IUSM faculty named Minority Achiever Awardees
Mar. 27, 2014
Jo Ann Matory, M.D., associate professor of clinical pediatrics, and David Wilkes, M.D., executive associate dean for research affairs and August M. Watanabe Professor of Medical Research, were honored March 26 as recipients of Minority Achievers Awards from the Center for Leadership Development, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster the advancement of minority youth in Central Indiana.
Dr. Matory, a neonatalist who has dedicated her career to caring for critically ill newborn infants as medical director of the neonatal intensive care unit at Wishard Hospital, was named a recipient of the Achievement in Professions Award.
"When I first met Dr. Matory, I immediately recognized her humility, her strength and her genuine caring for others," said James A. Lemons, M.D., emeritus professor of pediatrics in the IU School of Medicine. "Upon arriving in Indianapolis, she quickly became respected by all as a quiet leader, a physician’s physician, a wonderful teacher, a person of unwavering integrity and a moral compass for her colleagues.
"As medical director of the Wishard Hospital NICU, [Dr. Matory] gradually developed this unit into a model facility … but more importantly, she has quietly used this as a platform to teach and model to all of us of the need to attend to the least fortunate with the same care and respect, the same excellence and the same compassion that should be afforded everyone."
Dr. Wilkes, who is also a professor of medicine, of microbiology and immunology, and of biochemistry and molecular biochemistry at the IU School of Medicine, was also named a recipient of the Achievement in Professions Award.
Dr. Wilkes is renowned for discovering the role of autoimmunity in the pathogenesis of lung transplant rejection.
His work and collaborations with colleagues led to the creation of the IU School of Medicine's Center for Immunobiology, for which he is the director. As the executive associate dean for research affairs, he directs the $150 million Strategic Research Initiative at the School of Medicine and IU Health, as well as the Physician Scientist Initiative, a $60 million grant from the Lilly Endowment.
The awards were presented at an annual dinner that allows Central Indiana business, educational and community leaders to come together and recognize minority professionals who have demonstrated high achievement in life’s work and in providing valuable service to the community.
IUPUI has been in a strategic partnership with CDL since January 2008. This year, IUPUI will provide up to $8,000 each in scholarships through the Norman Brown Diversity and Leadership Scholars Program to incoming freshmen named CDL Scholars due to their involvement in the CDL's in the college preparatory programs.