Three researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital were included in the 2018 class of STAT Wunderkinds. The awards were founded to recognize up-and-coming doctors and researchers who are on the cusp of launching their careers.

Three Massachusetts General Hospital investigators were recognized for their contributions to science and medicine by being named to the 2018 Class of STAT Wunderkinds earlier this fall.

This is the second year that STAT has presented the Wunderkind awards, which were established to celebrate “the unheralded heroes of science and medicine.” It is the first time that Mass General has been represented among the award winners.

The STAT team selected the 30 winners from a pool of hundreds of applicants, with the goal of finding the most impressive doctors and researchers on the cusp of launching their careers.

Jennifer Manne-Goehler, MD, PhD

Dr. Manne-Goehler is a research fellow in the Department of Medicine at Mass General who has studied a variety of public health topics related to the epidemiology of infectious and chronic diseases in global settings.

She has investigated access to treatment for Chagas—a viral disease spread by triatomine bugs—in Central and South America and has studied diabetes diagnosis and care among individuals with and without HIV in rural South Africa. She recently conducted a study on how health systems in 29 low- and middle-income countries have performed in treating diabetes.

"The STAT Wunderkind recognition is truly an honor for me,” Dr. Manne-Goehler says. "In my case, it was particularly meaningful because it brought recognition from outside my field to the important potential contributions that epidemiologists and population health scientists can make to advancing human health."

"It was also special because I am a physician-scientist and was really pleased to have my early scientific achievements acknowledged even though I spend most of my time caring for patients (which I love equally as much)."

"I am very hopeful that my global public health research will ultimately lead to better health outcomes for people as they age with HIV, diabetes and other chronic diseases in resource-limited settings."

Dennis Jones, PhD

Dr. Jones was working as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Padera Lab in the Department of Pathology at the time of his nomination.

He recently took a position as an Assistant Professor at Boston University, where he will continue to study how cancer cells move through the body, evade immune cells and draw nutrients from blood vessels.

"My inclusion among the talented researchers to be named STAT Wunderkinds is truly humbling," Dr. Jones says. "As a first-generation college student, the award brings reflection of mentors, colleagues, and friends who helped navigate my path to a career in biomedical science."

"At the same time, I am encouraged to realize my full potential as a scientist to pursue difficult research questions and train the next generation of scientists."

"My motivation has always been to find more effective and better treatments for patients suffering from disease. My goal over the next 5-10 years is to conduct rigorous scientific investigations that uncover fundamental mechanisms of disease and yield clinically translatable findings."

Shekinah Elmore, MD

Dr. Elmore brings a unique perspective to her work as a clinical fellow in radiation oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital.

As detailed in this STAT article from August 2018, Dr. Elmore has Li-Fraumeni syndrome, a rare genetic disorder which significantly increases the risk for a variety of cancers, including bone, soft tissue, brain and kidney cancer.

Prior to entering medical school, Dr. Elmore underwent a year of cancer treatment that included lung surgery, chemotherapy and a double mastectomy.

As a medical student, Dr. Elmore became concerned that her classmates were drawing imaginary lines between themselves as "the healthy," and their future patients, "the sick."

Having moved through the system as both a patient and provider, she is working to bridge the gap between the two groups.

Dr. Elmore also conducts global health work, working to expand access to cancer care in sub-Saharan Africa, investigating patient experiences with cancer in Rwanda and studying the impact of palliative care in Malawi. She is now working to improve global radiotherapy delivery and cancer care in Zimbabwe.

"Being named a STAT Wunderkind is such an unexpected and amazing honor. I'm committed to dedicating my career to seeking equity and empathy in cancer care for patients around the globe, and I'm humbled at the recognition of this commitment."

"I owe so much to those who have been my mentors and partners in this work throughout the years. And, a special thanks to Drs. Daphne Haas-Kogan and Paul Nguyen for the nomination."

Research at Massachusetts General Hospital

Did you know that Massachusetts General Hospital is home to the largest hospital-based research program in the United States? Research at Mass General takes place in over 30 departments, institutes and centers throughout the hospital, and is powered by a community of 8,500+ people.

Our research programs help to further our understanding of the causes and progression of disease, develop new ways to diagnose and treat patients, and identify new strategies to increase the accessibility and affordability of healthcare—both here at Mass General and across the globe.

The Mass General Research Institute was launched in 2015 to promote, support and guide the hospital's existing research enterprise. To learn more, please connect with us on Facebook and Twitter, and check out our research blog.