The Awards and Honors newsletter features recent awards and honors recognizing our talented and dedicated MGH staff and employees.
Andrew T. Chan, MD, MPH, chief of the Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit and director of Cancer Epidemiology at the MGH Cancer Center, will serve as leader of the Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) Gastric Cancer Interception Research Team – a newly-formed international team of experts that will take a new approach to fighting gastric cancer, the world’s third-leading cause of cancer death. The team will conduct intensive studies to identify biomarkers of the presence of early gastric cancer, such as abnormal cells that can be detected in the stomach lining using new imaging devices as well as particular bits of DNA and cells that are shed from the tumor that circulate in the bloodstream. Pictured from left, Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, chair of the SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee; Chan; Sandra Ryeom, PhD, co-leader of the team; and Jeff Schottenstein, a funder of the team
Patricia A. D'Amore, PhD, MBA, director of the Howe Laboratory and associate chief for Ophthalmology Basic and Translational Research at Mass. Eye and Ear, has been recognized with the Roger H. Johnson Award from the University of Washington Department of Ophthalmology. This award supports clinical and basic science research related to the pathogenesis or treatment of age related macular degeneration (AMD). D’Amore’s current research focuses on understanding the regulation of the development and stabilization of the microvasculature and the pathogenesis of AMD with a focus on inflammation.
Steven Grinspoon, MD, chief of the MGH Metabolism Unit, was recently recognized as the inaugural recipient of the Michael O. Thorner Distinguished Lectureship in Endocrinology, at the University of Virginia. This selection was in recognition of his work on Tesamorelin, a novel strategy to reduce liver fat and prevent hepatic fibrosis in HIV, which also was recognized as a finalist for the Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Awards, presented by the Clinical Research Forum. Other MGH authors on the team for the publication included Takara Stanley, MD; Lindsay Fourman, MD; Kathleen Corey, MD, MPH; Isabel Zheng; Chelsea Pan; Karen Branch, RN, Hang Lee, PhD; Colleen Buckless; Andrew Tsao; Meghan Feldpausch, NP; Martin Torriani, MD; and Ray Chung, MD.
Kevin Houston, OD, MSc, a member of the Vision Rehabilitation Service at Mass. Eye and Ear, has received the 2020 Pfizer Ophthalmics Carl Camras Translational Research Award from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Foundation for Eye Research. The award honors Carl B. Camras, MD, a glaucoma specialist and research scientist widely recognized for developing prostaglandin analogues for the treatment of glaucoma. Houston’s research focuses on the rehabilitation of homonymous hemianopia, hemispatial neglect, oculomotor cranial nerve palsies, and paralytic eyelid disorders.
Leonard B. Kaban, DMD, MD, chief emeritus of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, is featured in the January/February 2020 edition of AAOMS Today, A publication of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. AAOMS Today is publishing a series of interviews, called “Learning from OMS legends,” with OMS experts who share their background, reflections on their accomplishments and give advice to future surgeons. This is the first article. Go to page 28 for Kaban’s interview.
Konstantinos Kokkaliaris, PhD, post-doctoral research fellow in the Center for Regenerative Medicine, has been selected by the American Society of Hematology and the European Hematology Association to participate as one of 20 early-career translational researchers in the joint 2020 Translational Research Training in Hematology (TRTH) program. TRTH is a rigorous year-long training and mentoring experience that helps talented junior scientists build successful careers in translational hematology research.
Milica Margeta, MD, PhD, a member of the Mass. Eye and Ear Glaucoma Service, has been awarded the Research to Prevent Blindness 2020 Career Development Award. Margeta specializes in medical and surgical management of moderate and advanced glaucoma. As a Harvard-Vision Clinical Scientist Development Program (K12) scholar, Margeta is investigating the role of retinal neuroinflammation in the pathogenesis of glaucoma, with the goal of developing novel neuroprotective treatments for this progressive blinding disease.

Luana Marques, PhD, of the Department of Psychiatry, and Community Psychiatry PRIDE were awarded a $1.6 million grant by the Dalio Philanthropies. The three-year grant is focused on addressing the significant social emotional needs of disengaged and disconnected youth by providing evidence-based training and coaching to direct service staff at three nonprofit organizations in Connecticut: Our Piece of the Pie, DOMUS and COMPASS. Pictured, from left, Joshua Bogus, PRIDE; Soo Jeong Youn, PRIDE; Barbara Dalio, Dalio Philanthropies; Marques; Andrew Ferguson, Dalio Philanthropies; Anna Bartuska, PRIDE; Ellen Bass, Dalio Philanthropies; and Aimee Rincon, Dalio Philanthropies

The MGH Transgender Health Program has received a grant from the Epic Charitable Fund in support of electronic medical record optimization to better serve the transgender community. Launched in 2018, the MGH Transgender Health Program directly addresses healthcare gaps experienced by transgender and gender non-binary individuals. The program includes primary care, behavioral health, endocrinology, a full range of gender affirming surgical procedures, dermatology, oral and maxillofacial and dental services, voice therapy, and OB/GYN care for adult and pediatric patients. The grant will allow the program to expand research capacity focused on the impact of gender identity on health outcomes. Using Epic’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) data fields — in close collaboration with Partners Digital Health teams — researchers would collate and analyze EHR data to better understand disparities, identify areas of opportunity for improvement in care, and create reports with population health and social work teams to target interventions.

Jason Parente, PA-C, a physician assistant in the MGH Emergency Department, has received the Bouvé Distinguished Educator Award from Northeastern University. The award recognizes a teacher’s engagement with students and their attention to students’ professional development. Parente also holds a clinical teaching appointment at Northeastern University in the PA Program. The award recognizes that outstanding teaching goes beyond the classroom and includes the long-term impact that faculty have on students.


Martha B. Pitman, MD, of the Pathology Service, has been selected as the 2020 recipient of the L.C. Tao Educator of the Year Award from the Papanicolaou Society of Cytopathology. This award recognizes Pitman’s meritorious service and contributions to the field of cytopathology education.


Research led by Andrew Zhu, MD, PhD, of the MGH Cancer Center, was selected by the American Society of Clinical Oncology for inclusion in the Clinical Cancer Advances 2020, the Society’s annual review of progress against cancer. Zhu’s study, “Ramucirumab after sorafenib in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma and increased α-fetoprotein concentrations (REACH-2): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial,” is featured as one of many remarkable milestones in clinical cancer research and care.

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