Two faculty researchers awarded OHF-funded fellowships

Apr 2, 2019

Left, Elizabeth Beverly, Ph.D.; right, Berkeley Franz, Ph.D.

Elizabeth A. Beverly, Ph.D., and Berkeley Franz, Ph.D., faculty researchers at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, have each received research endowed fellowships made possible through funding from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation (OHF). The awards will support their research, in diabetes management and rural population health, respectively. Franz’s fellowship will also help her to progress as an independent scholar through a career development plan and mentoring from leading faculty across the United States.

Beverly, an assistant professor of family medicine, was awarded the Heritage Endowed Faculty Fellowship in Behavioral Diabetes, Osteopathic Heritage Foundation Ralph S. Licklider, D.O., Research Endowment.

Franz, an assistant professor of social medicine, received the Heritage Endowed Career Development Faculty Fellowship in Population Health Science, Osteopathic Heritage Foundation Ralph S. Licklider, D.O., Research Endowment.

“The Heritage College is fortunate to have talented young faculty who are poised to be research leaders,” said Darlene Berryman, Ph.D., R.D., L.D., associate dean for research and innovation. “We’re likewise fortunate to be able to offer this endowment funding to foster scholarly growth in these gifted faculty. For both Drs. Beverly and Franz, this funding acknowledges their abilities, their past contributions and their potential for future success in their respective fields.”

Beverly described herself as “extremely honored and humbled” by the award. “Receiving this endowed fellowship is beyond any personal or professional expectation that I had for myself, and I deeply appreciate the significance of this award,” she said, adding that the work it supports carries a deep personal meaning for her.

“In 2003 I lost my grandfather to complications from type 2 diabetes,” she recalled. “One year later, I started my research career examining the complex challenges of managing type 1 and type 2 diabetes. I have devoted the past 14 years to improving the care and quality of life for people living with this chronic illness. One of my best friends has lived with type 1 diabetes for over 50 years. I dedicate this award to the resilience and determination she has shown me.”

Franz called it “an incredible honor to receive this award and have the opportunity to expand my research on rural population health.” As part of the fellowship, Franz will train with researchers at Ohio University, Ohio State University, Nationwide Children's Hospital and New York University. “My study will focus on the role that hospitals currently play to address opioid abuse in rural communities and how we can more effectively engage these institutions to address critical public health needs in their communities,” she said.

The fellowships are funded out of a $17 million research endowment portfolio established by the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation, which also supports the OHF John J. Kopchick, Ph.D., Endowed Eminent Research Chair; the OHF James O. Watson, D.O., Endowed Research Chair; and the OHF Harold E. Clybourne, D.O., Endowed Research Chair.

The $7 million apportioned to the OHF Ralph S. Licklider, D.O., Research Endowment covers funding for Heritage endowed professorships, Heritage faculty endowed fellowships (the award received by Beverly), and Heritage career development faculty endowed fellowships (the award received by Franz).

Both fellowships support faculty whose research aligns with the interests of one or more of the college’s institutes, is translational and/or builds collaboration with entities outside the institutes. The faculty endowed fellowship provides supplemental funding to conduct promising translational research, with the goal of better positioning the awardee to obtain federal funding. In addition to funding, the career development faculty endowed fellowship provides mentorship and/or training to enable recipients to become independent scholars who are positioned to attract external funding.

Both awards are for two years, with an option for a one-year extension depending on performance. During this time, recipients are expected to publish original research, present at national conferences and serve as principal investigators on applications for external research funding.