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2016 Cerami Award Winners

Tak W Mak, PhD
Tak W Mak, PhD
 
The sixth annual Anthony Cerami Award in Translational Medicine was conferred to Tak W Mak, PhD, Director of The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research and Senior Staff Scientist at the Ontario Cancer Institute and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto. The award is in recognition of his research into T cell activation, tumor suppressors, and the genetics of immunology, all with the goal of translating basic research discoveries into new treatments for cancer.
 
In his monograph, Dr. Mak describes how his research led to the critical discovery of a gene encoding a subunit of the T cell receptor, which led to the blockade method of immunotherapy that is now in early clinical use for the treatment of melanoma, lymphoma, and lung, bladder, kidney and head and neck cancers.
 
“It is an honor to be selected to receive the Anthony Cerami Award,” said Dr. Mak. “I truly believe that sharing data widely and building continuously on the work of all will eventually allow us to defeat disorders like autoimmunity and cancer. I’m happy to tell my story so that it can inspire young investigators in their research.”

Resources:
View the Mak Press Release.

Lawrence Steinman, MD
Lawrence Steinman, MD
 
The fifth Anthony Cerami Award in Translational Medicine was conferred to Lawrence Steinman, MD, professor of neurology and neurological sciences, pediatrics and genetics at Stanford University. The award is in recognition of his research in neurology and specifically multiple sclerosis (MS).
 
In his monograph, Dr. Steinman writes that “Translational research requires a diverse team, and one should realize that it is not possible to have real expertise across the wide swath of fields necessary to go from the bench to the bedside. Therefore, teamwork and cooperation are essential for translational medicine.
 
“I am honored to receive the Anthony Cerami Award in Translational Medicine,” said Dr. Steinman. “In telling the story of this scientific journey, I wanted to honor my parents, family and colleagues who helped in so many ways to make this possible. I hope that all who read the monograph find it informative, with some interesting lessons for young scientists embarking on a career in translational medicine.”

Resources:
View the Steinman Press Release.

2015 Cerami Award Winner

Thomas E Starzl, MD, PhD
Thomas E Starzl, MD, PhD
"A Journey in Science: The Birth of Organ Transplantation with
Particular Reference to Alloengraftment Mechanisms
"


The fourth Anthony Cerami Award in Translational Medicine was conferred to Thomas E. Starzl, MD, PhD, professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The award is in recognition of his research in organ transplantation and allograft mechanisms.

In his monograph, Dr. Starzl describes his accomplishments during his early research experiences in both neuroscience and cardiac physiology, and how it “epitomized the two ends of the spectrum within which I labored all the rest of my professional life: a search at one extreme for fundamental biologic mechanisms and at the other for practical remedies with which to treat human diseases.” He continued, “After I returned to surgical resident duties (1954-1959), a stage large enough to accommodate both kinds of activity emerged from my new interest in the liver, its double blood supply and ultimately its transplantation.”

“Receiving the Anthony Cerami Award in Translational Medicine is a distinguished honor–Dr. Cerami is a pioneer in the field of molecular medicine and I am privileged to accept an award that is named after him,” said Dr. Starzl. “My journey in human organ transplantation has been an exciting one. Additional advancements in transplantation tolerance are still needed, and I am looking forward to seeing what future scientists can uncover."

Resources:
View the Starlz Press Release

2014 Cerami Award Winners

David J Weatherall, MD, FRCP, FRS
David J Weatherall, MD, FRCP, FRS 
"A Journey in Science: Early Lessons from the Hemoglobin Field"


The third Anthony Cerami Award in Translational Medicine was conferred to David J. Weatherall, MD, FRCP, FRS, founder of the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine at Oxford University in England. The award is in recognition of his discoveries in inherited disorders of hemoglobin.

In the monograph, Professor Weatherall describes his experience in the early days of studying inherited disorders of hemoglobin and how many of the lessons learned from this field continue to have implications in molecular medicine. “Any success that the author of this review has had in the field is based on developing a stable team of a few senior scientists with backgrounds both in clinical medicine or molecular biology, together with a constant throughput of excellent young people wishing to be trained in the field,” he said. “In addition, because the hemoglobin disorders are particularly common in some of the poorer tropical countries, it has been equally important to develop partnerships with these countries, not just for carrying out research, but also to help with capacity building for improving programs for the prevention and treatment of these conditions.” He also offered this advice to aspiring scientists: “It is still important for young people to spend some time after receiving their first degree to gain further experience before deciding which particular aspect of the field they wish to pursue and, once they have decided, to follow their line of research intensely and with single-minded enthusiasm, and not to be put off by ill-directed advice by ill-informed mentors.”

“It has been a particular pleasure to receive the Cerami Award in Translational Medicine,” added Professor Weatherall. “Particularly because it is linked to the name of Tony Cerami, whose work I have admired over many years.”

Resources:
View the Weatherall Press Release.

    Göran K Hansson, MD, PhD
Göran K Hansson, MD, PhD
"A Journey in Science: Medical Scientist in Translation"


The second Anthony Cerami Award in Translational Medicine was conferred to Göran K. Hansson, MD, PhD, professor of cardiovascular research at the Karolinska Institutet and head of the Cardiovascular Research Laboratory at the Center for Molecular Medicine in Stockholm, Sweden. The award is in recognition of his discoveries in atherosclerosis inflammation and cardiology.

“I am obviously very honored to be recognized in this way,” said Dr. Hansson. “Being a scientist and having the opportunity to make discoveries is very rewarding in itself. To be selected for the Anthony Cerami Award in Translational Medicine is a wonderful recognition by my peers that the work my colleagues and I are doing contributes to the translation of science into medicine. I am particularly honored to follow in the footsteps of two of my role models in science – Anthony Cerami, after whom the award is named, and Carl Nathan, who received the first Cerami Award.”

In the monograph, Dr. Hansson describes his journey in deciding whether to be a clinician or scientist, and notes a patient he met as a resident in internal medicine helped him solve this question. The patient had suffered a major stroke, and at the time there was no treatment available to help him. Hansson writes “The best they could hope for was that the man would die soon. Meeting this patient made me realize the limitations of clinical medicine. As a physician, you can do a lot for your patient—but not more than the tools of medicine available at the time allow. As a clinician, your hands are tied by the limitations of medicine. As a physician-scientist, you can help stretch those limitations.”

Resources:
View the Hansson Press Release.

2013 Cerami Award Winner

Carl Nathan, MD
Carl Nathan, MD
 

The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and Molecular Medicine conferred the first Anthony Cerami Award in Translational Medicine to Carl Nathan, MD, chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College for his discoveries in immunology. Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president of the Feinstein Institute, editor-in-chief of Molecular Medicine, and Cerami Award committee member said. “Carl Nathan epitomizes the insight, genius, and resolve that are at the heart of the discovery process.”
 
“Anthony Cerami’s work exemplifies the principle that basic research can be inspired by challenges in medicine and in turn can drive improvements in medical practice,” Dr. Nathan said. “It is a special privilege to count him as a friend and to receive an award that bears his name.
 
“There is almost no chance in formal scientific publications to tell a personal story, certainly not one that spans more than 50 years,” he added. “I hope this Cerami Award monograph and those that follow will give encouragement to younger scientists that what may seem to be a wandering or invisible path may turn out to be the fastest route to a new place, and that coming on a new place in science, and impacting medical practice, is an incomparable experience.”

Resources:
View the Nathan Press Release.