Research Center News: Awards, Honors and Recognition

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iBIO logoApril 29, 2010 -- Children's Memorial Research Center has become a member of iBIO, the Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization. iBIO’s mission is to make Illinois and the surrounding Midwest one of the world’s top life sciences centers: a great place to do business, and a great place to grow new technology ventures. iBIO advocates for sound public policy, delivers education and training programs, and improves the ability to create, attract, and retain businesses.

For more information, please visit the iBIO website.
Bradley Kulat CCP, LP, coordinator of Perfusion Services, Division of Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery at Children’s Memorial Hospital, has been nominated to the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion Board of Directors. The primary purpose of the board is protection of the public through the establishment and maintenance of standards in the field of cardiovascular perfusion.

Hendrix and Lurie
Mary J.C. Hendrix, PhD (left) and
Ann Lurie

Ann Lurie was recognized by Research!America in Washington, DC on March 16, 2010 for her significant contributions to medical and health research and advocacy. Ms. Lurie, a veteran public health and pediatric intensive care nurse, has devoted herself to philanthropy, research and humanitarian causes. She is the founder and President of AID Village Clinics, Inc., a comprehensive health care initiative that provides free care for a rural population in southeast Kenya; she supports Ancient Egypt Research Associates, a U.S.-based archaeological excavation on the Giza plateau; and in cooperation with Save the Children and ONE Love Africa, she funded construction of 30 rural schools in Ethiopia.

The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Award for Sustained National Leadership recognizes medical and health research advocacy leaders who have been instrumental in developing and implementing a sustained advocacy program for medical or health research at the national level, or who have consistently fostered legislation and/or programs that strive to make medical or health research a higher national priority. Children’s Memorial has come to know Ann Lurie through her service as a pediatric intensive care nurse; a board member; the public/private partnership with the National Institutes of Health’s Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Intervention and the Howard Brown Health Center to advance research, treatment and prevention for Chicago-area adolescents and at-risk youth — and her commitment to provide the principal funding for Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Ms. Lurie has also endowed the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center at Northwestern University, and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, where she continues to provide advocacy and leadership, and academic chairs in cancer research at both Northwestern and Children’s Memorial.

Research!America treasurer and board member Mary J.C. Hendrix presented the award to Ms. Lurie. In her remarks, Hendrix acknowledged “the world is a better place because of Ann Lurie’s vision, her leadership, and her extraordinary generosity”. Research!America is the nation’s largest not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Pathology honored Mary J.C. Hendrix, PhD with the 2010 Paulette Shirey Pritchett Endowed Lectureship Award. Now in its 19th year, the lecture is named for the late Paulette Shirey Pritchett, MD, renowned faculty member whose research advanced the fields of pathology, dermatopathology and electron microscopy. Hendrix’s presentation, “Targeting a novel embryonic pathway to suppress the metastatic phenotype” addressed the ways in which genes and regulatory molecules interact during the development of cancer metastasis, and the role of tumor classification in the search for new targets in cancer therapeutics. Hendrix is president and scientific director of the research center, Professor, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center and Medical Research Institute Council Endowed Chair at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.
Shekhar Mayanil Chandra Shekhar Mayanil, PhDDevelopmental Biology Program, has been honored by the Spina Bifida Association with a SBAA Young Investigator award. His work identifies microRNA as a candidate in mediating the effect of folic acid in prevention of neural tube defects. Folic acid is not completely effective in preventing spina bifida, one of the most common birth defects. This work points to mechanisms of action that are likely to enhance prevention strategies for children. Mayanil is Assistant professor of Neurological Surgery, Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery of the Feinberg School.
Lauren Pachman The Cure JM Foundation is an all volunteer nonprofit organization formed in 2003 to support research and raise awareness for juvenile myositis, the specialty of Lauren Pachman, MD. In 2007, the Cure JM Program of Excellence in Juvenile Myositis Research was established to support Pachman’s laboratory. Pachman teamed with Cure JM to hold its first weekend event around the Chicago Marathon in 2006. Since then, she has been involved with every conference Cure JM has held, making scientific presentations to JM families. Additionally, she has been instrumental in initiating education to grown young adults with JM. She held the very first JM young adult gathering in 2008, followed by one in 2009. The next planned event in September of 2010 will be led by two of Pachman’s adult patients who are on the Advisory Council of Cure JM. The young adult events have been supported in part by a Physician Advocacy Project grant awarded to Pachman by the Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Memorial. Please visit the Cure JM website for more information. Pachman is Professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School, an attending physician in the Division of Rheumatology at Children’s Memorial and director of the Chicago City-Wide FOCIS Center of Excellence in Clinical Immunology of the research center.
Philip Iannaccone

