Academic Honors & Events

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Eye Institute Honor—Wei Liu, Ph.D., and colleagues were among the five "honorable mentions" awarded by The National Eye Institute (NEI), as part of its 3-D Retina Organoid Challenge, or 3-D ROC. The challenge is part of an ongoing initiative focused on advancing the field of retinal organoid research, with regard to treatment of retinal diseases. According to the NEI, vision-related diseases affect millions of Americans, underscoring the need for innovative and effective treatment options. Challenge participants sought to develop a physiologically competent 3-D model of a human retina; the printing technology has the potential to aid the field of retinal disease therapeutics because of its scalability and reproducibility. Dr. Liu’s research focuses on stem cell-based modeling of retinal development, aimed at disease modeling and repair. Dr. Liu and his team were recognized by the NEI for integrating their expertise in retina biology, engineering and bioprinting into a novel prototype.  Dr. Liu is assistant professor ophthalmology & visual sciences and of genetics.

Friday, January 19, 2018
 

Leadership Honor—The Allen Institute for Brain Science selected Renata Batista-Brito, Ph.D., as one of its Next Generation Leaders. The honor recognizes novel contributions by neuroscientists at an early stage in their careers. Dr. Batista-Brito’s research focuses on sensory mechanisms in the mature brain and how these processes are altered in neuronal disorders. She has identified key pathways of cortex development within the brain. As a Next Generation Leader, she will receive informal training as a scientific advisor at the institute. She will also engage in collaborative research, and serve as the institute’s ambassador with academic and industry colleagues. Currently completing her postdoctoral work at Yale, Dr. Batista-Brito will join Einstein’s Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience as an assistant professor in February 2018.

Thursday, January 18, 2018
 

Academy Recognition—The Academy of Behavioral Medicine has elected Jeffrey Gonzalez, Ph.D., a fellow, in recognition of his excellent productivity and accomplishment in the field.  Behavioral medicine is a discipline aimed at developing and integrating behavioral and psychological knowledge relevant to the understanding of health and illness, with findings applied to prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. Dr. Gonzalez’s research aims to identify cognitive factors associated with better treatment compliance in patients with chronic illness, such as Type 2 diabetes. He is particularly interested in establishing the connection between emotional distress, depression and risk of poor health outcomes in variety of chronic diseases. The academy offers a forum for the exchange of cutting-edge ideas to established scientists and leaders in the field. Dr. Gonzalez is associate professor of medicine and of epidemiology & population health.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018
 

Next Generation Leader Award—The Allen Institute for Brain Science selected Renata Batista-Brito, Ph.D., as one of its Next Generation Leaders. The honor recognizes novel contributions by neuroscientists at an early stage in their careers. Dr. Batista-Brito’s research focuses on how postnatal neuronal development shapes sensory information and guides behavior in the context of health and disease. She has identified key pathways of cortex development within the brain and has shown that small alterations in those pathways during childhood might lead to abnormal function in the adult brain. As a Next Generation Leader, she will receive informal training as a scientific advisor at the institute. She will also engage in collaborative research, and serve as the institute’s ambassador with academic and industry colleagues. Currently completing her postdoctoral work at Yale, Dr. Batista-Brito will join Einstein’s Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience as an assistant professor in February 2018.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018
 

Elected to Serve —Janet Brown, R.N., has been elected as an at-large member of the 2017 Board of Directors of the American Diabetes Association. The Board, consisting of 18 members, is tasked with implementing the ADA’s four-year strategic plan to fund research, raise public awareness of diabetes and assist caregivers and patients. The associate notes that 1 in 10 Americans are affected by this chronic disease, resulting in an estimated $245 billion in associated healthcare costs. The ADA was founded in 1940, and has established an extensive network among policymakers, researchers, non-profit institutions, for-profit industries, caregivers, clinicians and patients to prevent, cure and treat diabetes. Ms. Brown currently manages NIH- and locally funded clinical diabetes trials in her capacity as the clinical trials manager for the Diabetes Clinical Trials Unit at Einstein, and has previously served on the ADA’s African American Committee.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018
 

