Awards & Recognitions: April 2021

Honors received by HMS faculty, staff and students

Joseph Martin, former dean of HMS and the Edward R. and Anne G. Lefler Professor of Neurobiology, Emeritus, was one of six Canadians inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame on April 29 for outstanding contributions to medicine and health sciences that have led to extraordinary improvements in human health.

Martin was recognized for his ability to promote collaboration in building and expanding the institutional foundations of medical education and science in North America.

Four entries to the Association of American Medical College’s 2021 GIA Awards for Excellence competition were honored at an awards ceremony on April 28. The winning entries from the offices of Alumni Association and Development and Communications and External Relations are:

The Robert G. Fenley Writing Awards

Bronze: “State of Stasis,” by Kevin Jiang

Honorable Mention: “The Body, the Self,” by Stephanie Dutchen

External Audience

Honorable Mention: Pulse, Harvard Medical School’s donor newsletter

The “Shoestring Award”

Honorable Mention: Visualizing the Harvard Medical School Educational Mission

Two HMS affiliated hospitals were also honored:

Special Events, Projects, Programs, or Campaigns

Silver: “The Great Brigham Playdate,” Brigham and Women’s

Social Media

Gold: Dana-Farber Audits Blog Content to Improve Search Traffic Quality, Dana-Farber

Three Harvard Medical School scientists are among 120 individuals elected members of the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. They are:

Alan D'Andrea, the Alvan T. and Viola D. Fuller American Cancer Society Professor of Radiation Oncology at HMS and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and director of the Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers at Dana-Farber

Vadim Gladyshev, HMS professor of medicine and director of redox medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital

David Knipe, the Higgins Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS

Six HMS faculty members were recognized by the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Tracy Balboni, HMS professor of radiation oncology and clinical director of the supportive and palliative radiation oncology service at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s, received the 2021 Walther Cancer Foundation Palliative and Support Care in Oncology Endowed Award and Lecture, which recognizes a distinguished leader with significant and enduring contributions to palliative and supportive care in oncology.

Balboni has dedicated her career to palliative oncology care, including researching the psychosocial aspects of advanced cancer and radiotherapy for palliation, as well as examining the role of spirituality in the cancer journey, particularly in end-of-life treatment. 

Jennifer Ligibel, HMS associate professor of medicine at Dana-Farber, received the 2021 Hologic, Inc Endowed Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award, which recognizes extraordinary female leaders in oncology who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the professional development of women colleagues as clinicians, educators, and researchers in oncology.

Ligibel is director of the Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies and Healthy Living and director of the Center for Faculty Well-Being at the Dana-Farber. She has dedicated her career to studying the role of exercise and weight management in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer and is a senior physician at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancer at Dana-Farber.

The following were elected 2021 Fellows of the American Society of Clinical Oncology:

Colin Weekes, HMS associate professor of medicine at Mass General

Elizabeth Mittendorf, HMS professor of surgery at Brigham and Women’s

Lisa Diller, HMS professor of pediatrics at Dana-Farber

Tari King, the Anne E. Dyson Professor of Surgery in the Field of Women’s Cancer at Brigham and Women’s

Vijay Kuchroo, the Samuel Wasserstrom Professor of Neurology at Brigham and Women’s, was selected as the 2021 recipient of the John Dystel Prize for Multiple Sclerosis Research. He received the award and delivered the Dystel Prize lecture as part of the virtual American Academy of Neurology 2021 annual meeting on April 17. 

Kuchroo was recognized for outstanding research contributions to the understanding of the underlying mechanisms that drive multiple sclerosis (MS). He is a recognized leader in the study of the immune response that damages the brain and spinal cord in MS. His research has focused on immune T cells and the genes and molecules that regulate these cells' activity in MS.

Three Harvard Medical School faculty members are among 252 individuals elected to the 2021 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The HMS honorees are:

Rosalind Segal, HMS professor of neurobiology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and dean for graduate education at HMS

Peter Slavin, president of Massachusetts General Hospital and professor of health care policy in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS

Hao Wu, the Asa and Patricia Springer Professor of Structural Biology and professor of biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS and Boston Children’s Hospital

Sherri Rose, visiting professor of health care policy in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS, has been awarded the 2021 Gertrude M. Cox Award for her work applying statistics to improve health care. The award from the Washington Statistical Society and RTI International recognizes a mid-career statistician who has made significant contributions to applied statistics.

Rose develops statistical machine learning approaches to improve human health, through risk adjustment, comparative effectiveness research, and health program evaluations. She is co-director of the Health Policy Data Science Lab, a group of interdisciplinary researchers at Harvard and Stanford universities who focus on developing and applying quantitative methods to solve problems in health policy.

Seven Harvard Medical School students have received 2021 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans. They are among 30 graduate students to receive the merit-based award for immigrants and children of immigrants and were selected for their potential to make significant contributions to the United States.

The 2021 Soros Fellows from HMS are:

An MD student in the HST program, Alaleh Azhir has focused her research on the role of X and Y chromosomes on disease manifestations. Through medical training, she aims to build computational tools specifically for preventive care for women.

Pooja Chandrashekar is an MD student in the Pathways program at HMS. Her work focuses on improving health care delivery for underserved populations. She aspires to pursue a career as a physician and leader dedicated to building a more equitable health care system.

An HST student, Brian Chang has completed a PhD in medical engineering and medical physics at MIT, and is now pursuing his MD degree. Chang hopes to advance health care through medical device innovation and education as a future physician-scientist, entrepreneur, and educator.

James Diao is an MD student in the HST program. Following his medical and scientific training, he hopes to give voice to patient perspectives in the development and evaluation of health care technology.

Charlie ChangWon Lee is a first-year MD student in the HST program. He is investigating policies to incentivize vaccine and biosimilar drug development. Lee hopes to find avenues to bridge science and policy and translate medical innovations into accessible, affordable therapies for patients.

An MD student in the HST program, Archana Podury is interested in combining computational and social approaches to neuropsychiatric disease. She hopes focusing on both neural and social networks can lend a more comprehensive, and compassionate, approach to health and disease.

Enrique Toloza is an MD/PhD student in the HST program, working on his PhD in physics at MIT. He is passionate about expanding health care access to immigrant populations.

Marsha Moses, the Julia Dyckman Andrus Professor of Surgery at HMS and Boston Children’s, was named by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) to receive the AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Lectureship. The award is presented to an outstanding scientist who has made meritorious contributions to the field of cancer research and who has, through leadership or by example, furthered the advancement of women in science.

Moses, director of the Vascular Biology Program at Boston Children’s, is being honored for her unwavering dedication to serving as an inspiration to countless women working in the field of cancer research, as well as for her pioneering contributions to our understanding of solid tumor growth and progression. Moses is also being recognized for developing novel targeted nontoxic nanomedicines and noninvasive diagnostics tools for human cancers.

Frederick Alt, the Charles A. Janeway Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Genetics at HMS and director of the Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine at Boston Children’s, received the 2021 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research.The award is presented to individuals who have made fundamental contributions to cancer research through a single discovery or a body of work. 

Alt is being recognizes as a pioneer in the fields of genetics and immunology whose landmark discoveries have had a defining impact on the study of cancer biology. He was cited “for the discovery of gene amplification in mammalian cancer cells, discoveries that contributed to establishing oncogene amplification as a tumor progression mechanism, elucidating non-homologous end-joining, and revolutionizing the understanding of how genomic rearrangements form and how they contribute to cancer.” In addition to his groundbreaking work on cancer, Alt’s pioneering research in immunology helped define the processes that generate the immense diversity of antibodies that can be produced to ward off infection.

Fatima Cody Stanford, HMS assistant professor of medicine and of pediatrics at Mass General, was named to receive the 2021 Grant V. Rodkey, MD, Award for Outstanding Contributions to Medical Education, presented by the Massachusetts Medical Society Board of Trustees and the Massachusetts Medical Society Medical Student Section. This award, is presented annually to a physician who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the education and welfare of medical students and who has made significant contributions to medical students, both in the hospital and in organized medicine.

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