MGH Awards and Honors Jan. 2019

The Awards and Honors newsletter features recent awards and honors recognizing our talented and dedicated MGH staff and employees.
Sun Jan 13, 2019

Maryam Asgari, MD, associate professor of the MGH Department of Dermatology and the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School, has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI). The ASCI is a prestigious honor society for physician scientists across all medical disciplines. Fewer than 85 individuals are elected each year, so this is a major recognition of accomplishments and national stature.

Emery Neal Brown, MD, PhD, director of the Neuroscience Statistic Research Laboratory in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, has received the 2018 Dickson Prize in Science from Carnegie Mellon University. The prize is awarded annually to the person who has been judged by the university to have made the most progress in the scientific field – of natural sciences, engineering, computer science or mathematics – in the U.S. for that year.
Paul Busse, MD, PhD, clinical director of Radiation Oncology, has been honored as the inaugural incumbent of the Joseph W. Cotchett Endowed Chair in Radiation Oncology. Made possible through the generosity of Joseph W. Cotchett, Esq., this chair will advance research, care and education. This is the first MGH Endowed Chair for the Department of Radiation Oncology. Cotchett was unable to join the celebration in person as his practice is based in San Francisco, however, he pre-recorded a video address that was broadcast at a celebration at the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation. Pictured, from left, Brit Nicholson, MD, senior vice president of Development; Busse; and Jay Loeffler, MD, chief of Radiation Oncology
Paulette Di Angi, PhD, RN, CPHQ, director of Institutional Effectiveness at the MGH Institute of Health Professions, has received a Trailblazer’s Award from Campus Labs for devising an innovative way to use the company’s course evaluation software. Di Angi worked with a team of faculty from across several academic programs to revise and implement new streamlined surveys. It resulted in student response rates increasing from 34 percent to 73 percent, faculty satisfaction with the new surveys going from 12 percent to 85 percent, and the number of questions (based on both faculty and students focus groups data) dropping by 50 percent, with an increase in specific comment boxes by 60 percent.
Jake Holzer, MD, attending psychiatrist in the  MGPO who works at MGH/McLean Geriatric Division and Spaulding Hospitals, has received the 2019 Manfred S. Guttmacher Award from the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. The award recognizes published works or professional presentations that contribute to the field of forensic psychiatry. The honor is named for Manfred S. Guttmacher, a pioneer in the study of the relationship between psychiatry and law.
Othon Iliopoulos, MD, PhD, clinical director of the MGH Von-Hippel Lindau Disease/Familial Renal Cell Cancer Program, received a grant award from the Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) Alliance, a national non-profit committed to research, education and awareness of VHL. The award recognizes projects that increase the understanding of the VHL gene and contribute to improved screening and treatment approaches for people living with VHL. Iliopoulos received the award for his project “Targeting Hemangioblastoma Heterogenity.”
Anjali Kaimal, MD, MAS, director of the Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship Program and obstetrical director of the Multidisciplinary Fetal Care Group, has been honored as the inaugural incumbent of the Minehan-Schiff Endowed Scholar in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Made possible through the generosity of Cathy Minehan, chair of the MGH Board of Trustees, the scholar honors Isaac Schiff, MD, chief emeritus of MGH Department of OB/GYN and his career at MGH. Pictured, from left, Jeff Ecker, MD, chief of the Vincent Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology; Schiff; Minehan; Kaimal; and Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president
The MGH received a 2019 Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award, a Best Places to Work list compiled by Glassdoor. Employee reviews on Glassdoor represent workplace experiences from all industries in the U.S. and around the world. The MGH is No. 84 on this list of 100 Best Places to Work.
David Pepin, PhD, principal investigator in the Pediatric Surgical Research Laboratories, has received a Phase II Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Exploration (GCE) grant for the study of contraception. His work is focused on the development of a platform for high throughput screening of new contraceptive drugs that can inhibit activation of primordial ovarian follicles, the first step of folliculogenesis, in contrast to current hormonal methods aimed at inhibiting ovulation. This GCE award supports early-stage research projects in global health with the aim of producing new contraceptives for developing countries that are inexpensive, longer acting, easier to administer and safer.
