Awards & Recognitions: May 2021

Honors received by HMS faculty, staff and students

Jeffrey Drazen, the HMS Parker B. Francis Distinguished Professor of Medicine and senior physician at Brigham and Women’s, has been honored by the Massachusetts Medical Society as the 2021 recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award, given to a member of the Society who has made lasting contributions to the practice of medicine over a lifetime in health care delivery, patient care, education, and administration and who has made significant contributions to the goals of the Society.

Drazen is a renowned educator and researcher and former chief of pulmonary medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess and Brigham and Woman’s. He served as editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine from 2000-2019, steering the journal through the publication of landmark studies that included articles on early peanut consumption in infants at risk for allergy, research of trastuzumab for HER2-positive breast cancer, and the earliest research on Ebola virus disease in West Africa. 


Jennifer E. Potter, HMS professor of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess and advisory dean of the Castle Society, has been named to receive the Massachusetts Medical Society’s 2021 LGBTQ Health Award, an honor recognizing an individual who has made outstanding contributions to LGBTQ health.

Potter, co-chair of The Fenway Institute, is a medical education leader who has devoted her career to enhancing LGBTQ+ health outcomes by increasing the knowledge and skills of medical students, trainees, and practicing physicians. In addition to focusing on teaching LGBTQ+ health curricular content, Potter is also deeply committed to creating a medical school learning environment in which all students, including LGBTQ+ students, feel supported and can thrive. 


Paul Biddinger, HMS associate professor of emergency medicine at Mass General has received the Massachusetts Medical Society’s 2021 Henry Ingersoll Bowditch Award for Excellence in Public Health, which recognizes a Massachusetts physician who demonstrates creativity, commendable citizenship, initiative, innovation, and leadership in the public health and advocacy fields.

As medical director for emergency preparedness at Mass General Brigham and chair of the Massachusetts COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group, Biddinger has been an integral leader of the state’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.


Barbara Spivak, HMS instructor in medicine at Mount Auburn Hospital/Beth Israel Deaconess, has been recognized by the Massachusetts Medical Society with the 2021 Special Award for Excellence in Medical Service, which honors a physician who has made a distinguished demonstration of compassion and dedication to the medical needs of his or her patients and the general public. 

Under her leadership as president and board chair, the Mt. Auburn Cambridge Independent Practice Association, has been locally and nationally recognized and lauded for its commitment to the “Triple Aim” initiative, improving the experience of patient care, improving the health of populations, and reducing the cost of health care.


Clare Tempany-Afdhal, the HMS Ferenc Jolesz, MD Professor of Radiology and vice-chair of radiology research at Brigham Health, received the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine’s Gold Medal Award, which recognizes a major research contribution to the field of magnetic resonance within the scope of the society.

Tempany-Afdhal was honored at the organization’s annual meeting for her seminal contributions to the advancement of diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer with MRI.


Rachael Clark, HMS professor of dermatology at Brigham and Women’s, received an American Skin Association Research Achievement Award, which identify established scientists in investigative dermatology and cutaneous biology. Clark received the 2021 Research Achievement Award in Autoimmunity and Inflammation.


Christopher A. Walsh, the Bullard Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, will share the 2021 Gruber Neuroscience Prize with Christine Petit of the Institut Pasteur and Collège de France for their groundbreaking work in revealing the genetic and molecular mechanisms behind inherited neurodevelopmental disorders.

Walsh, who is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, is receiving the award for his novel and fundamental insights into the development of the cerebral cortex and into the molecular origins of brain disorders, including inherited forms of epilepsy and autism spectrum disorders.


Three Harvard Medical School faculty members were among 10 professionals selected by the National Academy of Medicine for the inaugural class of the NAM Scholars in Diagnostic Excellence program. This collaborative program with the Council of Medical Specialty Societies supports scholars in a one-year, part-time experience to advance the scholars’ diagnostic skills, reduce diagnostic errors that lead to patient harm, and accelerate their career development as national leaders in this field.

The 2021 NAM Scholars in Diagnostic Excellence from HMS and their proposal titles are:

Efrén Flores, HMS assistant professor of radiology; officer, radiology community health and equity; radiologist, thoracic and emergency divisions; faculty, the Mongan Institute, Mass General
“A community-based participatory approach to understand current and emerging barriers and promoters to lung cancer screening (LCS) one-year post-COVID-19 pandemic start and guide culturally tailored LCS outreach among Latino communities”

Mei-Sing Ong, HMS assistant professor of population medicine at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute
“A data-driven approach towards understanding the patterns of diagnostic delay”

Jorge Rodriguez, HMS instructor in medicine and clinician-investigator, Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care, Brigham and Women’s
"Towards Diagnostic Equity: Evaluating Diagnostic Error in Telemedicine Among Limited English Proficient Patients Presenting with Abdominal Pain”


Derek Soled, a Harvard MD/MBA candidate, has received a Margaret E. Mahoney Fellowship in Health Policy from the New York Academy of Medicine, which offers outstanding medical, dental, public health, public policy, and graduate nursing students to conduct summer research projects on early childhood health and development and/or some aspect of health care delivery transformation for vulnerable populations with an emphasis on the policy implications of the research findings.

Soled will be serving as an advisor to the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Dave Chokshi. He will be working on vaccine confidence and equity in vulnerable populations, specifically older immigrant adults and incarcerated individuals.


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