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Nopoulos to receive CCOM Distinguished Mentor Award

Date: Monday, August 15, 2022

 

Peggy Nopoulos is a triple threat in the world of academic medicine as a clinician, researcher, and mentor.

A lifelong Iowan, Nopoulos completed all her medical education and training at the University of Iowa and became chair and departmental executive officer of the Department of Psychiatry in 2018.

Over the past 12 years she has built an internationally recognized Huntington’s disease (HD) Center of Excellence that is now a multi-site program for children and young adults at risk for HD, thanks to an $18 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

In addition to HD research, Nopoulos has treated patients with conditions such as schizophrenia, and she has worked with children with cleft lip and palate. Nopoulos developed and directed the Iowa Medical Student Research Program from 2001-2013, and she led the Iowa Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship Program during this time. She currently directs a National Institute of Mental Health-supported T32 postdoctoral research training program.

Nopoulos’ clinical work and research are remarkable, but she shines as a mentor to students, trainees, and early-career faculty members.

Dr. Nopoulos is the only psychiatrist I know who has won national awards for all phases of our work. Her remarkable record of accomplishment has made Dr. Nopoulos a go-to person for people seeking advice on how to be successful in academic medicine.

James Potash, MD, MPH

James “Jimmy” Potash, MD, MPH, who was Nopoulos’ predecessor as chair of the psychiatry department at Iowa, stresses the breadth of her accomplishments.

“Dr. Nopoulos is the only psychiatrist I know who has won national awards for all phases of our work,” says Potash, who now serves as the Henry Phipps Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, director of the psychiatry department, and psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Medicine. “She has been named a ‘Best Doctor in America,’ won a certificate of excellence in medical education, and been named to several awards for research achievement. Her remarkable record of accomplishment has made Dr. Nopoulos a go-to person for people seeking advice on how to be successful in academic medicine.”

Aaron Boes, MD, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics, neurology, and psychiatry at the UI Carver College of Medicine, was one of Nopoulos’ early mentees. Seventeen years later, they still meet on a weekly basis.

“If you ask Peg what she is most proud of about her career and what makes her work meaningful, she won’t hesitate in her response,” Boes says. “It is her mentees. Her passion is preparing the next generation of physicians and scientists to launch their own impactful careers. She has accomplished this time and time again through unending devotion and limitless energy focused on mentorship.”

Nopoulos has had a particularly significant impact on women in her department.

“The past four years since she became chair of the department have been transformative for me professionally and for the department at large. I cannot overemphasize what a wonderful leader and mentor she is,” says Alison Lynch, MD, MS, FAPA, FASAM, clinical professor of psychiatry and family medicine, and director of the UI Addiction & Recovery Collaborative. “Her presence says to all the women in the department that we can achieve and accomplish like our male colleagues. She goes further by looking for opportunities to promote and support the careers of our female faculty.”

“Peg’s picture should be in the dictionary next to ‘mentor,’” notes Lyndsay Harshman, MD, associate professor in the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics and medical director of pediatric kidney transplant at UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital. “She is simply that amazing.”

Ceremony Details

Tuesday, Sept. 6

3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Prem Sahai Auditorium (1110A MERF)

The ceremony will feature a lecture from Abraham Verghese, MD, professor of the theory and practice of medicine and internal medicine at Stanford University Medical School. The lecture is titled Humanism, Heroism, and Pandemics.

All are welcome to attend. Reception to follow at Hancher.