Hines Researcher Honored with Prestigious Presidential Award
A Hines Research Scientist, Dr. Charlesnika Evans, was recently named a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.
Discoveries in science and technology not only strengthen our economy, they inspire us as a people.” President Obama said. “The impressive accomplishments of these awardees so early in their careers promise even greater advances in the years ahead.” Dr. Evans is one of two Chicago area professionals to receive this prestigious award.
Dr. Evans is a Research Health Scientist at Hines, with a bachelor’s degree in microbiology, a master’s in public health, and a doctoral degree in epidemiology. Her expertise and research interests include epidemiologic methods and health outcomes, particularly in infectious diseases. In 2008, Dr. Evans received a research fellowship from the Paralyzed Veterans of America Research Foundation to study antibiotic prescribing patterns in the VA SCI system of care and SCI provider perceptions about prescribing and antimicrobial resistance.
Dr. Evans’ work and expertise in epidemiology and use of VA’s wealth of large medical administrative databases to assess health outcomes is demonstrated in her past and current research. She is the Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) and a co-investigator on two major health services research studies focused on evaluating the VA’s screening program for mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). Her collaborations and research in infectious disease has ranged from studying secondary complications in women with HIV to healthcare-associated infections.
Dr. Evans was recently funded to conduct the investigator initiated merit review (IIR) study, ‘C. Difficile outcomes and effectiveness of treatment strategies in SCI.’ The objectives of this IIR are to describe the epidemiology of Clostridium difficile infection in persons with Spinal Cord Injury, including risks, severity, and recurrence of infection; and to describe current management for this disease including assessing the comparative effectiveness of treatment strategies. The impact of this work is significant and will make a major contribution to the knowledge on C. difficile in SCI for there have been no large-scale studies conducted in this patient population.
Dr. Evans is a past and current reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and the Scientific Merit Review Board for HSR&D as well as a reviewer for a several scientific journals in infectious disease or spinal cord injury. Dr. Evans was also recently invited for membership on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, (JSCM) the peer-reviewed official journal of the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals and the American Spinal Injury Association. JSCM is a major medical journal for SCI medicine.
The Presidential early career awards embody the high priority the Obama Administration places on producing outstanding scientists and engineers to advance the Nation’s goals, tackle grand challenges, and contribute to the American economy. The recipients are employed or funded by the following departments and agencies: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of the Interior, Department of Veteran Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation, which join together annually to nominate the most meritorious scientists and engineers whose early accomplishments show the greatest promise for assuring America’s preeminence in science and engineering and contributing to the awarding agencies' missions.
The awards, established by President Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.