2024 Research Achievement Award Winners

2024 Research Achievement Award winners with Provost, Francis Doyle, and Vice President for Research, Jill Pipher. Photo by Deirdre Confar.

Brown University's researchers make a significant impact in the world by advancing knowledge through their achievements, discoveries, and contributions. Brown honored 48 of these researchers at the 8th annual Celebration of Research on May 2, 2024, hosted by Provost Francis J. Doyle III and Vice President for Research Jill Pipher.

“We are in a time of unique challenges — and unique opportunities for those of us at colleges and universities,” said Doyle, addressing the researchers gathered at Sayles Hall for the event. “The work you all are doing matters. Research matters. Scholarship matters. Inventions matter. Startups matter.”

“Tonight, we honor stellar faculty members who, through their research, have generated scientific breakthroughs, shed light on social and cultural phenomena and helped set the stage for future discovery,” said Doyle. “Each day, the faculty members being recognized tonight help translate their inspiration sparked here at Brown into real world results and achievement.”

“Each of you has contributed, in different and diverse ways, to unlocking secrets that strengthen our understanding of ourselves and the world in which we live. As one of the world’s leading research institutions, Brown University has a history of being not only an incubator of ideas and discovery, but a motivator of action and transformative solutions to the challenges of the day,” said Doyle. “I want to congratulate the individuals being recognized tonight, and those like them on this campus, who serve as exemplars of what we all can and must aspire to achieve.”

Jill Pipher, vice president for research, led the presentation of awards. “I have presided over this event for seven years now,” she said, “proud to be able to recognize the incredible achievements of hundreds of Brown researchers during that time, and also privileged to have had this up close view of the breadth and impact of Brown’s creative work, scholarship and research.” 

She honored the Research Seed Fund Awardees and Richard B. Salomon Awardees, and presented awards to the Research Achievement Awardees. “I join all of you in recognizing some of our leading Brown researchers in these highly competitive and prestigious research award categories,” she said. 

For more information, email [email protected].

Early Career Research Achievement Award

Kevin Escudero, Ph.D. (American Studies)

Early Career Research Achievement Award, Humanities & Social Sciences 

Kevin Escudero specializes in the comparative study of race/ethnicity and Indigeneity, immigration, social movements, and law. A central thread of his research is the potential for cross-group coalition building as part of communities’ participation in social movement activism. His award-winning book, Organizing While Undocumented, examined Asian and Latinx undocumented immigrant youth activism. He is currently researching two book-length projects, one that explores immigrant student experiences in graduate school, particularly those with undocumented status in the US, and the other that focuses on immigrant and Indigenous communities’ efforts to decolonize Guam. He received the Association for Asian American Studies’ Early Career Achievement Award, and his research has been supported by an NSF CAREER Award, Mellon/ACLS Scholars and Society Fellowship, and Institute for Citizens and Scholars’ Mellon Emerging Faculty Leaders Award.


Morganne A. Kraines, Ph.D. (Psychiatry and Human Behavior)

Early Career Research Achievement Award, Hospital-Based Research Faculty 

Morganne Kraines’ work focuses on affective-cognitive factors that act as mechanisms and predictors of change in mood disorders and health behaviors such as depression, anxiety, smoking cessation, and alcohol use disorder. Her research also focuses on adapting evidence-based mindfulness interventions for at-risk populations. She is the principal investigator of a Career Development Award (K23) from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, which involves testing whether affective executive functioning serves as a mechanism of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. She is also a primary faculty member within the Mindfulness Center at Brown University and is a member of the Legorreta Cancer Center. Alongside her scholarship, she practices as a clinical psychologist, seeing patients at Brown-affiliated Butler Hospital.


Ellie Pavlick, Ph.D (Computer Science, Linguistics)

Early Career Research Achievement Award, Physical Sciences

Ellie Pavlick researches Natural Language Processing (NLP), the subfield of AI that aims to build systems capable of understanding and communicating with humans through speech and text. She works on computational models of semantics and pragmatics, which mimic human inferences. Recently, her work has been centered on understanding how and why neural networks succeed and fail. She is one of the leading researchers investigating these important questions. Her research has been supported by $8.5 million in federal grants from DARPA, IARPA, and NSF, the majority of which she leads as the principal investigator. She collaborates with the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences to support fundamental research that links artificial and natural intelligence. She also works as a research scientist at Google Deepmind.

