Faculty in the News September

Published by daniel, on September 30, 2021

Faculty in the News September

September 30, 2021

Beverly L. Davidson, PhD, Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Director of the Raymond G. Perelman Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics and Chief Scientific Strategy Officer at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), recently published a paper in Nature, in which her lab developed a “dimmer switch” system that can control levels of proteins expressed from gene therapy vectors. The system is based on alternative RNA splicing using an orally available small molecule and works effectively in tissues throughout the body, including the brain. Read the CHOP news release

Alessandra Chesi, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, has received an R35 Genomic Innovator Award from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). The R35 award, comparable to an NIH "Leadership" or "Outstanding Investigator Award," was given to 11 award recipients nationwide to support highly innovative work by early-career investigators who have "great potential to accelerate future genomics research." Dr. Chesi is an early-career PI whose research focuses on the genetics of complex human diseases using cutting-edge genomics approaches with a specific focus on brain-related disorders. She joined the Department's faculty earlier this year. Read the NHGRI news release

Peter S. Choi, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, is the recipient of a 2021 NIH Director's New Innovator Award for his project "Exploring Hidden Determinants of Splicing with Genome-Targeted Proximity Labeling." He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University studying mechanisms of oncogene addiction with Dr. Dean Felsher and went on to do postdoctoral training in cancer genomics with Dr. Matthew Meyerson at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Broad Institute. His lab is currently interested in how RNA splicing regulates fundamental cellular processes and when perturbed, can drive the pathogenesis of diseases such as cancer.

Stephen R. Master, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Division Chief for Laboratory Medicine and Director of Metabolic and Advanced Diagnostics at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), has begun his term as President of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC), a role he will occupy from August 2021 until July 2022. Dr. Master has served as AACC’s president-elect since last August. Previous faculty members of the Department serving as AACC presidents include Drs. Michael Bennett, Larry Kricka, Peter Wilding, and Donald Young. Read the CHOP news release

Donald L. Siegel, PhD, MD, Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Director, Division of Transfusion Medicine and Therapeutic Pathology, is the recipient of the 2021 AABB Tibor Greenwalt Memorial Award And Lectureship for his development and pioneering use of antibody phage display and of antibody and chimeric antigen receptor T cell constructs in transfusion medicine and related disciplines, including autoimmune disease, dermatology, infections disease and cancer. The Award honors Tibor Greenwalt, MD, who was the first registrant at the first AABB Annual Meeting and founding editor of Transfusion. The award recognizes an individual who has made major scientific or clinical contributions to hematology, transfusion medicine or cellular therapies, and succinctly communicated these advances.

Ping Wang, PhD, DABCC, FAACC, Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, was recently selected to be a member of the Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Toxicology Devices Panel at the FDA. The panel committee reviews and evaluates data concerning the safety and effectiveness of marketed and investigational in-vitro devices for use in clinical laboratory medicine including clinical toxicology, clinical chemistry, endocrinology and oncology and makes appropriate recommendations to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs.

Xiaowei "George" Xu, MD, PhD, Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Dermatology, is one of the investigators in a melanoma research consortium at Penn Medicine and the Wistar Institute who were awarded a prestigious $11.7 million Specialized Programs of Research Excellence, or SPORE, grant from the National Cancer Institute. The five-year award will fund three new melanoma research projects that translate fundamental laboratory discoveries made in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and The Wistar Institute into new therapeutics to treat skins cancers. Read the Penn Medicine news release