Department Accomplishments and Achievements Summer 2017

July 07, 2017

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund has awarded Blood Bank/Transfusion Medicine Clinical Fellow Vijay Bhoj, MD, PhD, one of its 2017 Career Awards for Medical Scientists (CAMS). Dr. Bhoj is one of 12 physicians who will each receive a five-year, $700,000 grant. The grant will fund Dr. Bhoj’s research on the development of CAR T-cell immunotherapy for the prevention and eradication of FVIII inhibitors in Hemophilia A. The Burroughs Wellcome CAMS grants are intended to help physicians transition into full-time careers as biomedical research scientists and tenured faculty members.

Jorge Henao-Mejia, MD, PhD, has been recognized by The Pew Charitable Trusts as one of its 22 national Pew Scholars in Biomedical Sciences. The 2017 class of Pew Scholars is made up of outstanding early-career scientists from prominent academic and research institutions throughout the United States. The award of $240,000 over four years helps recipients to pursue foundational, innovative research. The goal of the Henao-Mejia lab is to use gene editing tools, including the CRISPR/Cas9 system, to establish the molecular mechanisms involved in the development of chronic inflammatory conditions.

The Penn Center for Innovation (PCI) presented its 2016-17 Inventor of the Year Award to John D. Lambris, PhD, for his US Patent 9,371,365 “Modified Compstatin With Peptide Backbone and C-Terminal Modifications.” In total, PCI recognized 63 Penn Medicine faculty members, 17 of whom are faculty members of the Department of Pathology and Laboratrory Medicine, for their patent awards in Fiscal Year 2016.

Irving Nachamkin, DrPH, MPH, D(ABMM), FAAM, FIDSA, has been appointed to the Evidence-based Laboratory Medicine Practice Guidelines (EBLMPG) Committee of the American Society for Microbology (ASM) for a three-year term. EBLMPG provide evidence‐based information to healthcare stakeholders about the effectiveness of quality improvement practices that are developed by adhering to transparent, objective, and rigorous systematic review methods. The ASM has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on the development of two guidelines (Urine Collection, Preservation, and Transport and Diagnostic Accuracy of C. difficile).

Lucy B. Rorke-Adams, MD, has been selected by her alma mater, the University of Minnesota, to receive its 2017 Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award. Dr. Rorke-Adams, an internationally renowned pediatric neuropathologist specializing in CNS tumors and trauma and forensic neuropathology, served as chief of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Philadelphia General Hospital (PGH) and then as pathologist-in-chief at CHOP. She retired from CHOP in 2015 at age 86.

Douglas Wallace, PhD, is the winner of the 2017 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research. Dr. Wallace won for his pioneering work in the field of mitochondrial genetics, and joins 14 other scientists who have received the Dr. Paul Janssen Award in the past 13 years, including two who went on to win the Nobel Prize. The Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research was established by Johnson & Johnson in 2004. The winners are chosen by an independent selection committee of the world's most renowned scientists. The Award, which includes a $200,000 prize, will be presented to Dr. Wallace during ceremonies in the U.S. and Belgium in September.