Academic Honors & Events

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Focusing on Eye Research—More than 14 million Americans are affected by visual impairment, with vision loss causing a significant social and economic toll that includes disability, loss of productivity and reduced quality of life. Fight for Sight, a nonprofit organization that provides support to promising students, early-stages scientist and clinical investigators in the field of ophthalmology research, recently honored Roy Chuck, M.D., Ph.D., at its annual gala, presenting him a 2017 physician-scientist award for advancing eye research and his commitment to preventing, treating and curing ocular disorders. A leader within the ophthalmology field, Dr. Chuck focuses on stem cell applications and dry eye studies as well as corneal restoration. He is actively involved in ongoing community outreach that aims to facilitate early detection and treatment of eye diseases. He is professor and chair of ophthalmology & visual sciences at Einstein and Montefiore, professor of genetics at Einstein, and he holds the Paul Henkind Chair in Ophthalmology.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017
 

Visionary Honor—Dr. Selina Solomon has received a 2017 Fight for Sight Postdoctoral Award—a highly competitive award in ophthalmology, vision or related sciences. Fight for Sight is a non-profit organization that supports and inspires eye and vision research by providing initial funds to promising scientists early in their careers. Funding from the award will support Dr. Solomon’s research aimed at understanding the feedback pathways in the visual cortex, the part of the brain involved in processing visual information. Dr. Solomon will explore how the feedback pathways in the visual cortex affect the ways in which activity is coordinated among individual brain cells. Dr. Solomon is a research fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Adam Kohn; Dr. Kohn is professor in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience, of ophthalmology & visual sciences and of systems & computational biology. He also is the Isidor Tachna Professor in Ophthalmology.

Thursday, August 10, 2017
 

Dual Honors—Evripidis Gavathiotis, Ph.D., was recognized for his work in cell signaling and cancer proliferation by two organizations: the Melanoma Research Alliance and the Irma T. Hirschl Foundation. The alliance awarded Dr. Gavathiotis a two-year, $200,000 pilot award that supports promising early research, which will aid his project targeting the protein BRAF. The protein is known to have a role in promoting cancer cell growth, and Dr. Gavathiotis will use information about the protein’s structure along with a new compound that inhibits BRAF in order to develop new drugs that can overcome treatment resistance. Through the Irma T. Hirschl Career Scientist Award, which recognizes talented biomedical researchers selected from six New York City institutions, he will receive $175,000 over five years. Dr. Gavathiotis is associate professor of biochemistry and of medicine.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017
 

Collaborations Against Cancer—Stand Up To Cancer selected Matthew Levy, Ph.D., as recipient of one of its “Dream Team” awards. Dr. Levy will receive a two-year grant of $250,000, to be shared with Cassian Yee, M.D., at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The award program, established in 2014 by Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., aims to promote collaborations among “Dream Teams” of researchers who have not previously worked together. Drs. Levy and Yee will team up to study components of immune response, specifically the body’s recognition of cancer-associated proteins. They intend to use aptamers –nucleic acid-based molecules that can be designed to bind to a variety of cellular components – in order to better detect and interact with complexes involved in this process, which could aid in diagnosis and treatment of various cancers. Dr. Levy is associate professor of biochemistry.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017
 

Sobering Findings—While many people like to think that advertising has no effect on them, Sean Lucan, M.D., believes ads do have an impact on our behavior and decisions. He recently conducted a survey of advertisements at each of the 68 subway stations in the Bronx, and found higher numbers of alcohol advertisements—particularly those in Spanish—in impoverished neighborhoods. Furthermore, he and colleagues observed a correlation between alcohol advertisements and poor dietary habits, such as high sugary drink and low fruit-and-vegetable consumption, and associated medical conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. In connection with his research, which published in the March 7, 2017 online issue of the Journal of Urban Health and was the subject of a Huffington Post article he penned about the study, Dr. Lucan was asked to offer his expert opinion at a New York City Council meeting on a proposal to ban alcohol advertising from the NYC transit system. He is associate professor of clinical family and social medicine.

