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Novel Approach to Liver Disease Research—Eva Billerbeck, Ph.D., has received a 2019 Pinnacle Research Award from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). Through AASLD funding, the honor supports those who demonstrate exceptional aptitude and deep interest in liver disease research and treatment. Dr. Billerbeck and her team will use a hepacivirus mouse model that they developed to gain insights into both the protective and harmful mechanisms of the liver’s immune system in instances of inflammatory liver disease. This model may offer a novel method of studying liver disease since access to human liver tissue is extremely limited, particularly during acute viral infections. Dr. Billerbeck is assistant professor of medicine and of microbiology & immunology.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Esteemed Recogntion—Ulrich Jorde, M.D., was recently elected to the board of directors of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT), which is the world’s largest organization committed to gaining a fuller understanding of heart and lung failure. Prior to his election to the board, Dr. Jorde served as chair of ISHLT’s mechanical circulatory support council. The Jorde lab takes a translational approach to managing advanced heart failure by focusing on patient-derived data to improve outcomes for those with cardiac transplants and mechanical circulatory support devices.  Dr. Jorde is professor of medicine at Einstein, and section head of heart failure, cardiac transplantation and mechanical circulatory support in the cardiology division at Montefiore.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Honor for Montefiore Doctors—The National Hispanic Medical Association honored Juan Robles, M.D., and Jesus Anampa, M.D., at its annual meeting in Arlington, VA this April. Dr. Robles was awarded Physician of the Year for his exceptional work as an attending physician at Montefiore. A native of Honduras and raised in the Bronx, Dr. Robles has a special interest in serving marginalized populations, and co-founded Bronx Community Health Leaders, a program encouraging disadvantaged students to pursue careers in healthcare. Dr. Anampa received the Young Physician of the Year award for his outstanding work as a physician at Montefiore, where he specializes in breast cancer research and treatment. A native of Peru, Dr. Anampa came to New York to complete his residency and currently works with Einstein’s tumor microenvironment program. In addition to their roles at Montefiore, Dr. Robles is assistant professor of family and social medicine and Dr. Anampa is assistant professor of medicine at Einstein.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Honoring Outstanding Research—Ana Maria Cuervo, M.D., Ph.D., has received the 2019 C. Ronald Kahn Distinguished Lectureship in recognition of her exceptional contributions demonstrating the role of autophagy dysfunction to age-related diseases. The lectureship was established to honor Dr. Kahn and his groundbreaking work on insulin signaling and diabetes. Since its inauguration in 2016, the lectureship has annually highlighted the research of outstanding scientists. Dr. Cuervo is professor of developmental and molecular biology, of anatomy and structural biology, and of medicine. She also is co-director of the Einstein Institute for Aging Research and holds the Robert and Renée Belfer Chair for the Study of Neurodegenerative Diseases.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Advancement in Cardiology—Approximately 5.7 million Americans have heart failure, and most cases occur when the heart is not properly filled with blood, a condition called heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). HFpEF is poorly understood and difficult to study because no animal models exist that mimic it. Richard Kitsis, M.D., and Dulguun Amgalan, Ph.D., reviewed the recent development of a HFpEF mouse model in Nature "News and Views." In their article, Drs. Kitsis and Amgalan described how researchers induced HFpEF in mice using a high-fat diet and medication that raises blood pressure. They note that the model “opens a window on the mechanisms underlying this disease, and could help scientists to explore future therapies.” Dr. Amgalan is a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Dr. Kitsis. Dr. Kitsis is professor of medicine and of cell biology, the Dr. Gerald and Myra Dorros Chair in Cardiovascular Disease, and director of the Wilf Family Cardiovascular Research Institute at Einstein.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Top of Their Fields—Annually, Clarivate Analytics and Web of Science release their list of Highly Cited Researchers, which names scientists who rank in the top 1 percent based on citations in their specified field, or across fields. Researchers placed on this list demonstrate significant influence as determined by their peers from around the world. In 2018, four members of the Einstein faculty were noted among the most influential in their fields. They are Paul Frenette, M.D., Ana Maria Cuervo, M.D., Ph.D., Robert Kaplan, Ph.D., and Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, Ph.D. Dr. Frenette was named a key researcher in immunology, while Drs. Cuervo, Kaplan and Smoller were acknowledged in a new category termed “cross-field.” Dr. Frenette is chair and director of the Ruth L. and David S. Gottesman Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Research, and is professor of medicine and of cell biology. Dr. Cuervo is co-director of the Einstein Institute for Aging Research, and professor of medicine, of developmental & molecular biology, and of anatomy & structural biology. She also is the Robert and Renée Belfer Chair for the Study of Neurodegenerative Diseases. Dr. Kaplan is principal investigator of the longitudinal Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, as well as professor of epidemiology & population health. He also holds the Dorothy and William Manealoff Foundation and Molly Rosen Chair in Social Medicine. Dr. Wassertheil-Smoller is site principal investigator of the Women’s Health Initiative longitudinal study, as well as distinguished university professor emerita of epidemiology & population health and Dorothy and William Manealoff Foundation and Molly Rosen Chair in Social Medicine Emerita.

