GDBBS Awards Banquet 2014

The 5th Annual GDBBS Awards Banquet was held on September 17, 2014 at the Druid Hills Golf Club. Click here to download the event program.

Students of the Year

Marc Schureck
Advisor: Christine Dunham, PhD
Makendra Umstead
Advisor: Haian Fu, PhD
Vincent Han
Max Cooper, MD
Nina Salinger Prasanphanich
Advisor: Richard Cummings, PhD
Lauren Byrd‐Leotis
Advisor: David Steinhauer, PhD
Shawn Alter
Advisor: Gary Miller, PhD
Karen Siegel
Advisor: KM Venkat Narayan, MD
Constance Harrell Shreckengost
Advisor: Gretchen Neigh, PhD
Justine Garcia
Advisor: Nicole Gerardo, PhD

Award Recipients

Graduate Career Award
Scott Krummey, IMP, MD/PhD
Advisor: Mandy Ford, PhD
Student Teaching Award
Ashley Holmes, NHS
Advisor: Robert Bostick, MD, MPH
Graduate Career Teaching Award
Callie Wigington, BCDB
Advisor: Anita Corbett, PhD
Student Leadership Award
Callie Wigington, BCDB
Advisor: Anita Corbett, PhD
Outreach/Community Service Award
Christopher Lewis, IMP, MD/PhD
Advisor: Jacques Galipeau, MD
Student Mentor Award
William Hudson, MSP
Advisor: Eric Ortlund, PhD
Faculty Mentor Award
Grace Pavlath, PhD
BCDB & GMB Programs

Distinguished Alumnus Award
Captain Heidi Blanck
Captain Heidi Blanck currently oversees CDC's monitoring of state obesity prevalence and key behavioral and systems supports for obesity prevention and control. The division works to make the healthy choice the easier and affordable choice. Staff within the branch focus on surveillance, applied research and evaluation, and guidelines development related to topics including body mass index (BMI), nutrition standards, drinking water access, and screen time. The branch focuses on supporting healthy eating and physical activity opportunities in multiple settings (i.e., child care, schools, hospitals, worksites and community venues such as parks and recreation spaces) with an emphasis in improving health equity. The branch supports prevention initiatives including the Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration sites, Community Transformation Grants, and Let’s Move!

Dr. Blanck received her PhD from Emory University in Atlanta GA in Nutrition and Health Sciences. She has more than 12 years of CDC experience as a public health epidemiologist and has authored over 50 papers and reports in the areas of weight management, nutrition,  physical activity and environmental exposures. She is the creator and Senior Advisor to the CDC's Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network (NOPREN) and a Senior member of the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research. Info from: ( en/articles/bios/heidi‐blanck)

Special Thanks

On behalf of the Graduate Division of the Biological and Biomedical Sciences I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincerest appreciation to all of you that took time out of your busy schedules to help us celebrate the achievement of  students and faculty at this 5th Annual GDBBS Awards Banquet.

To all faculty, students, and staff thank you for your continual efforts in making GDBBS among the most successful programs in modern biological and biomedical research and a true model for interdisciplinary training.

I would like to give special thanks to Dean Lisa Tedesco and the James T. Laney Graduate School for continuing to allot the resources for the funding of this event.

This event would not be as special if we did not have the financial contributions of our alums Bill Rice, Paul Orser, and Kent Rhodes. Thank you for your efforts and for taking the time to come and celebrate with us.

I would especially like to thank the GDBBS and LGS staff members, Monica Taylor and Robin Harpak, along with Katie Busch for your continued efforts to organize this special occasion. Thank you No Strings for lending your voices to make this a harmonious evening.


Keith D. Wilkinson

Keith D. Wilkinson, PhD
Professor and Vice Chair, Biochemistry
GDBBS Director