Iannaccone Honored for Contributions

In March 2010, Philip M. Iannaccone, MD, PhD received a plaque for outstanding contributions as an associate editor for Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), in appreciation for significant contributions made to the advancement of knowledge in environmental health sciences. EHP, a monthly journal of peer-reviewed research and news on the impact of the environment on human health, is published by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences. Iannaccone is George M. Eisenberg Professor, Senior Vice President, Deputy Director for Research—Basic Sciences and director of the Developmental Biology Program of the research center.

Peter F. Whitington

Whitington receives 2010 CLF/CASL Sass‐Kortsak Award

Peter F. Whitington, MD has been named the recipient of the 2010 Canadian Liver Foundation (CLF)/Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver (CASL) Sass‐Kortsak Award for sustained excellence in pediatric liver‐related research. The award was presented at the 2010 Canadian Digestive Diseases Week (CDDW) in Toronto, Ontario on February 28. Whitington is director of the Siragusa Transplantation Center at Children’s Memorial Hospital; Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine; and the Sally Burnett Searle Professor of Pediatrics and Transplantation.

Santhanam Suresh Santhanam Suresh, MD received first prize in the Scientific and Educational Exhibits for “Regional anesthesia education in infants: a novel computer-based visual learning technique to improve confidence and performance in anesthesia residents” at the American Society of Anesthesiologists annual meeting in New Orleans, October, 2009. Suresh is Professor of Anesthesiology and Pediatrics at the Feinberg School; Director, Pain Management Service; Director of Research, Department of Anesthesiology at Children’s Memorial; and Associate director of anesthesia research at the research center.
Ram Yogev  The American Academy of Pediatrics has granted its Special Achievement Award to Ram Yogev, MD, for advocacy efforts related to making Illinois a leading state in prenatal and newborn HIV testing. Yogev is Deputy Director for Research — Clinical Sciences, and director of the Clinical and Translational Research Program of the research center; Professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School; the medical director of Section of Pediatric, Adolescent and Maternal HIV Infection at Children’s Memorial; and the Susan B. DePree Founders’ Board Professor of Pediatric, Adolescent and Maternal HIV Infection. 
Barry Wershil For the past several years, Barry K. Wershil, MD has been on the board of directors for the Children’s Digestive Health and Nutrition Foundation (CDHNF). The mission of the CDHNF is to fund and promote research and educational programs that will advance the creation, application, and dissemination of knowledge in the field. Wershil was recently nominated to become the next Secretary-Treasurer of the CDHNF, charged with overseeing the financial health of the organization. Wershil is head of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Children’s Memorial; Professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School; and a member of the Clinical and Translational Research Program of the research center. 
Elfriede Pahl  Elfriede Pahl, MD has been elected Secretary Treasurer of the Pediatric Heart Transplant Study (PHTS) steering committee. The PHTS is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the science and treatment of children during listing for and following heart transplantation. The purposes of the group are to establish and maintain an international, prospective, event driven database for heart transplantation, to use the database to encourage and stimulate basic and clinical research in the field of pediatric heart transplantation, and to promote new therapeutic strategies. Data collection began in 1993. Currently, PHTS has 36 member institutions, with over 3,475 listed and 2,491 transplanted patients in the database.

