Indiana University named five assistant professors as the 2022 Indiana University Bloomington Outstanding Junior Faculty Award recipients. One of the recipients is IU School of Optometry Assistant Professor Dr. Cathy Cheng.
The award identifies promising tenure-track faculty and provides a $15,000 grant to support the recipient’s future research. A reception will be held in their honor at a later date. The award is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.
“I am thrilled that the campus is able to recognize and provide support for the excellent research and scholarship that these award recipients are conducting,” said Eliza Pavalko, vice provost for faculty and academic affairs. “Selecting just five Outstanding Junior Faculty from among the many extraordinary nominees was a challenge for the committee, but our awardees stand out for the excellence, originality, and impact of their research while also being recognized for excellent teaching and other activities.”
Dr. Cheng is an interdisciplinary vision scientist and cell biologist. She is working to identify the molecular and cellular changes that cause age-related lens pathologies, and also potentially to prevent lens-related blindness with novel therapeutics. A Ph.D. graduate in bioengineering from University of California, Berkeley, and San Francisco, Dr. Cheng joined IU Bloomington in 2018 as assistant professor in the School of Optometry. She is a recipient of two of her field’s most prestigious research awards, from the National Foundation for Eye Research in 2019 and the National Eye Institute/National Institutes of Health in 2021. A recipient of an IU Trustees Teaching Award in 2021, Dr. Cheng has also led or participated in School of Optometry events to encourage the interest of area schoolchildren in STEM fields and vision science.