Awards & Recognitions: March 2020

Honors received by HMS faculty, staff and students

Gary Curhan, HMS professor of medicine, part-time, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, was named to receive the National Kidney Foundation’s Donald W. Seldin Award, which recognizes excellence in clinical nephrology.

Curhan’s major active research interests include the epidemiology of nephrolithiasis, risk factors for renal function decline, novel risk factors for cardiovascular disease, health effects of analgesic use, novel risk factors for hypertension and the epidemiology of gout. He will be recognized at an awards presentation as part of the National Kidney Foundation’s spring clinical meetings, which will be held as a live-virtual meeting in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stephanie Roberts, HMS instructor in pediatrics and an attending physician in the Division of Endocrinology at Boston Children’s Hospital, was named by the Society for Pediatric Research as the recipient of the 2020 Bridging to Success Award, which supports transitioning pediatric physician-scientists.

Roberts investigates observations from her clinical practice to investigate at the molecular level how genetic variants affect the neurobiology of puberty and reproductive disorders. She initially studied the potential regulation of Makorin Ring Finger Protein 3 (MKRN3) by leptin, and more recently, she generated a novel mouse model with MKRN3 overexpression in the mouse hypothalamus, demonstrating the ability of MKRN3 overexpression to delay pubertal onset in female mice. Roberts now uses this model to explain the mechanism of action of MKRN3, which remains poorly understood. This also suggests that mutations in MKRN3 may be an unrecognized cause of delayed puberty in children.

Chen-Han Wilfred Wu, HMS clinical fellow in pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital, was named as one of two recipients of the 2020 Takeda/ACMG Foundation Next Generation Fellowship Awards, presented by the ACMG Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine. Wu received the Clinical Laboratory Biochemical Genetics Training Award.

Wu has published in the field of genetics and genomics on disease gene mapping, quantitative and population genetics, and statistical genetics. He is the principal investigator for the project "A Next-Generation Biochemical Genetics Approach to Urinary Stone Diseases," which aims to employ metabolomics profiling and exome sequencing to study patients with stone disease. The project also aims to identify biomarkers and explore the treatment options of genetic therapy and metabolic reprogramming.

James Eaglesham, PhD student in virology at HMS, was among 12 awardees selected by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to receive the 2020 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award which recognizes achievements in graduate studies in the biological sciences. Award recipients will receive an honorarium and present findings from their research at a scientific symposium at Fred Hutch in May.

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