Ming Lei, senior associate vice president for research and graduate education for WVU Health Sciences, has received the Dr. Howard K. Koh Award for outstanding leadership, service integrity, and significant contributions to the mission of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Dr. Koh is a former assistant secretary for health for HHS and a national leader of health research.
Lei came to WVU in August 2023 from the National Institutes of Health. The award recognizes his work in the federal government.
“It is deeply humbling to be recognized by an award in the name of Dr. Koh, an exemplary public servant and preeminent scholar,” Lei said. “Receiving the award at the conclusion of my federal service career at the NIH is particularly gratifying.”
Lei made outstanding contributions to NIH’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as he co-chaired a task force that designed and implemented the RADx-UP programs that increased COVID-19 testing and vaccinations among populations most severely affected by the pandemic.
He also spearheaded a collaboration that established the National Cohort Collaborative and the N3C Data Enclave to enable COVID-19 and long COVID research using de-identified patient health records. Furthermore, he led the development of a viral genome sequencing initiative that tracked the emergence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants in rural and underserved populations.
Lei held several leadership positions during his 15-year NIH career. During his tenure as director of the NIGMS Division for Research Capacity Building, he led the creation of programs including the IDeA Regional Entrepreneurship Development and the Support for Research Excellence Awards, and developed strategic partnerships to democratize cloud computing for biomedical research and advance women’s health research.