Two USF Health professors win 2015 Outstanding Research Achievement Awards

Two  professors from USF Health — John Mayer, DC, PhD, of the School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences and Cindy L. Munro, PhD, of the College of Nursing — were among 13 faculty members across USF awarded the 2015 Outstanding Research Achievement Award.  The achievement recognizes faculty members who have received national and international peer recognition for their research accomplishments in the previous calendar year.

USF President Judy Genshaft, Dr. Paul R. Sanberg, senior vice president for research, innovation and economic development, and Dr. Dwayne Smith, senior vice provost and dean of graduate studies, presented the awards, which included a check for $2,000, at a luncheon on Oct. 26 in the Galleria at the USF Research Park in Tampa.

“We are proud to recognize our extraordinary faculty for their achievements,” Dr. Sanberg said. “This prestigious award is just one example of how USF continues to grow as a research institution on national and international platforms.”

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Dr. John Maher and Dr. Cindy Munro

The annual awards are part of an open competition, judged by the USF System Research Council, to highlight professional acclaim received by the recipients from their national and international peers for their work during 2014.

Dr. Mayer is the professor at the School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences,  Morsani College of Medicine. His research efforts are aimed at developing and assessing the effectiveness of targeted exercise approaches for the back and core muscles to reduce risk of back injury and improve resilience in high risk occupations, such as emergency responders and military personnel.

In 2014, Dr. Mayer was awarded $1.3 million in research funding from FEMA, making it the largest single commitment from FEMA’s Assistance of Firefighters Grants, Fire Prevention and Safety research program specifically aimed at interventions for back injury prevention. He was appointed as Scientific Secretariat for the Global Spine Care Initiative as well as a member of the Firefighter Health Research Alliance. Additionally,  Dr. Mayer was the recipient of the George B. McClelland Researcher of the Year Award from the American Chiropractic Association.

Dr. Munro is associate dean of research and innovation at the College of Nursing.  Her research focuses on improving outcomes for critically ill adults, particularly in reducing risk of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and other important patient safety issues. Some of her 2014 research has been continuously supported since 2002 by NIH grants.

Her most recently funded competing renewal, in 2014, received an impact score of 10 (the best possible score) and a first percentile ranking (the best possible percentile). In 2014, she was elected as a USF Chapter Member of the National Academy of Inventors, was selected as an inaugural Ambassador for the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research, and was honored by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses as the annual Distinguished Research Lecturer. In addition, she was a Maggie Award winner in 2014 for Best Signed Editorial or Essay/Trade by the Western Publication Association.