Michael Picard, MD, of the MGH Cardiology Division and Department of Medicine, was honored by the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging for his contributions to the field of echocardiography and he delivered the keynote lecture at its annual scientific sessions. This is the largest worldwide meeting devoted to cardiac non-invasive imaging. His lecture titled “Expanding Frontiers of Echocardiography” outlined many forward-thinking applications of echocardiography including its role in understanding disparities in care and its integration with genomics and proteomics to provide personalized, precision cardiology.
Alberto Puig, MD, PhD, of the Department of Medicine, has been appointed the associate dean for Undergraduate Medical Education. Puig’s educational responsibilities include oversight of medical student clinical experiences and courses during all years of the medical school curriculum while rotating at MGH, from the earliest exposure to patients while learning interviewing and physical diagnosis in the pre-clerkship phase to the oversight of all core and elective clerkships, subinternships, Clinical Capstone courses and other clinical experiences. Administratively, Puig will be responsible for ensuring that each component of the curriculum has faculty and administrative leadership in place at MGH for all three phases of the curriculum, including faculty leaders for the pre-clerkship clinical course Practice of Medicine, Principal Clinical Experience clerkships and Post-PCE clinical rotations and experiences.
Bakhos Tannous, PhD, director of the Experimental Therapeutics and Molecular Imaging Laboratory, co-director of the Molecular Neurogenetics Unit-East, and director of the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Center at MGH, has received a Beirut Golden Award, given for outstanding achievements in the Middle East in arts, sciences and medicine. Tannous was honored for his research focused on a new blood assay for cancer detection and new therapeutic strategy for glioblastoma, the most aggressive type of brain tumors.
Andreas Wartak, PhD, research fellow in the MGH Wellman Center for Photomedicine, has been awarded the 2019 SPIE-Franz Hillenkamp Postdoctoral Fellowship in Problem-Driven Biophotonics and Biomedical Optics from SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. The award supports interdisciplinary problem-driven research and provides opportunities for translating new technologies into clinical practice for improving human health. Wartak will target an earlier and less invasive diagnosis of eosinophilic esophagitis, a poorly understood allergic inflammatory condition of the esophagus. If successful, this project will accelerate the translation of an optical coherence tomography-based instrument that will eliminate the need for sedated endoscopic biopsies.
Arthur Weyman, MD, MGH cardiologist and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, has received the Sanctae Crucis Award from the College of Holy Cross, the highest non-degree accolade that the college bestows on alumni. Weyman received the award in honor of his pioneering research, his visionary work and for his advocacy of echocardiography. He was recognized as a master teacher, critical thinker and exceptional mentor. Weyman has trained and molded generations of medical students, fellows and young scientists and transformed medical education, patient treatment and cardiac outcomes.
Jeanine Wiener-Kronish, MD, MGH anesthetist-in-chief, has been selected for a three-year-term on the Commission of Sciences de la Vie et de la Sante-4. This is a grant selection committee for the Fund for Scientific Research in Europe.

Excellence in Action

The MGH receives hundreds of letters a year thanking staff and commending coworkers. These letters are a small glimpse into the work done at the hospital every day. Excellence in Action awards are presented by Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president, to those who – without one of these letters – might have gone unrecognized. Three awards were recently given to extraordinary MGHers:

Danielle McGonegal, LICSW, of MGH Social Services, was recognized for her support of organ donation efforts in the medical intensive care unit. Kevin Kiely, New England Donor Services in-house coordinator, lauded McGonegal for her work connecting with families struggling with the difficult decisions surrounding organ donation. “Dannie supports them, hears them, explains things and validates whatever they are feeling,” Kiely wrote. “She writes these incredible, detailed, rich notes which always provide the kind of insight that helps me understand what I am walking into. All of this she does with a grace and ease which belies the tremendous workload I know she has.”
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: hotline@partners.org.