Maricruz Rivera-Hernandez, Ph.D. (Health Services, Policy and Practice)

Early Career Research Achievement Award, Life Sciences & Public Health

Maricruz Rivera-Hernandez is a gerontologist and health services researcher dedicated to improving health and health care for vulnerable older adults. She has secured external grants totaling nearly $4.5 million and is the principal investigator on two NIH-funded R01 grants. Her research examines the quality of care and healthcare disparities for older adults living in Puerto Rico. Until her work, fundamental questions about healthcare and outcomes in Puerto Rico, particularly for patients with chronic health conditions, largely went unaddressed. Her research sheds light on the healthcare needs of Puerto Rico’s older adults and highlights the healthcare system’s disparities. She is considered one of the nation’s most innovative and impactful early-career researchers in health disparities among older adults.


Mid-Career Research Achievement Award

Caroline J. Klivans, Ph.D. (Applied Mathematics)

Mid-Career Research Achievement Award, Physical Sciences

Caroline Klivans specializes in algebraic, geometric, and topological combinatorics. She is a leading expert in the field and has made significant advances to our understanding of discrete structures, including matroids. Her research is known for its great breadth of application and connection to other fields. Klivans’ work is also praised for exhibiting simplicity and elegance both in exposition and insight. Her recent book, the Mathematics of Chip-Firing, has been widely adopted in the field. She currently serves as deputy director of the NSF-funded Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM), and on the Executive Committee of the Association for Women in Mathematics.


Felipe Martínez-Pinzón, Ph.D. (Hispanic Studies)

Mid-Career Research Achievement Award, Humanities & Social Sciences

Felipe Martínez-Pinzón specializes in research on Latin American literary and cultural studies, particularly during the 19th and early 20th centuries. He has published two influential monographs, one focusing on elite representations of tropical climates in 19th-century Colombia and its relationship to the country’s history of violence. The second monograph examines the political uses of the sketch of manners in the print cultures of Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela after their independence. On an international scale, he is considered one of the leading scholars of 19th-century Latin American literature and is one of the most visible, prolific, and cited scholars of our generation in 19th-century Latin American studies. He has received numerous awards, including an honorable mention for the Modern Language Association’s Katherine Kovacs Singer Prize.


Thomas Serre, Ph.D. (Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences, Computer Science)

Mid-Career Research Achievement Award, Life Sciences & Public Health

Thomas Serre is widely recognized as a world leader in AI, computational neuroscience, and computer vision. He is one of the few experts who can effectively connect AI, neuroscience, and cognitive science, making a significant impact on our understanding of brain function and the growth of AI algorithms. His neural network model of vision, introduced in the past, has contributed to the AI revolution of the last decade. More recently, his lab has developed interpretability tools to guide the field of AI and build real-world computer vision applications. His computational vision research and collaborative research projects have received funding from prestigious organizations such as the NSF, NIH, ONR, and DARPA. He has also played a vital role in establishing a strong presence for computational neuroscience at Brown.


Corey E. Ventetuolo, M.D., M.S. (Medicine, Health Services, Policy and Practice)

Mid-Career Research Achievement Award, Hospital-Based Research Faculty

Corey Ventetuolo is a practicing pulmonary/critical care physician at Rhode Island Hospital and has dedicated her career to improving care for patients suffering from pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), right heart failure, and requiring extracorporeal life support. She has investigated the longstanding observation that PAH is a fatal disease of predominantly women. Her groundbreaking work has led to hormonal modulation as a treatment strategy in PAH, and she has led two NHLBI-funded clinical trials in this area. She is a nationally recognized leader in the field who has addressed barriers to translational research and advanced precision medicine approaches. She has also received numerous teaching awards recognizing her dedication to education and inclusive mentoring of emerging investigators.



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