February 25, 2015

Geneva Announces the 2014 Researcher of the Year, Lt. Col. Vikhyat Bebarta, MD

The Geneva Foundation (Geneva) is honored to announce the 2014 Researcher of the Year Award recipient and finalists. This group of outstanding military researchers was selected by Geneva’s Scientific Advisory Board. Geneva’s Researcher of the Year award is presented to a researcher who exemplifies Geneva’s mission of advancing innovative medical research within the U.S. military, for the benefit of U.S. service members and veterans, their families, and the global community.

“Geneva’s Researcher of The Year Award was established by its Scientific Advisory Board in 2014 as a way to recognize and honor researchers within the U.S. military who have truly shaped military medicine in the delivery of better treatment options, therapies, and healthcare practices for our service members and the public at large”, said Dr. David Shoultz, Chair of Geneva’s Scientific Advisory Board. “Geneva’s Scientific Advisory Board was honored to receive and evaluate nominees from Geneva’s management team in the areas of research quality, dissemination, mentorship, innovation, collaboration, and impact.”

Lt. Col. Vikhyat Bebarta, MD, Chief of Medical Toxicology in the Department of Emergency Medicine at San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) was selected as the 2014 Researcher of the Year. Dr. Vik Bebarta is a board-certified emergency physician and a fellowship-trained and board-certified medical toxicologist. He is the Director of the Air Force Enroute Care Research Center at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research and the Chief of Medical Toxicology and an academic staff emergency physician at SAMMC. He also serves as the Director of the Clinical Resuscitation, Emergency Sciences, and Toxicology (CREST) Research Program. Dr. Vik Bebarta is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Geneva has partnered with Dr. Bebarta for more than six years on research projects in the areas of emergency medicine, combat casualty care, and toxicology. “Dr. Bebarta has made valuable contributions to shaping the future of emergency medicine. His dedication to conducting research, while also serving in diverse leadership roles and continuing to practice clinical medicine, is indicative of his incredible passion for and commitment to research. The Geneva Foundation is proud to present our inaugural Researcher of The Year award to Dr. Bebarta, and we are honored to support his work,” said Elise Huszar, President of The Geneva Foundation.

Geneva Scientific Advisory Board member Dr. Neil Vining presented the 2014 Researcher of the Year award to Dr Bebarta on 20 February 2015 at the United States Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR). “Geneva’s Scientific Advisory Board reviewed remarkable researchers working within the Department of Defense. What differentiated Dr. Bebarta from the rest was his ability to build and lead a strong, solid research team, despite the many challenges researchers in the military face. Specifically, we were impressed with his mentorship efforts and his ability to build an enduring research culture within his department,“ said Dr. Vining. USAISR Commander COL Michael D. Wirt, MD and Geneva President Elise Huszar and were also present at the awards ceremony.

“The Geneva Foundation is a strong organization that has supported the military clinical investigator for many years and I am fortunate to have received their support,” Bebarta said. “While they named me the recipient, the award is a group award describing the achievements of many, not one. More importantly, it represents the work to better the survival, the lives and the families of the Airmen, Marines, Sailors and Soldiers we treat in combat and at home.”

The Geneva Foundation’s 2014 Researcher of the Year Finalists are:

  • LTC Luis M. Alvarez, Ph.D., Acting Director, Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine, United States Military Academy, National Cancer Institute
  • Andriy I. Batchinsky, MD, Research Scientist, Combat Critical Care Engineering Task Area, U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research
  •  David J. FitzGerald, Ph.D., Senior Investigator, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Cancer Institute
  • COL Stephen Harrison, MD, Director of Graduate Medical Education & Gastroenterology Consultant to Army Surgeon General, San Antonio Military Medical Center
  • Patricia S. Steeg, Ph.D., Deputy Chief, Women’s Malignancies Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute

Geneva’s 2014 Researcher of the Year award includes a grant of $10,000. Funds are managed by Geneva, consistent with DOD regulations and Geneva practices.

About The Geneva Foundation: The Geneva Foundation (Geneva), is a non-profit organization headquartered in Tacoma, WA. Established in 1993, Geneva’s mission is to support and advance innovative medical research within the U.S. military. We build enduring partnerships with world-renowned researchers, dedicated sponsors, and highly-skilled research and administrative professionals, all dedicated to the health and well-being of U.S. service members, their families, and the global community.