Awards & Recognition: July 2017

Susan Mitchell, HMS professor of medicine and a senior scientist at Hebrew SeniorLife, has been selected by the National Advisory Council on Aging to receive The National Institute of Health’s Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) award in recognition of outstanding achievements as a principle investigator on National Institute of Aging research projects.

The objective of the MERIT Award is to provide long-term, stable support to investigators whose research competence and productivity are distinctly superior and who are likely to continue to perform in an outstanding manner. The provision of long-term stable support to such investigators is expected to foster their continued creativity and spare them the administrative burdens associated with preparation and submission of full-length research grant applications. This may allow investigators the opportunity to take greater risks, be more adventurous in their lines of inquiry, or take the time to develop new techniques.

Daniel MacArthur

Daniel MacArthur, HMS assistant professor of medicine and a researcher in the Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital was named as the inaugural recipient of the 2017 Early-Career Award from the American Society of Human Genetics. He will receive a plaque and $10,000 prize in October during the organization’s annual meeting.

This new award recognizes the contributions of genetics and genomics scientists in the first ten years of their careers as independent investigators.

MacArthur, who is also co-director of the Medical and Population Genetics program and an institute member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, focuses his research on the use of large-scale genomic technologies and resources to improve the diagnosis of rare diseases. As part of this effort, he and his colleagues developed the Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC) database and website, a resource that has collected and analyzed exome sequences from more than 60,000 individuals, and its successor, the Genome Aggregation Database (gnomAD). These resources are used widely in the genetics community and have contributed to many collaborative gene discovery projects.

Jonathan BeanJonathan Bean, HMS associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at VA Boston Healthcare System has been chosen as the 2017 recipient of the Excellence in Rehabilitation of Aging Persons Award by the Gerontological Society of America. He will receive the award at the organization’s annual meeting in November.

Bean is an internationally recognized expert in geriatric rehabilitative care and has extensive experience in the measurement of disablement outcomes. His research has focused on identifying the modifiable risk factors that underlie mobility decline, falls and disability; the identification of clinical screening tests that predict these adverse outcomes; and the development of new therapeutic approaches that prevent these outcomes from occurring.

Mark Preston, HMS assistant professor of surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, was among 19 recipients of the Prostate Cancer Foundation 2017 Young Investigator Awards.

The awards—which provide 3 years’ worth of funding, matched by the recipient’s institution—support early career scientists whose work focuses on accelerating the delivery of therapies that extend survival for men with prostate cancer.

Nine members of the HMS/HSDM community were recognized with the 2017 Dean’s Community Service Awards for their dedication and commitment to community service that has made a positive impact on the local, national or international community.

Below are the award recipients and the organizations they serve.


Denise Brown

Greater Vision Tabernacle Church


Eric Busse

Scouts for Equality

Samantha Wellington

Y2Y Harvard Square


Herbert Birnbaum

Union of Minority Neighborhoods

Michael Goldberg

Camp Casco

Sara Looby

Healing Our Community Collaborative

Hanni Stoklosa

HEAL Trafficking


Gabriel Foster

DR Help

Alister Martin

Mass General Emergency Medicine Department

Jennifer Kesselheim

Jennifer Kesselheim, HMS assistant professor of medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, was one of five people chosen as a 2017 Macy Faculty Scholar by the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation.

Kesselheim was selected as a Macy scholar because of her accomplishments to date and her future promise as an educational leader and innovator. She will receive salary support or two years, which will allow her to spend at least 50 percent of her time pursuing a mentored educational innovation project and engaging in other development opportunities to enhance her career as an educator.

Richard PelsRichard Pels, HMS assistant professor of medicine and chief of medicine at Cambridge Health Alliance, received the Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education which presents the award to program directors who find innovative ways to teach residents.

Since 1983, Pels has served in various leadership roles at Cambridge Health Alliance, including associate chief of medicine, president of the medical staff, director of the internal medicine residency program and director of graduate medical education. He was named chief of medicine in April 2017.

Two HMS students were among fourteen medical students from across the U.S. selected to receive funding for clinical learning and research projects through the HIVMA Medical Student Program.

The HMS students, mentors and project titles are:

David Gootenberg

Mentor: Douglas Kwon, HMS assistant professor of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital

The role of the enteric microbiome in chronic HIV pathogenesis and cardiovascular disease in HIV-infected individuals in Sub-Saharan Africa

Justin Rice

Mentor: Douglas Kwon, HMS assistant professor of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital

The Cervicovaginal Microbiome's Influence on HIV Susceptibility: An Investigation of Mechanisms and Potential Interventions

The students will receive a stipend of $3,500 per year for up to three years. The program supports research in local and overseas settings including basic science investigations evaluating novel vaccine strategies, clinical research including modeling the cost-effectiveness of PrEP delivery using maternal and child health clinics, and implementation science.

The HMS Excellence in Mentoring Awards recognize the value of quality mentoring relationships and the impact they have on professional development and career advancement in basic and clinical medicine, research, teaching and administration.

The 2017 HMS Excellence in Mentoring Awards Recipients are:  

William Silen Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award

R. Rox Anderson, HMS professor of dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital
Alan Retik, HMS professor of surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital
Larry Seidman, HMS professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

A. Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award

David F.M. Brown, the HMS MGH Trustees Professor of Emergency Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital
David Chang, the HMS associate professor of surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital
Teresa Chen, HMS associate professor of ophthalmology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear
Susan Dymecki, professor of genetics at HMS
Emily Oken, HMS professor of population medicine at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute
Steven Simon, HMS associate professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Julian Seifter, HMS associate professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Young Mentor Award

Jason Block, HMS assistant professor of population medicine at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute
Kip Connor, HMS assistant professor of ophthalmology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear
Benjamin Lê Cook, HMS assistant professor of psychiatry at Cambridge Health Alliance
Ashwini Jambhekar, HMS instructor in pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital
Soo-Woo Kim, instructor in oral medicine, infection and immunity at Harvard School of Dental Medicine
Ralph Mazitschek, HMS assistant professor of radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital