Jane Cauley, Jennifer Grandis Receive 2011 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring
Two University of Pittsburgh professors have received the 2011 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring, an achievement that recognizes faculty members for their mentoring of doctoral students. The awardees and nominees were honored during an April 26 reception in Pitt’s University Club.
This is the sixth year the awards have been granted; each of the honorees received a cash prize of $2,500. The winners were selected from a pool of nominees whose names were submitted by Pitt doctoral students and faculty.
“Training the next generation of academic leaders is a vital part of the University of Pittsburgh’s mission,” said Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson. “This award recognizes those most exceptional mentors who utilize their talents to engage, support, and encourage the personal and professional development of our doctoral students.”
The honorees are Jane Cauley (GSPH ’80, ’83), a professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health; and Jennifer Grandis (MED ’87), the UPMC Endowed Chair in Head and Neck Cancer Surgical Research in the School of Medicine’s Department of Otolaryngology and director of the Head and Neck Program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.
Cauley, who is also vice chair for research in the Department of Epidemiology, has spent the past 15 years as an investigator of numerous research projects examining the physical and psychological changes that occur in postmenopausal women. Her work has focused on the use of estrogen, the risks of hip fractures, and the bone density and cholesterol levels of women who are going through menopause. Cauley is a coprincipal investigator for the Pitt site of the Women’s Health Initiative, a National Institutes of Health-sponsored study. She has published more than 75 articles in journals such as The Lancet, the American Journal of Epidemiology, the Journal of the American Medical Association and The New England Journal of Medicine. Her doctoral students have received fellowships and awards in recognition of their dissertation work—and have become accomplished faculty members and researchers holding leadership positions in their schools and in government research institutes. Cauley has also mentored students in other health-related disciplines, including nursing, audiology, and physical and occupational therapy.
Grandis, who is also the assistant vice chancellor for research program integration in the schools of health sciences, began to focus on the biology of head and neck cancers during her medical training at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. A physician-scientist, she has devoted her research career to studying the critical genetic alterations that characterize those cancers, with the ultimate goal of improving patient treatment and survival. Grandis is senior editor for Clinical Cancer Research and the scientific editor for Cancer Discovery. She was recently elected to serve on the American Association for Cancer Research’s board of directors for the 2010-13 term. Many of her doctoral students have developed successful careers as faculty members in tenure-stream positions and as researchers at prominent cancer centers and hospitals. On the national level, Grandis secured funding in 2005 for a conference on research training, which resulted in a new National Institutes of Health funding opportunity aimed at training ear, nose, and throat physicians to conduct research.