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Arnold School of Public Health


Ground-breaking researcher helps others start careers

March 18, 2016

The below story was written by Page Ivey and is republished here from UofSC Today. Read the Arnold School story here.

In her 15 years at the Arnold School of Public Health, epidemiology and biostatistics professor Angela Liese has not only done ground-breaking research in the area of nutrition, food security and diabetes, but also mentored dozens of junior faculty both in the Arnold School and in other colleges and disciplines.

“Mentoring is about helping others reach their goals,” Liese says. “When I first started out in research, I had wonderful mentors whose advice was invaluable at the time. Today, I see mentoring as an extension of my teacher role.”

For her work, Liese has earned a 2016 Breakthrough Leadership in Research Award. The award recognizes distinguished senior faculty who take a multifaceted approach to research. The primary criteria for the award is the demonstration of leadership through sustained commitment to activities like mentoring junior faculty, establishing research centers with university-wide impact and promoting research to K-12 students. The leadership award also recognizes researchers who engage in community outreach and create programs aimed at increasing diversity.

As director of the university’s Center for Research in Nutrition and Health Disparities (2008-13), Liese created a network of some 50 interdisciplinary faculty and staff working on collaborative and individual research projects.

“Angela has been amazing in not only including me in her own grant proposals but also including me on grant proposals where she has been asked to be a co-investigator,” says Bethany Bell, associate professor in the College of Social Work. “This was integral to my early career success.”

Liese has been an author on more than 140 peer-reviewed publications and has been involved in millions of dollars of funded proposals at Carolina.

“Angela’s own research is exceptional, but her relationships with and mentoring of other faculty are perhaps her greatest gifts to the university,” says James Hussey, chair of the epidemiology and biostatistics department.

Her work has affected nutritional epidemiology methods, diabetes prevention and public health nutrition recommendations. She also has worked to establish the university as a national leader in the area of food security.

“What sets Angela apart is her continued interest in helping others to succeed, and in identifying and building new initiatives for research success,” says epidemiology professor Susan E. Steck.