5 honored as emeritus faculty

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Five longtime faculty were honored as emeritus professors during the June 8 meeting of the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees.

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Carolyn S. Ashworth, M.D., was named professor emerita of pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics. Ashworth joined UAB in 1991 as an assistant professor in the department, progressing to associate professor in 1993 and professor in 1997. From 1995 to 2017, she was director of the divisions of Academic General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. In addition to her work at UAB, Ashworth also worked for the Family Court of Jefferson County, providing initial assessments and ongoing acute care for more than 100 adolescents in juvenile detention.

Ashworth has published more than 40 peer-reviewed publications, books, book reviews and abstracts and has presented dozens of lectures across the nation, including to the Society of Adolescent Medicine and the Southern Society for Pediatric Research. She received the Service Achievement Award as well as Excellence in Teaching Awards from the Department of Pediatrics, and in 2017 earned the Becky Trigg Outstanding Women Faculty Award from UAB’s Commission on the Status of Women.
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Kohtaro Fujihashi, DDS, Ph.D., was named professor emeritus of dentistry in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry. Fujihashi began his tenure at UAB as a postdoctoral fellow in the departments of Oral Biology and Microbiology in 1986. He became a research instructor in oral biology in 1993 and progressed through the ranks to associate professor in 1997 and professor in 2001. He was appointed to the Department of Pediatric Dentistry as a professor in 2004. Fujihashi also holds a secondary appointments with the Department of Microbiology, UAB’s Global Center for Craniofacial, Oral and Dental Disorders, the Comprehensive Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, Bone and Autoimmunity Center and the Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging.

Fujihashi has authored more than 450 book chapters, abstracts and articles in peer-reviewed journals. He has received the Nihon Ikueikai Award and the International Congress of Immunology Travel Award, and he is on the editorial board of the journals “Current Immunology Reviews” and “Vaccine.”
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Jannet Katz, DDS, Ph.D., was named professor emerita of dentistry in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry. Katz completed her residency in the Department of Periodontology at UAB in 1984 before joining the department as an instructor in 1984. She progressed through the ranks to professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry in 2003. During her tenure at UAB, Katz also directed the post-graduate program in oral biology in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, and she was a senior scholar in the Sparkman Center for Global Health and senior scientist in UAB’s Nephrology Research and Training Center.

Katz has authored more than 130 abstracts, book reviews and chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals and is a recipient of the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research’s First Award. She also is a member of the editorial board of “Molecular Oral Microbiology” and is a reviewer for “Immunology Letters,” “Journal of Periodontology” and “Journal of Innate Immunity.”
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N. Rama Krishna, Ph.D., was named professor emeritus of biochemistry and molecular genetics in the School of Medicine. Krishna joined UAB as an associate scientist at its Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1976 before becoming an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry in 1979. Before his retirement as professor from the department in 2018, Krishna also directed the center’s NMR Core Facility, and he also was the first director of its Central Alabama High-Field NMR Facility, a role he held from 2011 to 2016. He was a scientist in UAB’s Center for AIDS Research, plus a senior scientist in the cancer center and co-director of its Structural Biology Core Facility.

Krishna has published more than 135 full-length papers, books and book chapters and more than 90 abstracts. In 2012, Krishna was elected a fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has been a member of several National Institutes of Health National Research Service Award Fellowship study sections.
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Leo P. Semes, O.D., was named professor emeritus in the Department of Optometry and Vision Science. Semes joined UAB in 1979 as an optometry instructor before becoming an assistant professor in 1980. He became a tenured associate professor in 1983 and full professor in 2007. Semes has been an invited lecturer at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the University of New South Wales in New South Wales, Australia.

Semes has published more than 215 scientific publications and abstracts and has given podium presentations for the Association for Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, the Centers for Disease Control Diabetes and Obesity Conference and the National Glaucoma Society. He also received the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award in the School of Optometry and was the Alabama Optometric Association Educator of the Year in 2015.