In 2019 HSCI faculty were recognized widely for their contributions to science and medicine. Here, we highlight just a few examples.

National Institutes of Health

Jason Buenrostro, Ph.D. and Ryuji Morizane, M.D., Ph.D. received the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award in recognition of their genomics and kidney-organoid research, which has transformative potential.

Buenrostro investigates the many ways adult stem cells can harbor epigenetic errors, and how these tiny mistakes can lead to big changes in a cell’s capacity to self-renew and differentiate. Buenrostro will use the award to gain insights into how changes in the epigenome may impact blood stem cells in normal and diseased states, and to identify therapeutic targets.

Morizane has pioneered research in stem cell differentiation and kidney organoids. He researches regenerative medicine for the kidney, genome editing in stem cells, and kidney disease modelling, with the ultimate goal of generating artificial kidneys as a novel form of renal replacement therapy.

New York Stem Cell Foundation

Ya-Chieh Hsu, Ph.D. was named a NYSCF–Robertson Stem Cell Investigator by the New York Stem Cell Foundation in recognition of her skin regeneration research, which has the potential to accelerate the discovery of new treatments and cures. NYSCF–Robertson investigators have the freedom to pursue new and inventive ideas that may not get funded through traditional sources. Hsu uses skin as a model to understand how cells interact with larger biological systems. The creative, problem-solving research enabled by this award includes novel approaches to promote regenerative wound healing, and a deep investigation into how stress influences diverse changes in the skin.

American Cancer Society

Two HSCI scientists were recognized by the American Cancer Society for their innovative, high-risk/high-reward research that has the potential to impact patients. Ya-Chieh Hsu, Ph.D. is studying the toxic side effects of chemotherapy — specifically, hair loss, slower wound healing, and loss of sensation — caused by a type of rapidly dividing skin cell. Carla Kim, Ph.D. is studying a gene that is often mutated in lung cancer, using patient-derived models to develop a targeted therapy.

American Surgical Association

Elliot Chaikof, M.D., Ph.D. was recognized for his work in vascular disease, receiving the American Surgical Association’s 2019 Flance-Karl Award for his seminal contributions in translational research that have applications to clinical surgery.

Massachusetts General Hospital

Amar Sahay, Ph.D. was named an MGH Research Scholar for his work to improve memory in adulthood and aging.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Christine Seidman, M.D. received the 2019 Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Science in recognition of her groundbreaking work to identify the genetic causes of heart disease.

Brigham Research Institute

Tracy Young-Pearse, Ph.D. received two awards from the Brigham Research Institute: the Pilot Funding Award, which she will use to study the links between Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome; and the inaugural President’s Scholar Award, recognizing contributions and exceptional potential in the field of neurology.

University of California, Irvine

Zhigang He, Ph.D. received the Reeve-Irvine Medal for his research into using viral vectors to modify genes to enable regeneration after spinal cord injury.

International Society for Experimental Hematology

David Scadden, M.D. received the 2019 International Society for Experimental Hematology Honorific Award, which recognizes distinguished scientists who have made seminal contributions to science, mentorship, and leadership in the field of hematology.

American Society of Hematology

Leonard Zon, M.D. received the American Society of Hematology mentor award for his sustained, outstanding commitment to the training and career development of early-career hematologists.