The Awards and Honors newsletter features recent awards and honors recognizing our talented and dedicated MGH staff and employees.
Do you have an award or honor that you would like the MGH community to know about? Email it, along with a photo, to:
Gerald Abbott, MD, radiologist in the Thoracic Imaging and Intervention Division, has received the Gold Medal for outstanding lifetime achievement from the Society of Thoracic Radiology – their highest award. Theresa McLoud, MD, associate radiologist-in-chief in the Thoracic Imaging and Intervention Division and past president of the Society of Thoracic Radiology, had the honor of presenting the medal to Abbott at the fourth World Congress of Thoracic Imaging in Boston.
Dennis Brown, PhD, director of the MGH Program in Membrane Biology, assumed the presidency of the American Physiological Society (APS) in April, immediately following the APS annual meeting at Experimental Biology 2017. As one of his presidential goals, Brown underscored the need to reach out to life scientists who may not consider themselves physiologists and welcome them under the APS umbrella.
Michael V. Callahan, MD, director, Translational Therapeutics Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center (VIC), and a member of clinical faculty in the Division of Infectious Diseases, provided his leadership and critical support to the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s Zika report, serving as chair of the expert group meeting at the National Academies of Science. The one-year report guides Congressional Appropriations for emergency Zika countermeasures across the Federal Agencies. Callahan also received an award for the Second Best Oral Presentation from the International Society of Travel Medicine for his oral presentation entitled “Exacerbation of Autoimmune Diseases Following Convalescence to Zika Viral Disease in the Americas.”
Paul Chase, patient service coordinator in the Burr Proton Therapy Center, received the Trustee’s Award at the 2017 annual Volunteer Recognition Ceremony in April. The award recognizes his extraordinary efforts to work collaboratively with the Volunteer Department for the past 38 years. As lead trainer/supervisor for volunteers, Chase demonstrates the importance of being committed and has built a strong relationship with the volunteers and the Volunteer Department.
A. Benedict Cosimi, MD, chief emeritus of the Division Transplantation, was the guest speaker and first recipient of the Pioneer Award of the International Pediatric Transplant Association May 29th in Barcelona, Spain.
Yvonne Dello Russo, volunteer in the MGH Blood Donor Center, received the Pat Rowell Extraordinary Achievement Award at the 2017 annual Volunteer Recognition Ceremony in April. She has volunteered at the MGH for 22 years and has contributed more than 6,500 hours of service.
Dean Eliott, MD, associate director of the Retina Service at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, has received the Lifetime Mentorship Award from the Vit-Buckle Society. The award recognizes a retina specialist who has gone above and beyond training fellows and making a difference in retina. The society provides an open forum that mentors developing vitreoretinal surgeons, nurtures innovative surgical technologies and therapeutic approaches for retinal diseases, and fosters best practices.
Florian J. Fintelmann, MD, radiologist in the Division of Thoracic Imaging and Intervention, and Ryan J. Sullivan, MD, immuno-oncologist from the MGH Cancer Center Melanoma Program, have been awarded a two-year grant from the Society of Interventional Oncology (SIO) to fund a clinical trial. In this study, a team of interventional radiologists, oncologists and biologists will explore benefits of combining cryoablation with immunotherapy for patients with metastatic melanoma. The SIO is a global organization working to nurture and support Interventional Oncology worldwide.
Kim Francis, PhD, PHCNS-BC, neonatal clinical nurse specialist, has received the inaugural Jeanette Ives Erickson Nursing Research Award, a new honor for nurse researchers sponsored by the MGH Research Institute. The award will be presented annually to a mid-career, doctorally prepared nurse researcher with a passion for scientific inquiry. Pictured from left, Maurizio Fava, MD, director of the Division of Clinical Research; Susan A. Slaugenhaupt, PhD, scientific director of the Research Institute; Francis; and Jeanette Ives Erickson, RN, DNP, NEA-BC, FAAN, chief nurse and senior vice president of Patient Care Services

Jennifer Glen, of Volunteer Services, received the Maeve Blackman Award at the 2017 annual Volunteer Recognition Ceremony in April. The award is given to an exceptional volunteer who shows an interest in pursuing a career in health care. Glen has been a volunteer at the MGH since November 2013, serving the Emergency Department and the Cancer Center. She has contributed more than 200 hours of service.
Ula Jurkunas, MD, a member of the MEEI Cornea and Refractive Surgery Service, has been selected to receive a 2017 ARVO Foundation/Pfizer Ophthalmics Carl Camras Translational Research Award. The award will support Jurkunas’ research efforts toward developing new treatments for corneal blindness. Her main clinical interests are refractive surgery, cornea and external disease, Fuchs endothelial dystrophy, limbal stem cell deficiency and corneal transplantation.
Amit V. Khera, MD, of MGH Cardiology and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, has been named the inaugural recipient of the Clinical Science Research award by The National Lipid Association. Khera’s winning proposal, “Determinants of LDL Cholesterol and Coronary Artery Disease Among Individuals with a Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) Mutation,” builds on his previous work noting substantial variability among carriers of FH mutations in both LDL cholesterol and heart attack risk. He will specifically aim to characterize the genetic and non-genetic determinants of observed LDL cholesterol levels and assess the genetic, lifestyle and biomarker risk factors for myocardial infarction among those with a FH mutation. The work will inform ongoing efforts to screen the population for such mutations and clinical counseling for patients who inherit such a mutation.
Jonny Kim, MD, resident physician in the combined MGH-BWH Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine program, has been named to NASA’s newest class of astronaut recruites. Kim – a former U.S. Navy SEAL, a 2012 Tillman Scholar and 2016 graduate of Harvard Medical School – joins a class of 12 individuals selected from a pool of more than 18,300 applicants. Kim and his fellow recruits will spend two years at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, studying spacecraft systems, spacewalking skills, teamword, Russian language and other cirtical skills before possible assignment to a variety of missions – from low-Earth orbit or further into space.
Rose McCabe, Ladies Visiting Committee member and longtime volunteer, received the Jessie Harding Award at the 2017 annual Volunteer Recognition Ceremony in April. The award acknowledges volunteers who contribute to the MGH in a significant way. McCabe started volunteering in 1984 and to-date she has volunteered more than 5,500 hours. She volunteers as a Wayfinder, welcoming patients and helping people at the main information desk.
The MGH Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery has received the highest attainable rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons in all three of the categories rated by the organization. In isolated aortic valve replacement (AVR), isolated coronary artery grafting bypass (CABG) and combined AVR and CABG surgery, the MGH was awarded an overall three-star quality rating for outcomes and patient care. Only 14 programs in North America currently have three stars in all three of the designated ranked categories. This puts the MGH among the highest quality programs in the nation as measured objectively by members of the specialty.
Alan Mullen, MD, PhD, of the Gastrointestinal Unit, has been selected as Pew scholar in the biomedical sciences. He is one of 22 exceptional early-career researchers to be selected by The Pew Charitable Trust to pursue foundational research. Mullen’s lab will investigate the role that regulatory RNAs play in chronic liver failure. Using state-of-the-art techniques in genetics, genomics and physiology, he will determine which lncRNAs regulate the production of scar tissue in humans and mice, and whether inhibiting their action can prevent fibrosis – work that could lead to novel treatment to prevent liver failure.
John Patti, MD, radiologist in the MGH Thoracic Imaging and Intervention Division, has recei