Melinda A. Engevik, PhD, to Receive 2024 ASIP Cotran Early Career Investigator Award

Mindy Engevik

April 25, 2023 — The 2024 recipient of the ASIP Cotran Early Career Investigator Award is Dr. Mindy Engevik, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology at the Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston, SC).

The ASIP Cotran Early Career Investigator Award recognizes early career investigators who direct meritorious and impactful independent experimental pathology research programs that are focused on improvement of the understanding of the conceptual basis of disease. The award is named in honor of Dr. Ramzi Cotran, who was a distinguished educator, mentor, scientist, and leader in the field of experimental pathology.

Dr. Engevik graduated from the Biola University (La Miranda, CA) with a BS in biology in 2004, and then completed an MS in biological sciences at the California State University at Long Beach (Long Beach, CA) in 2008. Dr. Engevik subsequently graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a PhD in molecular and cellular physiology in 2014. After several years of postdoctoral training (2014-2018) in the Department of Pathology and Immunology at the Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, TX), Dr. Engevik was appointed to the position of Instructor in the same department/institution (2018-2020). In 2020, Dr. Engevik moved to the Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology at the Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston, SC) as a tenure-track Assistant Professor.

In her short career to-date, Dr. Engevik has published 59 original papers, book chapters, and reviews. Of her 53 original published papers, Dr. Engevik is first author on 17, and corresponding author on 11 of the most recent papers (going back to 2020). Additional evidence of research productivity can be seen in Dr. Engevik’s list of 69 published abstracts (plus 44 abstracts presented at various local, national, and international meetings). Dr. Engevik’s research is focused on microbiota and the crosstalk occurring between bacteria and the gastrointestinal epithelium (with a specific emphasis on microbe-mucus interactions). Dr. Engevik’s strong publication record is enhanced when you consider the journals in which she is publishing her work – Science, Scientific Reports, Gastroenterology, BMC Microbiology, Gut Microbes, The American Journal of Pathology, Physiological Reports, and others. Dr. Engevik’s H-index is 27 and her publications have been cited 1958 times—which is exceptionally strong for an early-stage investigator. There is no question that Dr. Engevik is making a significant impact on the field based upon the volume of productivity, the quality of the journals where she publishes, and the observation that her papers are being cited by others (reflected in the H-index). Dr. Engevik’s research is currently supported by a K01 grant from the NIDDK/NIH (2020-2024), and she is co-investigator on an R01 grant from the NHLBI/NIH. She also has two institutional research awards provided by the Medical University of South Carolina. Overall, Dr. Engevik is making tremendous contributions to science and is doing very well as an early career investigator in establishing herself as an independent investigator. The best evidence that her research achievements have been recognized at the local, regional, and national/international levels can be found in her listing of invited presentations. Dr. Engevik has given 101 invited presentations since 2009, including meeting presentations. She has been invited to give research presentations at major meetings (like Experimental Biology, Digestive Disease Week, and others), in local meetings (in Houston, Cincinnati, and Charleston), as well as at various other places, both in the United States (University of Texas Medical Branch, Howard University, Johns Hopkins University, Emory University, and others) and abroad (Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland).

Dr. Engevik is heavily engaged in several scientific societies and has demonstrated leadership abilities related to her Society committee work. She became a member of the ASIP in 2019. Since that time, Dr. Engevik was elected to serve as a member of the ASIP Nominating Committee and she has served as a research preceptor for the ASIP Summer Research Opportunity in Pathology Program. In addition, Dr. Engevik is founding co-leader of the ASIP Infectious Diseases Scientific Interest Group. Beyond the ASIP, Dr. Engevik is currently (i) a member of the Early Career Representative Engagement Task force for FASEB, (ii) Chair of the Trainee Advisory Committee for the American Physiological Society (since 2021), (iii) Social Media Editor for the American Gastroenterological Association (since 2020), (iv) a Young Delegate for the American Gastroenterological Association (since 2016), and (v) a member of the American Physiological Society Annual Meeting Task Force (since 2020), among others. Dr. Engevik has been selected to Chair sessions at the Experimental Biology 2022 meeting by both the ASIP and American Physiological Society.

Dr. Engevik has received numerous awards to this point in her career. Her CV lists 58 awards of various sorts. She has received the Dani and Erik Zander Junior Faculty Scholar Award (2021) and the George K. Michalopoulos Junior Faculty Scholar Award (2020) from the ASIP. In 2022, Dr. Engevik received the Early Career Investigator Award from The Histochemical Society, and the Early Career Faculty Award from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She is the recipient of the 2021 Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation Young Investigator Award, the 2017, 2018, and 2019 American Gastroenterological Association Early Career Investigator Awards, the 2018 American Physiological Society Professional Opportunity Award, as well as numerous travel awards from various groups (including FASEB). Dr. Engevik has also received awards from her institutions when she was in graduate school and during her postdoctoral training years. Dr. Engevik does really fantastic immunofluorescence microscopy associated with her research, and her images have been recognized with awards and journal covers.

In her letter of nomination, Dr. Daisy Shu (Instructor, Harvard Medical School) commented on Dr. Engevik’s “…impressive upward career trajectory…scientific prowess, diligence, excellent leadership…passion for science, commitment to mentoring the next generation of scientists, and dedicated service to the scientific community…” In his letter of support, Dr. Stephen A. Duncan (Professor and Chairman, Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology, Medical University of South Carolina) echoed these sentiments, commenting on Dr. Engevik’s “…demonstrated achievements, contributions to the field, and exceptional promise…” In similar fashion, Dr. Rheinallt M. Jones (Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine) added that Dr. Engevik is “…exceptional…based on her rigorous research, impressive publication record, and dedication to the scientific community…”

Dr. Engevik will receive the 2024 ASIP Cotran Early Career Investigator Award during the 2024 Annual Meeting of the ASIP in Baltimore, MD (April 2024).