Awards & Recognition: April 2018

Clockwise from upper left: Asmaa Rimawi, Jamaji Nwanaji-Enwerem and Suchita Nety
Clockwise from upper left: Asmaa Rimawi, Jamaji Nwanaji-Enwerem and Suchita Nety

Three HMS students are recipients of the 2018 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, a graduate school program for immigrants and children of immigrants.

London Society student Suchita Nety was born in California to immigrants from India who came to the United States to attend graduate school. Her projects throughout middle and high school, including cancer imaging research conducted at Stanford, earned regional and national level-awards. She earned a BS in chemistry from Caltech and spent four years in the lab of Mikhail Shapiro. Her work with protein-based reporters for ultrasound imaging resulted in a patent, publications, presentations, and awards, including Caltech’s highest honor for undergraduate academics and research. After completing MD/Ph.D. training at Harvard and MIT, Nety hopes to serve patients as a medical oncologist while developing molecular tools to engineer robust and safe cell-based therapies.

Born in Nigeria, Peabody Society student Jamaji Nwanaji-Enwerem immigrated to North Carolina with his parents when he was an infant. Nwanaji-Enwerem’s interactions with people suffering from preventable illness in Nigerian and American communities coupled with early research experiences in industry, academia, and the clinic fueled his passion to become a physician scientist. After completing a BS in biology at Morehouse College, he enrolled at Harvard University to pursue an MD/PhD. As a future leader in medicine and environmental health, Nwanaji-Enwerem aspires to make lasting contributions so that fewer people have to experience personal illness to appreciate the connection between the environment and their health.

Peabody student Asmaa Rimawi is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants who came to America in 1982. Rimawi became the first graduate of her high school, a gender-segregated Islamic school, to attend Harvard University. After college, she received a master’s degree in Middle Eastern and Asian philosophy at Trinity College, University of Cambridge. In medical school, Rimawi serves on the Dean’s task force on diversity and inclusion and is involved in the recruitment of minority students. Rimawi plans on using research to understand the struggles Arab and Muslim communities face within the field of health, and specifically, to understand the impact of discrimination on health.

Chosen from an applicant pool of 1,766 for their potential to make significant contributions to United States society, culture or their academic fields, the recipients will receive $90,000 in funding.

Andrea Wershof Schwartz, HMS instructor in medicine at VA Boston Healthcare System, received the Outstanding Junior Clinician Educator of the Year Award from the American Geriatrics Society. She was among more than 20 researchers, clinicians, educators and emerging health professionals who were recognized for making outstanding contributions to high-quality, person-centered care for older people.

Emery Brown
Emery Brown

Emery Brown, the HMS Warren M. Zapol Professor of Anaesthesia at Massachusetts General Hospital, was named as a 2018 inductee into the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame, which recognizes Florida inventors for their achievements and acknowledges how their work has influenced society and advanced quality of life for Floridians, the state and the nation. He will be inducted at a ceremony and gala in September in Tampa.

Brown was selected for his significant contributions to the advancement of the science and practice of anesthesiology, enabling physicians to accurately monitor and safely control the anesthetic state of patients. His research has shown that a primary mechanism through which anesthetics induce altered arousal states is by creating oscillations that disrupt neuronal communication among different brain regions. His research has also shown that anesthesia induced oscillations change systematically with anesthetic drug class and with age. These oscillations, which are readily visible in the EEG, can be used to guide drug dosing and inform new approaches to precisely controlling the anesthetic state. Brown is also being recognized for developing statistical methods to analyze dynamic processes in neuroscience.

Harvard Heroes, a University-wide recognition program, celebrates the accomplishments of Harvard staff whose work supports the mission of Harvard at the highest levels of contribution, impact and excellence. Harvard Heroes are selected for their hard work and dedication to the University, high level of service and their willingness to go above and beyond to help others whenever needed.

The following seven winners are members of the HMS community and will be celebrated at the Harvard Heroes Celebration on June 14:

Mark Cicchetti, Managing Director, Anatomical Gift Program

Program in Medical Education

Emily Corcoran, Program Manager

Health Care Policy

Laura DeCoste, Executive Director of Development Communications and Donor Engagement

Alumni Affairs and Development

Donald Gillis, Energy Manager


Megan Halligan, Strategic Projects Manager

Executive Administration

Donardo Marcellus, Network Engineer


Megan Peavey, Fish Room Technician II


Sherri Rose and Laura Hatfield, both associate professors of health care policy at HMS, were named to receive 2018 Scientific Awards, which recognize excellence and outstanding technical achievement, from ISPOR, the professional society for health economics and outcomes research.

Hatfield will receive the Award for Excellence in Health Economics and Outcomes Research Methodology in recognition of her outstanding work, and Rose will receive the Bernie O’Brien New Investigator Award for showing exceptional promise as an investigative researcher.

Jane Newburger
Jane Newburger

Jane Newburger, the HMS Commonwealth Professor of Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital, was named to receive the Paul Dudley White Award from the American Heart Association and will be honored at the Boston Heart and Stroke Ball on May 5.

Newburger is being recognized for dedicating her life to improving the care and outcomes of children with heart disease. She has worked for more than four decades at Boston Children’s Hospital, rising to the positions of associate chair for academic affairs in the Department of Cardiology.

During her career, Newburger has made seminal contributions in two areas: evaluation and therapy of Kawasaki disease and neurodevelopmental outcomes in children with congenital heart disease. her work has had a profound impact on pediatric cardiology and congenital heart surgery on a local, national and international level. She is also known as a generous and successful mentor of medical students, fellows and early career faculty.

