Three VA researchers receive PECASE awards
The Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) is the highest honor bestowed by the United States on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers in government.
PECASE honors and supports the extraordinary achievements of young professionals at the outset of their careers in the fields of science and technology, and embodies the high priority the U.S. government places on maintaining the leadership position of the United States in the fields of science and technology.
Three VA researchers received PECASE awards this year:
Dr. Paul Marasco, a neuroscientist, is working on providing touch and movement sensation to prosthetic limbs so that users feel as if the devices are part of their body. Marasco and his group are also developing composite materials to increase the comfort of prosthetic devices, especially prosthetic liners (the interface between the user and the prosthetic limb.) He works at VA's Advanced Platform Technology center in Cleveland, and is also associated with the Cleveland Clinic's Learner Research University and Case Western University.
Dr. Panagiotis (Panos) Roussos is a researcher and physician specializing in schizophrenia. His focus is the neurobiology of schizophrenia, particularly the role of genetics in the disease. His studies include explorations of gene and protein expression, biochemistry, and systems biology. He is an expert in computational biology, also known as bioinformatics. Roussos works at the Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center at the Bronx VA, and is an assistant professor of psychiatry and genetics and genomic sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center.
Dr. Erika Wolf studies genetic and environmental contributors to PTSD and some of the conditions that often accompany PTSD, such as depression or alcohol and drug abuse. Her work also addresses the role of personality, personality disorder, and dissociation in the context of PTSD. Wolf is a principal investigator with the behavioral science division of VA's National Center for PTSD in Boston, and is also an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine.