The Gilliam Fellowships aim to improve faculty mentoring skills, support new scientific leaders and foster diversity and inclusion in science by supporting exceptional graduate students from groups underrepresented in science who aspire to careers in academic science and selecting advisers who are committed to building inclusive lab environments and helping increase diversity among the next generation of scientists.
Bernardo Sabatini, the Alice and Rodman W. Moorhead III Professor of Neurobiology in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS, was one of seven individuals to receive the Landis Award for Outstanding Mentorship 2019 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The award recognizes faculty members who have shown dedication to superior mentorship and training in neuroscience research.
The Sabatini Lab focuses on synapses, how they are formed, how they work and what happens when they are damaged. Trainees described Sabatini as an extremely talented mentor who prioritized diversity in his lab, not just including people from a variety of scientific backgrounds but also including many women and people from groups underrepresented in science. They appreciate his emphasis on managing life’s priorities and encourages all in the lab to balance time at work with time for family and other fulfilling activities. Students also described numerous instances when Sabatini advocated on their behalf, with the department as well as other professors, and they were grateful for those times when he was their strong supporter.
Three HMS scientists received awards from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.
Isaac Chiu, assistant professor of immunology in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS, and Jun Huh, assistant professor of immunology in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS, received 2019 Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease awards, which provides early-career investigators with five years of support to study how human and microbial systems make contact and interact, from molecular to systemic levels. Chiu received the award for “Neuronal Regulation of Influenza Virus Infection,” and Huh received the award for "Maternal Gut Bacteria, Viral Infection and Neurodevelopmental Disorder."
Gaurav Gaiha, HMS instructor of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, received a 2019 Career Award for Medical Scientists for “Using Network Theory to Suppress the Latent HIV-1 Reservoir.” The award provides physician-scientists who are committed to an academic career with five years of support—in the areas of basic biomedical, disease-oriented or translation research—to transition from advanced postdoctoral or fellowship training to their early years of faculty service.
Beginning in September, Morse, who is founding co-director of EqualHealth and co-founder of the Social Medicine Consortium, and the fellows will spend a year in Washington, D.C., working on health-related legislative and regulatory issues with members of Congress and the executive branch. After their Washington assignment, the fellows will continue to receive support to sustain their development as health policy leaders.