Pahl has also been elected vice-chair of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation’s Scientific Council on Pediatric Transplantation. She is Medical director of the Heart Transplant Program at Children’s Memorial; Professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School; and a member of the Human Molecular Genetics Program of the research center. 
Kathryn Farrow Kathryn N. Farrow, MD, PhD received a Young Investigator Award for her abstract presentation of “Catalase blocks hyperoxiainduced mitochondrial oxidative stress and decreases Phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) activity in ovine fetal pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (FPASMC)” during the 7th annual American Heart Association Resuscitation Science Symposium in November. The awards recognize the top scoring abstracts submitted by early career investigators in cardiac and trauma resuscitation science. Farrow is Assistant professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School, a neonatologist at Children’s Memorial and a member of the Clinical and Translational Research Program of Children's Memorial Research Center.
Sunjay Kaushal Sunjay Kaushal, MD, PhD has been awarded a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute K08 grant and a Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education award. His research efforts focus on cardiac stem cells and how they change over time. Kaushal is an Assistant professor of Surgery at the Feinberg School; attending physician in the Division of Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery at Children’s Memorial; and a member of the Developmental Biology Program of the research center.
Tony Rankin  Tony Rankin, Facility manager for Children's Memorial Research Center, has published an article in the July 2009 issue of Today's Facility Manager entitled "Professional development: Creating a plan for disaster". Rankin outlines a plan for creating an emergency planning team, responding to the disaster or emergency, and developing plans for recovery and restoration. Read the article.
 Peggy Jones Peggy Jones, MILS, Librarian and communications manager for the research center, has received the 2009 Distinguished Member Award from the Biomedical and Life Sciences Division (DBIO) of the Special Libraries Association. The award is given annually to a DBIO member who has demonstrated distinction and exemplary service to the division and the profession.

 Investiture June 2009

Investiture of Children's Memorial faculty

Four Children’s Memorial Medical Center faculty members were honored at an investiture ceremony on June 25, 2009 at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel in Chicago. Patrick M. Magoon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Children’s Memorial Medical Center , with J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, Vice President for Medical Affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, led the ceremony. The honorees were introduced and thanked their respective philanthropic benefactors for their generous support.

Magoon remarked that “Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, the Nobel Prize-winning biochemist, once said, ‘Discovery is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.’ Through their research in such varied fields as cancer, medical ethics, mental disorders, and kidney disease, tonight’s honorees – Seth J. Corey, MD; Joel E. Frader, MD; Jill A. Morris, PhD; and H. William Schnaper, MD -- are prime examples of this philosophy.”

He went on to say, “What unites these four individuals is a common goal: to improve the well-being of children. They are working to provide kids with the best opportunity to realize their full potential through novel cures, improved therapies and new perspectives in the practice of pediatric medicine. As experts in their respective fields, they also serve as mentors, freely sharing their knowledge and expertise with the young physicians and scientists who will be tomorrow’s leaders.”

Seth J. Corey, MD, MPH, is an attending physician in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplant at Children’s Memorial and a professor of pediatrics and cellular and molecular biology at the Feinberg School. Corey is director of oncology research at the hospital, co-director of the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program at Children’s Memorial and the Feinberg School, and a member of the Cancer Biology and Epigenomics Program of the research center. Corey was invested as the Sharon B. Murphy, MD and Steven T. Rosen, MD Research Professor of Cancer Biology and Chemotherapy. Philanthropist Ann Lurie was acknowledged for making the endowed chair possible.

Joel E. Frader, MD, is an attending physician in the Division of General Academic Pediatrics and a professor of pediatrics and medical humanities and bioethics at the Feinberg School. He is head of the Division of General Academic Pediatrics, associate director of The Bridges Program - Pediatric Palliative and End-of-Life Care, and a member of the Mary Ann & J. Milburn Smith Child Health Research Program of the research center. Frader was invested as the A Todd Davis, MD Professor of General Academic Pediatrics. The Founders’ Board of Children’s Memorial Hospital was recognized for its support of his endowed chair. 

