Two Malone Center faculty members and their collaborative research teams have been chosen to receive 2024 Johns Hopkins Discovery Awards. Chosen from a record 286 proposals, Kathryn McDonald and Ayah Zirikly are among 148 individuals on the 44 multidisciplinary endeavors that have been selected to receive support this year.

The Discovery Awards program was announced in early 2015, as was the Catalyst Awards program for early-career researchers. Together the two programs represent a $45 million university commitment by university leadership, along with the deans and directors of JHU’s divisions, to faculty-led research.

The Discovery Awards are intended to spark new interactions among investigators across the university rather than to support established projects. Teams can apply for up to $100,000 to explore a new area of collaborative work with special emphasis on preparing for an externally funded large-scale grant or cooperative agreement.

McDonald is an international thought leader who focuses on bringing an evidence-based, patient-centered approach to the study of health care delivery. She explores what makes for safe, affordable, and high-quality health care delivery systems and the factors that prevent health organizations from achieving this standard of care. She will work with Christina Yuan, an associate research professor of health policy and management at the Bloomberg School of Public Health; Mary Catherine Beach, a professor at the School of Medicine; and Carey Business School faculty Michael Darden and Mario Macis on “The Dynamics of Trust: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Improving Health Care Outcomes.”

Zirikly has been actively involved in natural language processing applications research, such as suicide risk assessment via social media, developing health informatics solutions, and transferring learning techniques from high- to low-resource settings. Joined by Kemar Green and John Probasco, faculty in the Department of Neurology at the School of Medicine; Peter Kazanzides and Ziang Xiao, faculty in the Department of Computer Science; Vishal Patel, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering; and Youseph Yazdi, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering, she will work on “Virtual Neurology Clinic: A Human-AI Interface for Remote Autonomous Augmented/Virtual Reality Neurologic Screening and Triaging,” a project co-funded with the Johns Hopkins Institute for Assured Autonomy.

See the full list of recipients and their projects >>

Image Caption: Kathryn McDonald and Ayah Zirikly