. (photo by Mary Donaldson)

Awards laud assistants’ crucial role in process of discovery

Three Vanderbilt Medical Center research assistants received awards for excellence at the fifth annual Research Staff Awards luncheon, held last week at the University Club.

• William (Bill) Boeglin won the Edward E. Price Jr. Award for Basic Research. Boeglin joined VMC in 1988 and is a senior research specialist in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology. He has contributed to several important scientific discoveries, including potential new therapeutics for skin disease and a basis for future drug design. He has also co-authored studies published in such journals as Lipids and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.

• Diane Kent, R.N., received the Vivien Thomas Award for Excellence in Clinical Research. Kent has been a research nurse specialist in the Department of Preventive Medicine since 2001.

Kent serves as the local coordinator for the New Vaccine Surveillance Network and has played a pivotal role in developing and orchestrating surveillance activities at three local hospitals, four local pediatric clinics, and in the clinic and Emergency Department of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.

• Christa Hedstrom, Ed.D., R.N., won the award for Excellence in Research Contributing to a Multi-investigator Team. Hedstrom is the manager of patient care services in the Clinical Research Center. There, she supervises a staff of 26 nurses and support personnel who work to conduct investigator-initiated clinical research.

“Research may start as a single mind asking a unique question, but the process of discovery is a team effort,” said Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the School of Medicine and associate vice chancellor for Research. “I'm pleased to recognize the valuable contributions these outstanding staff members have made to Vanderbilt's research enterprise.”

The awards included a crystal trophy and $1,000. They were presented by Balser, School of Nursing Dean Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., and associate dean for Diversity George C. Hill, Ph.D.