Awards & Recognitions: July 2021

Honors received by HMS faculty, staff and students

Kenneth Mayer, HMS professor of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess and co-chair of the Fenway Institute, was named to receive the National Institutes of Health Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) 2021 Distinguished Investigator Award. These awards recognize investigators who have made substantial and outstanding research contributions in areas related to SGM health.

As the founding medical research director of Fenway Health, Mayer created a community health research program that has developed an international reputation for its capability to conduct community-based research. Mayer will present a lecture, “From HIV to LGBTQIA+: The Evolution of Sexual and Gender Minority Health Research at Fenway Health,” at a virtual ceremony in September.

Paul Farmer, the Kolokotrones University Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard, was one of five individuals chosen as 2021 Aurora Humanitarians by the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative. These individuals were selected for their courage, commitment, and impact in advancing human rights and their dedication to helping people in areas of adversity.

Farmer is a medical anthropologist and co-founder and chief strategist of Partners In Health (PIH), an international non-profit organization that brings the benefits of modern medical science to those who need it the most. Farmer has nominated two organizations that deliver health care to the world’s poorest communities and build a global movement of social medicine educators and practitioners: Partners In Health and Equal Health.

Bob Carter, the William and Elizabeth Sweet Professor of Neurosurgery at HMS and Mass General, has been selected as one of three Honored Guests at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons 2021 annual meeting.

Carter is the chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at Mass General and co-founder of Mass General Neuroscience, a unique collaborative of over 2,000 faculty and clinical and research staff at the hospital. Carter co-leads Mass General’s brain tumor program, which is focused on brain tumor clinical care, research, and education. His scientific work has included the development of EGFRvIII directed CAR T-cell therapy, the first characterizations of exosomes in glioblastoma, and the clinical development of novel iPS derived stem cell therapy for neurologic disorders. He leads a team of clinician scientists who have developed the role of big data in characterizing outcomes in oncologic and vascular neurosurgery. Carter is known for his interest in professional mentorship and career development of resident and faculty colleagues.

Eric Krakauer, HMS associate professor of medicine and of global health and social medicine at HMS, has been named to receive the Medal for the Health of the People from the Ministry of Health of Vietnam.

Krakauer is an attending physician in the Division of Palliative Care and Geriatric Medicine at Mass General and honorary chair of the Department of Palliative Care at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Previously, he served as medical officer for palliative care at the World Health Organization headquarters and as a member of the Lancet Commission on Palliative Care and Pain Relief. For many years, he has collaborated with ministries of health, hospitals, and medical schools in low- and middle-income countries to help integrate palliative care into health care services and education.

Nishant (Nishu) Uppal, a final-year MD/MBA student at HMS and Harvard Business School, has received an American Medical Association Physicians of Tomorrow Scholarship.

While in medical school, Uppal has taken leadership roles in the Massachusetts Medical Society to translate patient experiences into health care policy reform. As a co-investigator at the Harvard Student Human Rights Collaborative Asylum Clinic, he helped establish a research and advocacy enterprise to study immigrant health. In collaboration with Physicians for Human Rights, this work led to the publication of a report on conditions faced by individuals held in immigration detention centers during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been featured in several national media outlets. He has subsequently testified before elected officials in Massachusetts and met with congressional staff to facilitate support for legislative change that can improve the health of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. He plans to apply into internal medicine and aspires to deliver holistic care by building a career that bridges health policy and clinical care.

Alen Juginovic, research fellow in neurobiology at HMS, received the 2021 European Citizen's Prize from the European Parliament for a project he led, "With One Dream United." The prize honors exceptional achievements in promoting better mutual understanding and closer integration between citizens of the member states or facilitating cross-border or transnational cooperation within the European Union.

Juginovic, who works in the field of sleep medicine, has participated in many scientific festivals and international projects. Among them, he was the president of the organizing committee of Nobel Days, and he and his colleagues from Croatia are working on the Hot Science Balloon project to create a dynamic, open, inclusive, and globally active scientific community with the aim of exchanging ideas and inspiring scientific advancement.

Two Harvard Medical School faculty members have been named to receive Honorific Awards from the American Society of Hematology (ASH) and will be at the organization’s annual meeting in December. These awards recognize exemplary hematologists who have made significant contributions to the field.

The ASH 2021 Honorific Awards recipients from HMS are: 

Margaret Shipp, HMS professor of medicine at Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, was named to receive the Ernest Beutler Lecture and Prize in recognition of her work to understand the genomics of Hodgkin lymphoma and its effects on the tumor environment.

Shipp, the recipient of the basic science award, evaluates genetic and biologic bases of heterogeneity in aggressive lymphoid tumors including the large B-cell lymphomas and Hodgkin lymphoma. Her analyses of the genetic signature of Hodgkin lymphoma revealed a recurrent alteration that was a mechanism of immune evasion and an attractive treatment target. In the resulting clinical trials, the Shipp group characterized mechanisms of response and resistance to the targeted immunotherapy. 

Denisa Wagner, HMS professor of pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital, is the basic science awardee for the Henry M. Stratton Medal. Wagner is well-known for her contributions to the fields of vascular biology, inflammation, and thrombosis. Her discovery that von Willebrand factor (VWF) is contained in a reservoir within endothelial cells ready to coat the inside of blood vessels to aid platelet and leukocyte recruitment, was important to the understanding of vascular response to injury. The regulated release of VWF guided subsequent studies on the molecular basis of von Willebrand disease. Her recent study of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), chromatin actively ejected from neutrophils, has led to the discovery of a link between neutrophil activation and thrombosis. This link revealed a significant pathological contribution of “immuno-thrombosis” to ischemic organ injury and cancer. 

JoAnn Manson, the Michael and Lee Bell Professor of Women’s Health at HMS and Brigham and Women’s, was named to receive the 2021 Nanette Wenger, MD Award from the American Society for Preventive Cardiology. At the organization’s annual summit in July, Manson will receive the award and present the Wenger lecture. Her talk discusses the VITAL trial: How VITAL are vitamin D and omega-2s for cardiometabolic health?

Manson is chief of Brigham and Women’s Division of Preventive Medicine. As a physician epidemiologist and endocrinologist, her primary research interests include randomized clinical prevention trials of nutritional and lifestyle factors related to heart disease, diabetes, and other age-related disorders, and the role of endogenous and exogenous estrogens as determinants of chronic disease.

Two HMS researchers have received Burroughs Wellcome Fund 2021 Career Awards at the Scientific Interface (CASI), which provides early career support that allows investigators to develop innovative and independent research programs.

The recipients of the 2021 Career Awards at the Scientific Interface at HMS are:

Rebecca Sherbo, visiting Harvard postdoctoral fellow in chemistry and chemical biology at HMS and the Wyss Institute, for the project "Sustainable Food Out of Thin Air."

Charlotte Strandkvist, research fellow in systems biology in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS, for the project, "Studying Cell Fate Decisions and Dynamics with Time-Resolved Single Cell Genomics."

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