Lifetime Achievement—Scientific research is often fraught with ethical concerns and considerations. To solve these issues, an individual must have a thorough understanding of both scientific details and the intricacies of moral philosophy. In recognition of that unique set of skills, the board of directors of the nonprofit organization Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research has selected Ruth Macklin, Ph.D., to receive its 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Research Ethics. The award recognizes her extensive contributions to bioethics, including hundreds of articles in peer-reviewed journals, numerous articles written for the general public on the topic of research ethics and several books. It also acknowledges Dr. Macklin’s service on a number of high profile bioethics committees and boards at the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Macklin is distinguished university professor emerita of epidemiology & population health.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018
 

Revisiting HIV Pain Guidelines—Chronic pain is a frequent issue among individuals who are HIV-positive. With physicians re-evaluating the role of opiates in chronic pain treatment, the HIV Medicine Association, part of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), has released new guidelines for clinicians when screening and treating patients with HIV who have chronic pain. The authors, who include Dr. Peter Selwyn, M.D., M.P.H., recommend screening with a set of simple questions, and advise multi-disciplinary treatments that include yoga and physical therapy to alleviate joint pain and neuralgia, as well as medications such as gabapentin and topical analgesics to relieve nerve pain. The IDSA has published numerous treatment guidelines on infectious diseases and conditions, including HIV and other related infections. Dr. Selwyn is professor and chair of family and social medicine and professor in the departments of epidemiology & population health, medicine, and psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Einstein, and is director of the Palliative Care Program at Montefiore.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018
 

Aggie Award for Biochemistry—Vern Shramm, Ph.D., is this year’s recipient of the A.I. Scott Medal for Excellence in Biological Chemistry Research, in recognition of his research combining traditional biochemistry techniques with computational modeling to study enzymatic processes. The medal is awarded annually by the Texas A&M department of chemistry and the Texas A&M Section of the American Chemical Society to honor Dr. A. Ian Scott, a Texas A&M professor of chemistry who studied organic and natural products chemistry – notably, bacterial Vitamin B12 production and the cancer drug taxol. Dr. Schramm has utilized his laboratory’s findings to create powerful inhibitors of N-ribosyltransferases, enzymes with roles in many biological processes; this research has led to a number of clinical trials, including the approval in Japan of a treatment for T cell lymphoma. Dr. Schramm is professor of biochemistry and holds the Ruth Merns Chair of Biochemistry.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018
 

Award for Service—The College of American Pathologists (CAP) Foundation presented its Herbek Humanitarian Award to CAP Fellow Mark Suhrland, M.D., in recognition of his leadership role in educating women in the Bronx about preventive screenings. As the philanthropic arm of CAP, the foundation provides grant support to select CAP Fellows, who serve as leaders in its See, Test and Treat (STT) program—which provides free cervical and breast screening to women in need across the United States. The Herbek Award aims to extend the reach of STT in fulfilling an unmet need in the healthcare sector. Through the program, Dr. Suhrland educates women in the Bronx about the role of pathologists on the medical team, and advises them to participate in routine preventive screenings and to follow a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Suhrland is professor of pathology at Einstein and is director of cytology at Montefiore.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018
 

Board Appointment—Vern Schramm, Ph.D., recently joined the board of directors at AzurRx BioPharma, Inc., a biotechnology company that explores the potential of novel, next-generation enzymes for treating digestive disorders. Dr. Schramm’s research focuses on enzymatic mechanisms and transition-state structure. Knowledge gained from studies in his lab can be further applied to drug design for cancers, antibiotics and other disorders. Earlier this year, a drug developed in the Schramm lab, to combat lymphoma, was approved for use in Japan. Dr. Schramm is professor of biochemistry and holds the Ruth Merns Chair in Biochemistry.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017
 
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