HIV Intervention — Dr. Betsy Herold and her colleagues have been awarded $12 million over five years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for their novel approach to HIV prevention. Effective HIV preventatives have remained elusive due to difficulties with adherence and biological differences in how drugs are distributed to sites of HIV acquisition. Dr. Herold has proposed that drug development begin with extensive assessments of these factor using animal models and clinical samples. The investigators will then apply their findings to further optimize an intra-vaginal ring that delivers a more potent combination of drugs than current gel products and ensures appropriate dosage and targeting of tissues, while also overcoming issues of patient adherence to strict dosing regimens. Dr. Herold is professor of pediatrics (infectious diseases), of microbiology & immunology and of obstetrics & gynecology and women’s health. Co-investigators at Einstein include Dr. Marla Keller and Pedro Mesquita. The Einstein team will work with collaborators at other institutions, including the University of Utah, Northwestern University, Johns Hopkins, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, University of Washington, and Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya.
Honorary Distinction — Dr. Richard Kitsis has been selected to receive the 2013 President's Distinguished Lecture Award by the Council of the International Society for Heart Research (ISHR). In connection with this honor, which recognizes leading investigators in fields related to cardiovascular health, he delivered the keynote plenary lecture. The Kitsis lab has substantially furthered our understanding of heart attacks, heart failure and heart transplants. More recently, Dr. Kitsis and colleagues have focused on developing small-molecule drugs that reduce damage caused by acute myocardial infarction. Dr. Kitsis is professor of medicine (cardiology) and of cell biology, as well as director of the Wilf Family Cardiovascular Research Institute. He also holds the Dr. Gerald and Myra Dorros Chair in Cardiovascular Disease.
Professional Recognition — The board of regents of the American College of Physicians (ACP) has elected Dr. T.S. Dharmarajan to mastership. This honor is bestowed upon individuals based on “personal character, positions of honor, contributions towards furthering the purposes of the ACP, eminence in practice or in medical research or other attainments in science or in the art of medicine.” Dr. Dharmarajan is professor of medicine at Einstein, as well as vice chair of medicine at Montefiore’s Wakefield campus, clinical director of the division of geriatrics, director of the geriatric medicine fellowship program sponsored by Einstein and associate dean of the New York Medical College. He also is a fellow of the ACP and of the American Geriatrics Society.