I am delighted to share some of the recent honors and recognitions received by members of our faculty.
Michael Rust, Assistant Professor of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, is one of 84 Faculty Scholars named by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the Simons Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. These organizations have joined forces to support promising early-career scientists who have the potential to perform transformative research. Mike, who studies how and why biological organisms keep time using circadian clocks, was chosen from a field of 1,400 applicants. The five-year grant will allow him to pursue exciting new lines of research.
Huntington Willard, Professor of Human Genetics and president and director of the Marine Biological Laboratory, was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, one of the highest honors in the medical and health fields. The award recognizes individuals, selected by their peers, who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievements and commitment to service. Hunt’s discoveries have had a direct impact on human health by advancing understanding of the biology of gene expression.
Neil Shubin, Professor of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, received the Addison Emery Verrill Medal from the Yale Peabody Museum. The Verrill Medal was created in 1959 to honor “signal practitioners in the arts of natural history and natural sciences.” There have been only 18 recipients since the award’s inception. Neil, who is headed to Antarctica next month in search of fossils, was selected for his research on the evolution of new organs, especially limbs.
Mark Siegler, Professor of Medicine and Surgery, received the 2016 Harvey M. Meyerhoff Leadership in Bioethics Award from the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. Mark was selected for the 2016 award for his extensive scholarly research and his creation and leadership of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, which has trained more than 400 clinical fellows during the past 35 years. The Berman Institute said that the MacLean Center’s training programs have had “a greater impact than any other clinical ethics training program in the world.”
I invite you to read an important perspective by one of our colleagues on data sharing and the pivotal role it will play in precision oncology. Robert Grossman, Professor of Medicine, is first author of an article, “Toward a Shared Vision for Cancer Genomic Data,” published September 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine. Bob is the principal investigator for the Genomic Data Commons, the NCI-funded cancer-knowledge platform to enable broad collaboration among researchers.
Finally, two of our Pritzker students recently were named recipients of the Physicians of Tomorrow Chicago-Area scholarship. The American Medical Association created the Physicians of Tomorrow Awards to honor the academic, personal and professional accomplishments of a select group of students nationwide. Fourth-year students Sean Gaffney and Shilpa Vasishta both have shown an outstanding commitment to caring for the underserved and have made many contributions to our South Side and Pritzker communities.