Awards & Recognitions: October 2021

Honors received by HMS faculty, staff and students

Eleven Harvard Medical School faculty members are among 90 new regular members elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). Membership recognizes individuals who have demonstrated major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health. The new NAM regular members from HMS are: 

Monica Bertagnolli, the Richard E. Wilson Professor of Surgery in the Field of Surgical Oncology at HMS and Brigham and Women's Hospital

David Clapham, the Aldo R. Castañeda Professor of Cardiovascular Research, Emeritus, at HMS

Joseph Gone, professor of global health and social medicine in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS

William Hahn, the William Rosenberg Professor of Medicine at HMS and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Zhigang He, HMS professor of neurology and of ophthalmology at Boston Children's Hospital

Kenneth Mandl, the Donald A.B. Lindberg Professor of Pediatrics and professor of biomedical informatics at HMS and Boston Children’s Hospital

Vamsi Mootha, professor of systems biology and of medicine at HMS and Massachusetts General Hospital

Jane Wimpfheimer Newburger, the Commonwealth Professor of Pediatrics at HMS and Boston Children’s Hospital

Renee Salas, HMS assistant professor of emergency medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital

Thomas Sequist, HMS professor of medicine and of health care policy at HMS and Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Reisa Sperling, HMS professor of neurology at Brigham and Women's Hospital

Read more about the award and the faculty's election citations here.

Alister Martin, HMS assistant professor of emergency medicine at Mass General, was appointed to the 2021-2022 class of White House Fellows, which embeds professionals from diverse backgrounds for a year of working as a full-time, paid fellow for White House staff, cabinet secretaries, and other senior government officials. The mission of the White House Fellows Program is to encourage active citizenship and service to the country.

Martin is placed at the Office of the Vice President and the White House Office of Public Engagement. He works at the intersection of public policy and medicine at the Harvard Kennedy School Behavioral Insights Group and at the Center for Social Justice and Health Equity at Mass General. Martin leverages his background in politics, policy, and the field of behavioral economics to use the ER as a place to build programs that serve the needs of vulnerable patients. He is the founder of Vot-ER, a nonpartisan voter registration organization, and Get Waivered, a program that is converting our nation’s ERs into the front door for opioid addiction treatment. Martin also co-founded GOTVax, an initiative aimed at leveraging a get-out-the-vote framework to deliver vaccines directly to vulnerable communities throughout Boston via hyper-targeted vaccine pop-up clinics.

Leah Pierson, an MD/PhD candidate, and Derek Soled, a final-year MD/MBA candidate, were recognized for the 2021 American Society of Bioethics and Humanities Student Paper Award.

Pierson's paper, “Accounting for Uncertainty in Global Health Priority Setting," won the award, and Soled’s paper, “Public Health Nudges: Weighing individual liberty and population health benefits," was named runner-up.

The Winter 2021 edition of Harvard Medicine magazine was recognized with the following 2021 FOLIO: Eddie and Ozzie Awards:

Honorable mention: Full Issue, Association/Nonprofit, Alumni/ University

Honorable mention: Cover Design, Association/Nonprofit, Alumni/University

Lauren Orefice, HMS assistant professor of genetics at Mass General, was one of three neuroscientists named to the 2021 class of the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) – Robertson Neuroscience Investigators, which fosters and encourages promising early career scientists whose cutting-edge research holds the potential to accelerate treatments and cures.

Orefice’s lab studies the development and function of neural circuits that mediate our sense of touch and sensations from the gastrointestinal system and how these circuits are altered in developmental disorders including autism spectrum disorder.

Joan Reede, dean for diversity and community partnership at HMS, was named one of Boston Business Journal’s 2021 Power 50: The Movement Makers. Reede was cited by the publication for founding the Biomedical Science Careers Program.

Seward Rutkove, the Nancy Lurie Marks Professor of Neurobiology at HMS and head of the department of neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess, received the 2021 Innovation Award from the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine.

Rutkove’s work focuses on the application of innovative techniques for the assessment of neuromuscular disease. His research centers on electrical impedance myography (EIM), neuronal excitability testing, and ultrasound methodologies.

Timothy Springer, the Latham Family Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, is one of ten outstanding biophysicists to be honored by the Biophysical Society.

Springer was named to receive the 2022 Founders Award for pioneering contributions to biophysical studies of immune cell rolling, activation, and adhesion and for revealing the force-based activation of integrins through an innovative combination of structural biology, single-molecule mechanical measurements, and thermodynamic analysis. He is also a senior investigator in the Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and co-founder and executive chair for the Institute for Protein Innovation.

Azfar Hossain, a fourth-year MD student, was one of five medical students to receive a 2021 Benjamin H. Kean Travel Fellowship in Tropical Medicine from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. The fellowship is dedicated to nurturing a career path for physician-scientists in tropical medicine and funds expenses for a clinical training or research project that takes place in an area where tropical diseases are endemic. Hossain’s project is "Research Support Around Diarrheal Disease and COVID-19" in Mbarara, Uganda.

Three HMS researchers at Dana-Farber have received a 2021 Movember-Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride-Prostate Cancer Foundation Challenge Award. The $1 million award aims to support ambitious team science with the potential to develop new treatments for metastatic prostate cancer.

Matthew Freedman, HMS associate professor of medicine at Dana-Farber, is principal investigator. Other Dana-Farber team members include Mark Pomerantz, HMS assistant professor of medicine at Dana-Farber, and Sylvan Baca, HMS instructor in medicine at Dana-Farber.

There are currently no curative treatment options for prostate cancer that has progressed to a metastatic, treatment-resistant state. Freedman and the team have identified a set of gene transcription regulators that control this progression. They are testing whether these regulators may serve as promising targets for developing new treatments to prevent progression to advanced, lethal prostate cancer. The team is also developing a prostate cancer research resource, which will help other investigators uncover novel biology and treatment opportunities for prostate cancer patients. 

Isabella Faria, research fellow in global health and social medicine at HMS, received a 2021 Fall Courses Award from the Association for Academic Surgery, which provides residents, fellows, or faculty members who are in groups underrepresented in surgery with complimentary registration for the organization’s fall courses and one-year membership in AAS.

The following six Harvard Medical School scientists from the Blavatnik Institute at HMS and HMS-affiliated hospitals have received National Institutes of Health 2021 Director’s Awards, which recognize highly innovative biomedical research from investigators at all career stages through the Common Fund’s High-Risk, High-Reward Research program.

NIH Director's New Innovator Award

Mariella Filbin, HMS assistant professor of pediatrics at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Ruaidhrí Jackson, assistant professor of immunology in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS

Philip Kranzusch, HMS associate professor of microbiology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

NIH Director's Transformative Research Award

Duane Wesemann, HMS associate professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Seok-Hyun Andy Yun, HMS professor of dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital

NIH Director's Early Independence Award

Hong-Hsi Lee, HMS research fellow in radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital

Read more about the awards and the scientists' research here.

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