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Accolades at the Apex for Elrod and Lin

Winners of Temple University 2021-22 Faculty Teaching, Research, Creative and Service Awards

News March 25, 2022

Drs. Elrod and LinTwo Lewis Katz School of Medicine faculty – John Elrod, PhD, and Karen Lin, MD – were presented with 2021-22 Temple University Faculty Teaching, Research, Creative and Service Awards, Temple University’s highest faculty honors, during a March 22, 2022 ceremony led by Provost Gregory Mandell, with Amy Goldberg, MD, FACS, Interim Dean.  

The Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching was awarded to Karen Lin, MD, Professor of Clinical Medicine and the Abraham Roth Chair in Preventative Medicine. A prestigious honor reserved for teachers with exemplary teaching acumen, the Lindback goes to teachers who motivate students to maximize their spirit of inquiry and who focus on developing trainees’ critical thinking skills.  

Board-certified in three fields of medicine, Dr. Lin has been a key member of Temple’s clinical faculty since 2005. She holds fellow and diplomate status in five national boards and academies and is loved by her patients – many of whom are physicians themselves.   

“She’s a doctor’s doctor,” said Dr. Goldberg, who joined Provost Mandel to present the honor, “But it’s Dr. Lin’s remarkable talents as an educator that we celebrate today.”  

Dr.  Lin is Lead Core Educator for Temple medical students and Vice Chair of Education in the Department of Medicine. “She’s held many roles within undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate medical education at Temple over the years, and her effectiveness throughout is unparalleled,” Dr. Goldberg said. “Her goal is to produce superbly skilled physicians: self-motivated and collaborative, with impeccable communication and critical reasoning skills. She succeeds.” 

Moreover, Dr. Lin was selected for the Lindback Award because “she elevates the larger landscape of medical education at Temple by teaching other teachers. She brings keen insight to educational strategic planning and models exceptional professionalism and humanism, inspiring students and colleagues,” the dean said.  

Year after year, students, residents, and fellows give Dr. Lin outstanding evaluations for her teaching – and her colleagues sing her praises as well. Among their comments: “Dr. Lin is incredible to work with.” “She knows when to help and when to let students think for themselves.” “She creates a fantastic learning environment -- always emanating warmth and empathy, while ensuring decisions are rational and fully formed.”  A colleague used the term “educational brilliance” to describe her.  

Another said she embodies all “the ideals that make Temple special.” 

John Elrod, PhD, the second Katz School faculty member to receive a prestigious university-wide faculty honor – The Faculty Research Award – holds Associate Professor positions in the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences and in two research centers of the school.  

“Dr. Elrod arrived at Temple ten years ago as a junior faculty member -- and quickly made a name for himself,” Dr. Goldberg explained.  He regularly receives invitations to speak -- all over the world.  Dr. Elrod. He serves in multiple leadership roles for the American Heart Association and the International Society of Heart Research. He also serves on the editorial boards of leading journals, with review service to many more.  

“Notably, more than 80 studies performed in Dr. Elrod’s laboratory have been published in prestigious journals – including Nature. His research has already been cited well over 10,000 times -- one of the highest citation rates at Temple,” Dr. Goldberg said. 

Dr. Elrod and his team study mitochondrial biology, metabolism, fibrosis, and cell death -- in the context of cardiac injury, heart failure, and neurodegeneration. Their goal is to discover novel mechanisms of disease -- thus identify novel treatments. Experts use terms like “major,” “landmark,” and “groundbreaking” to describe their work.    

“For example, Dr. Elrod and team discovered that mitochondrial calcium plays a critical role in Alzheimer's disease progression--significantly extending our understanding of this devastating disease,” Dr. Goldberg said.  

She also noted that all of Dr. Elrod’s trainees have won awards, acquired grants, and secured competitive fellowships or tenure track positions. “Dr. Elrod views trainee success as a benchmark of his impact,” she said. 

Colleagues at Temple and beyond have wonderful things to say about Dr. Elrod. “He is a highly gifted and creative scientist,” one said.  “Dr. Elrod is poised to make more exciting discoveries,” said another. “He is clearly a leader and rapidly advancing -- making a remarkable impact.” “Dr. Elrod’s work will undoubtedly lead to new breakthrough therapies.”  

Faculty Teaching, Research, Creative and Service Awards are Temple University’s highest faculty honors, reserved for faculty who demonstrate the highest levels of excellence in teaching, research, and creativity.  

The competition is keen. Awardees are nominated by students and colleagues at Temple and other institutions. Award committees comprised of faculty -- with student input -- then make recommendations to the Provost and President for consideration. 

“We are incredibly proud of all the amazing faculty at the Katz School—and elated that two on our team won these outstanding honors this year,” Dean Goldberg said.