Friday, November 4, 2011

MAO honors faculty award winners

WINNING SMILES: From left, Olson; Michael Watkins, MD, vascular surgeon; Marques;
Johnson-Akeju; and Winfred Williams, MD, program director in Interventional
Nephrology for the Transplantation Unit. Watkins and Williams oversee
the selection committees for the awards.

Luana Marques, PhD, of the Department of Psychiatry, beamed as she accepted the 2011 Clinician-Teacher Development Award from the MGH Multicultural Affairs Office (MAO). “This shows that this is an institution that really supports academia across all levels,” she said. “Thank you very much. I am very honored.”

During the fourth annual MAO Welcoming and Recognition event Oct. 13, more than 100 medical students, trainees and faculty learned about the work of the MAO and the projects funded by its signature Faculty Development Award Program through a poster session and the 2011 award winners’ remarks.

Marques shared the spotlight with Seun Johnson-Akeju, MD, of the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, who received the 2011 Physician-Scientist Development Award. Marques was recognized for her abstract “Creating a Teaching Program for Evidence-Based Therapy for PTSD in Community Mental Health: Bridging the Science-Practice Gap” and Johnson-Akeju for an ongoing clinical research study using a selective alpha2-adrenergic agent
to induce natural sleep.

The MAO awards, which support research, education and clinical innovation projects of MGH faculty who are underrepresented in medicine, are funded by the President’s Office, the Executive Committee on Research and the MGPO. Marques and Johnson-Akeju will each receive $120,000 over the course of four years.

During the celebration, MGH President Peter L. Slavin, MD, welcomed attendees and introduced Elena Olson, executive director of the MAO, who noted that since 2004, the MAO has presented 14 physician-scientist awards and 10 clinical-teacher awards. “It is really exciting that this program has grown so much and is helping advance the careers of underrepresented faculty at MGH,” Olson said.

While accepting his award, Johnson-Akeju joked with those in attendance that his decision to come to the MGH in 2006 was not because he enjoyed winter. “It was because this is a place that fosters and embraces innovation,” he said. “I am grateful and honored to receive this award.”

For more information about current and past award winners, visit

Read more articles from the 11/04/11 Hotline issue.


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