Monday, April 01, 2019

Combating Addiction Problems—Aaron Fox, M.D., was elected by the New York Society of Addiction Medicine (NYSAM) to serve on the board of its 2019 conference, which took place in New York City in early February. NYSAM is an organization of physicians from all medical specialties, dedicated to understanding and preventing addiction and to improving addiction treatment. Dr. Fox is director of the Bronx Transitions Clinic, a community health center in the South Bronx that provides medical care to formerly incarcerated individuals. He develops clinical programs to improve access to, and to study the effectiveness of, buprenorphine treatment for opioid use disorder. He also is associate professor of medicine at Einstein and an attending physician in the general internal medicine division at Montefiore.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Fighting Hepatitis C Epidemic—Governor Andrew Cuomo has appointed Matthew Akiyama, M.D., to serve on the newly formed Hepatitis C Elimination Task Force, whose members will advise how to end the epidemic resulting from this liver disease. Hepatitis C currently affects an estimated 200,000 New Yorkers. The aim of the task force is to stop the spread of Hepatitis C virus by increasing access to medications and expanding programs for connecting New Yorkers in high-risk communities with prevention, screening and treatment services. Governor Cuomo selected task force members whose experience and expertise will develop a strategic plan that improves the quality of life for those living with the virus. Dr. Akiyama is assistant professor of medicine at Einstein, and an attending physician in both general internal medicine and infectious diseases at Montefiore.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Hail to the Editor-in-Chief—Peter Dicpinigaitis, M.D., was named editor-in-chief (EIC) of the journal Lung. Since its inception in 1903, Lung, has published peer-reviewed articles, editorials, and reviews on the various issues related to healthy and diseased lungs, and to airways and breathing. An established expert in the field of cough-related research, Dr. Dicpinigaitis established the Montefiore Cough Center, the only such specialty center in New York State and one of the few in the nation that is dedicated to the evaluation and management of patients with chronic cough. His guidelines for cough challenge testing, used to evaluate issues with coughing, have been adopted worldwide. Since 2008, he has served as associate editor of Lung, and he will assume the role of EIC in October 2019. He will be the second Einstein faculty member to hold this position; between the1980s and 1990s, M. Henry Williams, Jr., M.D., former chief of the division of pulmonary medicine at Einstein-Montefiore, served as EIC of Lung. Dr. Dicpinigiatis is professor of medicine at Einstein and site director of critical care medicine at the Weiler Division of Montefiore Medical Center.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Combatting Liver Disease— Fadi-Luc Jaber, Ph.D. has received an Early Career Investigator Award from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). Annually, this honor supports 20 early-career researchers worldwide (7 of whom are in the U.S.) to advance innovative liver research done by individuals studying and treating liver disease. As part of the honor, Dr. Jaber  was invited to present his original work on cell therapy at the meeting, which took place in November. Dr. Jaber studies liver regeneration and the use of cell therapy for treating liver diseases. His presentation described how cell transplantation can be improved by enhancing the function of mitochondria and the way the cell resists injury. Dr. Jaber is a research associate in the laboratory of Sanjeev Gupta, M.D., in Einstein’s Marion Bessin Liver Research Center. Dr. Gupta is professor of medicine and of pathology, and the Eleazar & Feige Reicher Chair in Translational Medicine at Einstein. This is the second time that the AASLD has recognized his work with this award.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018
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