Two Harvard Medical School researchers were among 156 individuals elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows. A formal induction ceremony was held during the AIMBE Annual Meeting at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., on April 9. The HMS honorees are as follows:

Marsha Moses, the HMS Julia Dyckman Andrus Professor of Surgery and director of the Vascular Biology Program at Boston Children's Hospital, was honored for her pioneering research in cancer and outstanding inventions and remarkable mentorship.

Maria Franceschini, HMS associate professor of radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, was honored for outstanding contributions in biomedical optics, particularly the development and application of near infrared spectroscopy methods for measuring the brain.

Clockwise from upper left: Susan Dymecki, Wade Harper, Patricia D'Amore and Christopher A. Walsh
Clockwise from upper left: Susan Dymecki, Wade Harper, Patricia D'Amore and Christopher A. Walsh

Four Harvard Medical School scientists have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Class of 2018 for exceptional scholarship in the field of biomedicine. Founded in 1780, the Academy recognizes and celebrates excellence by honoring scholars, leaders, artists, and innovators and engages them in sharing knowledge and addressing some of the most vexing challenges facing the world. The newly elected members will be inducted at a ceremony in Cambridge, Mass., in October.

The four HMS honorees are as follows:

Patricia D’Amore, the Charles L. Schepens Professor of Ophthalmology and Professor of Pathology at HMS and Massachusetts Eye and Ear
Susan Dymecki, professor of genetics at HMS
Wade Harper, Bert and Natalie Vallee Professor of Molecular Pathology and head of the Department of Cell Biology at HMS
Christopher A. Walsh, Bullard Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology at HMS and Boston Children’s Hospital

Anna Greka
Anna Greka

Anna Greka, HMS assistant professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, was named a recipient of the 2018 Donald Seldin-Holly Smith Award for Pioneering Research, which honors early-career physician-scientists who have demonstrated exceptional creativity and accomplishments in biomedical research. She will be recognized on April 21 as part of the 2018 AAP/ASCI/APSA Joint Meeting and will deliver a scientific talk at the 2019 Joint Meeting.

Greka focuses on developing targeted treatments for kidney diseases. Her laboratory studies kidney podocytes, critical blood-filtering cells whose loss is responsible for progression to kidney failure. Her previous discoveries have formed the basis for precision therapies for kidney diseases, now in active development. In addition Greka is an institute member and director of Kidney Disease Initiative at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and director of Kidney-NExT Center for Kidney Disease and Novel Experimental Therapeutics at Brigham and Women’s.

Alex Keuroghlian, HMS assistant professor of psychiatry, part-time, at Massachusetts General Hospital, has been selected to receive the 2018 Jonathan F. Borus Outstanding Early Career Educator Award, which is awarded by the HMS Psychiatry Executive Committee to a junior faculty member at HMS who has demonstrated exceptional promise, initiative and commitment in the area of psychiatric education. Keuroghlian is a co-recipient of the award with Elisa Cheng, HMS instructor in psychiatry, part-time, at Cambridge Health Alliance.

Keuroghlian, who is also director of education and training programs at the Fenway Insitute, will receive the award at the Harvard Medical School Symposium on Medical Student Education in Psychiatry at the Harvard Faculty Club on April 26.

This announcement was corrected on 5/3 to include co-recipient Elisa Cheng.

Dave Liebers
Dave Liebers

David Liebers, a third-year student at Harvard Medical School, is one of 14 medical students chosen for the 2018 Medical Program of the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE) to participate in a two-week program in Germany and Poland this summer, which uses the conduct of physicians in Nazi-occupied Europe as a way to reflect on medical ethics today. The FASPE Medical program’s holistic curriculum looks beyond the specifics of formal rules to focus on ethical problems faced by individual doctors in the various settings in which they practice.

“There are very few moments during medical school to step back and seriously consider professional, ethical and moral responsibilities that stretch beyond the clinic,” said Peabody Society student Liebers. “My view is that there is a need to reaffirm and redefine the ‘call to service’ at the core of the medical profession, each generation; doing this through the historical prism offered by FASPE is a powerful way to do just that.”

Liebers academic interests include the role of genetics in predicting disease course in neuropsychiatric illness and in informing clinical decision-making, as well as the history of medicine in interwar eastern Europe. He joins a diverse group of 64 FASPE fellows from the fields of medicine, business, journalism, law and seminary who were chosen from applicants across the U.S. and the world. FASPE covers all program costs, including travel, food and lodging.

Janey Wiggs
Janey Wiggs

Janey Wiggs, the HMS Paul Austin Chandler Professor of Ophthalmology, associate chief of ophthalmology clinical research and associate director of the Howe Laboratory at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, was named the 2018 recipient of the Dr. David L. Epstein Award, an honor given by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). Wiggs will receive the award at the ARVO Annual Meeting this May in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Wiggs is being honored for her research studying genetic risk factors of glaucoma, which has been instrumental in advancing our understanding of the biology of glaucoma and has led to the development of diagnostic screening and prevention strategies for the disease. She currently investigates several specific sub-conditions of glaucoma, such as adult and juvenile onset primary open angle glaucoma. In conjunction with these studies, her laboratory has developed a registry of more than 2,000 early and adult onset glaucoma patients. She is also a member of eyeGENE, a genotyping project designed to study inherited ocular diseases.

Nancy Tarbell
Nancy Tarbell

Nancy Tarbell, the C.C. Wang Professor of Radiation Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital and dean for academic and clinical affairs, has been chosen to receive the tenth annual Margaret L. Kripke Award by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center for her significant contributions to the advancement and promotion of women in cancer research and cancer medicine. She will give an address and receive a $5,000 award on April 3 in Houston, Texas.