Awards & Recognitions: January 2020

Honors received by HMS faculty, staff and students

Two HMS clinician-scientists have been recognized by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Eliezer Peli, HMS professor of ophthalmology and the Moakley Scholar in Aging Eye Research at Schepens Eye Research Institute/Mass. Eye and Ear, was named to receive ARVO’s 2020 Oberdorfer Award in Low Vision Research. Peli was recognized for his contributions to the field and will present “Technologies for Visual Enhancement in 2020 and Beyond” at the ARVO 2020 annual meeting this spring. 

Kevin Houston, HMS assistant professor of ophthalmology at Schepens Eye Research Institute/Mass. Eye and Ear, was named to receive ARVO’s 2020 Pfizer Ophthalmics Carl Camras Translational Research Award, which will be presented at the 2020 ARVO annual meeting. Houston’s research focuses on the rehabilitation of homonymous hemianopia, hemispatial neglect, oculomotor cranial nerve palsies and paralytic eye lid disorders.

Milica Margeta, HMS assistant professor of ophthalmology at Mass. Eye and Ear, has been awarded the Research to Prevent Blindness 2019 Career Development Award, which provides $300,000 of support over four years.

Margeta specializes in medical and surgical management of moderate and advanced glaucoma. She is investigating the role of retinal neuroinflammation in the pathogenesis of glaucoma, with the goal of developing novel neuroprotective treatments for this progressive blinding disease.

Allon Klein, associate professor of systems biology in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS, was named by the International Society for Stem Cell Research to receive the Dr. Susan Lim Award for Outstanding Young Investigator, which recognizes the exceptional achievements of an investigator in the early part of their independent career in stem cell research. Klein will be presented with the award on June 24 June at the organization’s annual meeting in Boston.

As a multidisciplinary scientist, Klein has made ground-breaking contributions to the fields of stem cell and developmental biology. Those achievements range from the formulation of novel approaches to understand and further explain adult stem cell self-renewal, to the invention and application of an innovative cell-isolation and analysis system (inDrop) to transcriptionally profile individual cells in very high number. These approaches have allowed Klein to identify conserved patterns of stochastic adult stem cell fate across a range of epithelial tissues, e.g. skin and intestine, and cellular differentiation hierarchies during early embryonic development and in cycling adult tissues.

Norbert Perrimon, the James Stillman Professor of Developmental Biology in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS, was named to receive one of two 2019 Breakthroughs in Gerontology (BIG) Awards by the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research.

Perrimon will study regulation of aging processes by molecules and pathways involved in organ communication. His laboratory is interested in dissecting the inter-organ communication network, identifying new hormonal systems and determining their physiological roles and regulation. Perrimon will use a systematic approach with a model organism, the fly Drosophila melanogaster, to identify molecules involved in organ communication that influence aging. 

Administered by the American Federation for Aging Research, the two-year BIG award provides funding for research projects aimed at discoveries that address human aging and health span.

Alice Kane, research fellow in genetics in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS, was among seven researchers named to receive 2019 Irene Diamond Fund/AFAR Postdoctoral Transition Awards in Aging by the American Federation for Aging Research.Kane will study “development of a predictive health span and life-span clock to accelerate preclinical studies.”

With support from the Irene Diamond Fund, the award funds two years of full-time research training and flexible, portable grant support to senior postdoctoral fellows, providing leverage to negotiate for junior faculty appointments and independent research programs.

Samir Parikh, HMS associate professor of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, received the Donald W. Seldin Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Nephrologyduring Kidney Week 2019. Parikh’s research focuses on the discovery and translation of molecular mechanisms underlying acute kidney injury and sepsis.

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