Thursday, April 20, 2017
 

In Memoriam—Shortly before his death on January 12, 2017, Martin Katz, Ph.D., was conferred the 2016 Paul Hoch Distinguished Service Award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP), for his significant contributions to the ACNP. Dr. Katz devoted his 50-plus-year career to developing tools and theoretical understanding of antidepressants, and to studying their mechanism of action among patients clinically treated for depressive disorders. He was among the pioneers who proposed that psychotherapy and electric shock treatment alone cannot cure depression-related disorders, and recommended an approach to treatment that used combined therapies to the best effect. Dr. Katz also developed the Katz Adjustment Scale (KAS), which measures behavioral changes in patients; the tool also provided a means for video recording patients to monitor the effects of treatment. His work emphasized the role of behavior as a key determinant in the treatment of depression-related disorders when using drug therapy and psychotherapy together. While at Einstein, Dr. Katz was professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences for 20 years, including a decade as a chief of the division of psychology before retiring in 2004. A memorial for Dr. Katz will take place on Saturday, March 18, 2017, in Washington, DC.

Monday, February 27, 2017
 

Selection to Fellowship—Liise-anne Pirofski, M.D. has been elected a fellow in the medical section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).  Selection to fellowship recognizes an honoree’s distinguished contributions to advance science. Dr. Pirofski studies immunity to Cryptococcus and Pneumococcus, which are, respectively, the leading causes of fungal meningitis and pneumonia in the United States and globally. Her studies aim to understand how these pathogens cause disease in normal and immune-compromised people and to develop novel therapies and vaccines to treat and prevent them. Dr. Pirofski is among 391 scientists awarded AAAS fellowship in 2016. She is professor of medicine and of microbiology & immunology, and holds the Selma and Dr. Jacques Mitrani Chair in Biomedical Research at Einstein. She also is chief of the division of infectious diseases at Montefiore/Einstein.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017
 

Child Neurology Society Award —Solomon Moshé, M.D., has received the Bernard Sachs Award from the Child Neurology Society for his work in child epilepsy. The honor is given to researchers of international status who have done outstanding research relevant to the care of children with neurological disorders. A native of Greece, Dr. Moshé aims to understand the mechanisms underlying the development of epilepsy and its consequences in infants and children, and to identify novel treatments using a patented animal model developed in his laboratory.  Dr. Moshé is professor of in the Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology, in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience and of pediatrics. He also is director of clinical neurophysiology and of pediatric neurology in the neurology department and director of neurology in the pediatrics department, and he holds the Charles Frost Chair in Neurosurgery and Neurology.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017
 

Award for Advocacy —Eva Metalios, M.D., has received the 2016 Health and Human Rights Award from HealthRight International, for her advocacy work counseling foreign-born torture survivors seeking asylum in the United States. Dr. Metalios has spent more than two decades providing care, developing programs and conducting research focused on counselling torture survivors and asylum seekers in the United States. She is one of a few doctors within the U.S. trained to help these individuals. Through her advocacy efforts, Dr. Metalios informs the public about the special needs of refugees. As a primary care physician at the Bronx Human Rights Clinic, she counsels torture survivors who have immigrated to the United States from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean. Dr. Metalios is associate professor of medicine at Einstein, as well as medical director for adult medicine at Montefiore’s Wakefield Ambulatory Care Center and associate program director for the Wakefield Internal Medicine Residency Program.

Friday, December 30, 2016
 

Virology Honor—Margaret Kielian, Ph.D., gave the keynote lecture at the 18th Annual Norman P. Salzman Memorial Symposium at the National Institutes of Health on November 17, 2016. Considered to be the premier virology symposium, the meeting honors Dr. Norman P. Salzman, a pioneer in molecular virology. The symposium spotlights current research of eminent virology researchers. Dr. Kielian’s talk, “New Twists on Enveloped Entry and Exit,” highlighted two topics of interest in her lab: rubella virus entry and membrane fusion, and how alphaviruses remodel the cellular cytoskeleton to promote viral infection. Both have led to peer-reviewed publications in respected virology journals in the past year. Dr. Kielian is professor of cell biology and the Samuel H. Golding Chair in Microbiology.

Friday, December 02, 2016
 
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