 Jill A. Morris, PhD , is a researcher in the Human Molecular Genetics program of the research center and an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Feinberg School. Morris was invested as the Eloise and Warren Batts Research Scholar. Philanthropists Warren and Eloise Batts were acknowledged for their support.

H. William Schnaper, MD, is an attending physician in the Division of Kidney Diseases at Children’s Memorial, an attending physician in pediatrics at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and a professor of pediatrics at the Feinberg School. He is vice chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Memorial and a member of the Clinical and Translational Research Program of the research center. Schnaper was invested as the Irene Heinz Given and John La Porte Given Research Chair in Pediatrics. The Irene Heinz Given and John LaPorte Given Foundation was recognized for its support.

Goldman honored by Children's Brain Tumor Foundation

May 14, 2009 - Actress Bonnie Hunt, mistress of ceremonies for the seventh annual Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation (CBTF) Benefit held in Manhattan, May 13, 2009, presented Stewart Goldman, MD, Children’s Memorial Hospital, with the Foundation’s Pioneer Award for outstanding contributions in pediatric neuro-oncology and brain tumor research. Goldman is medical director of neuro-oncology at Children’s Memorial, director of the Center for Clinical Trials Research  for Children’s Memorial Research Center and Associate professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School. Read the full story.

  Ma lab

Ma receives Schweppe award

The Schweppe Foundation has awarded Yong-Chao Ma, PhD a Career Development Award in Academic Medicine for 2009. Established in 1947 by John S. Schweppe, MD this award recognizes talented, young individual investigators and provides support for the development of their academic medical careers. The Foundation reviews research proposals submitted by young investigators from qualifying medical schools and selects the best candidates for the award.  Ma is Assistant professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and a member of the Neurobiology Program of Children’s Memorial Research Center.

Yong-Chao Ma, PhD

Yong-Chao Ma

Ma wins Searle Award

Yong-Chao Ma, PhD, is the recipient of a 2009 Searle Scholar Award from the Searle Leadership Fund in the Life Sciences through Northwestern University. The Searle Award is a prestigious career development award from the Chicago Community Trust. Highly qualified nominees from across the university compete for this honor; selections are made by a committee of distinguished faculty representing a range of disciplines.

Remi Lewandowski

Lewandowski granted Bernardo Nobile Award

Remigiusz Lewandowski, PhD, has been granted the Bernardo Nobile Award for his PhD thesis entitled “Mapping of genetic modified organisms (GMOs) biosafety research with the use of data-mining techniques.” Read more.

 Sookyong Koh

Koh recognized for epilepsy research

 Sookyong Koh, MD, PhD, received the 2008 Dreifuss-Penry Epilepsy Award during the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 60th annual meeting. This award recognizes physicians in the early stages of their careers who have made an independent contribution to epilepsy research. Koh is assistant professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School, an attending physician in the Division of Neurology at Children’s Memorial Hospital and a member of the Neurobiology Program of the research center.

Hui-Ju Tsai

Tsai receives March of Dimes Award

Hui-Ju Tsai, MPH, PhD, is one of ten recipients awarded by the March of Dimes Foundation in 2008. Tsai is seeking to explain ethnic disparities in preterm birth rates by looking for genetic differences between African-American women who gave birth preterm and those who did not. She is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine and a member of the Mary Ann & J. Milburn Smith Child Health Research Program of Children's Memorial Research Center.

Farrow receives Rowe Award

Kathryn N. Farrow, MD, PhD, a neonatologist at Children’s Memorial Hospital, has been awarded the 2008 Richard D. Rowe Award in Perinatal Cardiology from the Society for Pediatric Research. The Rowe Award was established in 1988 by colleagues, trainees and friends of Dr. Rowe to honor his many personal achievements, commitment to academic excellence, integrity and humility.

