Research Awards and Honors: Summer 2019

Massachusetts General Hospital’s talented and dedicated researchers are working to push the boundaries of science and medicine every day. In this series we highlight a few individuals who have recently received awards or honors for their achievements:

Michael G. Sullivan, DPT, MBA

Michael G. Sullivan, DPT, MBA, director of Physical and Occupational Therapy, has been honored as the inaugural incumbent of the MGH Trustees Endowed Chair in Physical and Occupational Therapy.

The funds – raised through international consulting in Nursing & Patient Care Services – will be used to further the mission of providing the highest quality of patient care, education, research and community outreach in the field of physical and occupational therapy.

“I’m personally humbled by this recognition but deeply grateful of Debra Burke, the donor and the MGH Trustees.  I am also grateful to my MGH colleagues and the staff of the occupational and physical therapy department, past and present, whose commitment to excellence in clinical care and service provide the impetus and motivation any leader would need.”

Michael Sullivan, DPT, MBA

Leif W. Ellisen, MD, PhD

Leif W. Ellisen, MD, PhD, program director for Breast Medical Oncology in the MGH Cancer Center and Weissman Family MGH Research Scholar 2014-2019, has been awarded a team science grant from the Gray Foundation.

The award supports leading cancer researchers studying new approaches for the early detection, diagnosis and therapy of BRCA-related cancers.

“This remarkable award from the Gray Foundation will enable our international team of investigators to carry out a multi-faceted and highly synergistic research program. Through this work we aim to discover new ways to detect, prevent and treat breast cancers and other malignancies in patients with genetic cancer risk due to inherited BRCA1/2 mutations.”

Leif Ellisen, MD, PhD

Eric Pierce, MD, PhD

Eric Pierce, MD, PhD, director of the Inherited Retinal Disorders Service and the Ocular Genomics Institute at Mass Eye and Ear, has received the 2019 Stein Innovation Award from Research to Prevent Blindness.

The award will support his research investigating extracellular vesicles as potential biomarkers for inherited retinal degenerations. Pierce is one of 29 researchers who have received the award since it was established in 2014.

“We are pleased to receive this award from RPB in support of a new project to test the hypothesis that the RNA contents of circulating extracellular vesicles (EVs) produced by the retina reflect the health status of the retina, and thus may be used a biomarkers of disease.”

Eric Pierce. MD, PhD

Susanne van Veluw, PhD

Susanne van Veluw, PhD, of the Department of Neurology, was honored with a Bayer Early Excellence in Science Award in the Medical Science field from the Bayer Science & Education Foundation.

Van Veluw uses cutting-edge imaging techniques to address the knowledge gaps in cerebral small vessel disease, which encompasses alterations to the small vessels of the brain, resulting in ischemic or hemorrhagic lesions and cognitive impairment in affected older individuals.

A subset of these lesions is captured with imaging techniques during life and the sequence of events leading up to the formation of infarcts and bleeds remains poorly understood.

“I feel very honored for receiving this award, which is a great appreciation for the translational work we do in our small vessel disease group and highlights the importance of multi-disciplinary investigations to bridge the gap between clinical practice and insights derived from neuropathology and experimental models.”

Susanne van Veluw, PhD

Check out the rest of our talented investigators who have recently been recognized for their accomplishments:

Investigator Award
Ken Arai, PhD
Rajiv Gupta, MD, PhD
Matti Hamalainen, PhD
Vitaly Napadow, PhD
Pari Pandharipande, MD, MPH
Ona Wu, PhD
Hiroyuki Yoshida, PhD
2019 Distinguished Investigator Award from the Academy for Radiology & Biomedical Imaging Research
Jacqueline M. Lane, PhD
Randi M. Schuster, PhD
Christiane D. Wrann, DVM, PhDc
Andrea G. Edlow, MD, MSc
Deborah M. Mitchell, MD
Kelly E. Irwin, MD, MPH
Claflin Distinguished Scholars Award
Laura Dichtel, MD, MHS
Lindsay T. Fourman, MD
Jordi Merino, RD, PhD
2019-2020 NORCH Pilot & Feasibility Awards
Gaurav Gaiha, MD, DPhilCareer Award for Medical Scientists from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund
Avinash Sahu, PhD2019 Michelson Prize from the Michelson Medical Research Foundation and the Human Vaccines Project
Grayson Armstrong, MD, MPHAmerican Medical Association (AMA) Board of Trustees Resident and Fellow seat
Merit Cudkowicz, MD2019 Raymond D. Adams Lectureship Award from the American Neurological Association
Steven H. Liang, PhD2019 O’Keanos-CAPA Young Investigator Award from the Chinese-American Chemistry and Chemical Biology Professors Association
Jan Schuemann, PhDExpanding Theories Award from the Brain Tumour Charity
Jane Marshall, RDCS, FASESonographer Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Echocardiography

About the Mass General Research Institute
Massachusetts General Hospital is home to the largest hospital-based research program in the United States. Our researchers work side-by-side with physicians to develop innovative new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent disease.
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