 Vasil GalatLuigi Strizzi

Eisenberg Scholars

The Children’s Memorial Research Center senior leadership is pleased to announce the selection of Vasil Galat, PhD (2007-2008) and Luigi Strizzi, MD, PhD (2008-2009) as Eisenberg Scholars. Dr. Galat is a Research Assistant Professor of Pathology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, and serves as director of the research center's Stem Core Facility. Dr. Strizzi is a Research Assistant Professor in the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, and a member of the Cancer Biology & Epigenomics Program of the research center. The research interests of Dr. Galat include: Human embryonic stem cells; experimental embryology; medical genetics; and nuclear reprogramming. Dr. Strizzi’s research focuses on: Breast cancer stem cells; mammary gland development; tumor cell plasticity; and prognostic cancer biomarkers.

We are most grateful for the generosity of Marshall and JoAnn Eisenberg in supporting the promising careers of junior research faculty. Since 2004, seven faculty have benefited from the Eisenberg Scholars Fund: Zhila Ellis, PhD; Dawn Kirschmann, PhD; Joon Won Yoon, PhD; Tamas Virag, PhD; Zoe Demou, PhD; Vasil Galat, PhD; and Luigi Strizzi, MD, PhD.

Simon chairs platform session at AAA meeting

Hans-Georg Simon, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and a laboratory director in the Developmental Biology Program at Children’s Memorial Research Center, organized and chaired a platform session on limb development for the 2008 American Association of Anatomists (AAA) annual meeting April 5-9 in San Diego. The title of the session was "How to Make a Limb: Developmental Paradigms." Simon invited scholars, particularly graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty members to present their work. For more information, please go to the AAA web site at

Suszko awarded Cystic Fibrosis Foundation fellowship

Magdalena Suszko, PhD, post-doctoral scientist in the Human Molecular Genetics Program (Harris group) has been awarded a Cystic Fibrosis Foundation post-doctoral fellowship, for 2 years from May 1 2007. Her project is entitled "The Role of Intron 1 in the Regulation of CFTR Gene Expression."

Ahlgren named to first Science Communication Fellows Program

Charlottesville, VA, Jan. 23, 2007 -- A group of 10 scientists will help increase public awareness and understanding of environmental health science as part of a new program that aims to publish and promote new research findings to a general audience. Each will receive a $5,000 stipend for their yearlong appointment to the Science Communication Fellows Program.

Starting in February, the first ever Science Communication Fellows, sponsored by the non-profit organization Environmental Health Sciences (EHS), will assist in identifying important new research findings about environment and health that are just published or about to be published in peer-reviewed journals. The Fellows will help translate the findings so they are more accessible to working reporters and to a broader public audience.

Sara Ahlgren, PhD, Assistant Professor, Northwestern University, and director of a laboratory in the Developmental Biology Program, is one of the ten Science Communication Fellows. Ahlgren studies the interaction between genes and environment, especially how toxic substances alter genetic pathways leading to birth defects. receives Medical Marketing & Media award

The Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children has received the 2006 Silver award for Healthcare Web Site of the Year from Medical Marketing & Media. Medical Marketing & Media is a monthly business publication that has been serving healthcare marketers since 1966.

Hendrix receives 2006 Henry Gray Award

Dr. Mary Hendrix has been selected as the recipient of the 2006 Henry Gray Award by the American Association of Anatomists (AAA). The Henry Gray Award is the highest honor of the AAA, and it recognizes a lifetime of achievement, including unique and meritorious contributions to the field of anatomical science. Mary will receive her award on April 4, 2006 during the annual meeting of the AAA as part of the Experimental Biology Meeting in San Diego.

Schumacker receives American Thoracic Society Award

Paul T. Schumacker, PhD, head of the Neonatology Research Laboratory at Children’s Memorial Research Center, received the American Thoracic Society Recognition Award for Scientific Accomplishment for 2006. This prestigious award is given to individuals for outstanding scientific contributions to the understanding, prevention and treatment of lung disease. Schumacker’s research focuses on regulation mechanisms of oxygen sensors in the newborns’ lungs.

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