Catching up with the School of Medicine

Personal awards and honors include prestigious awards and memberships, power lists, and research funding

Lois Arend, an associate professor of pathology and an internationally recognized expert in kidney diseases, has been elected president of the Renal Pathology Society for 2023. Arend has served the RPS as treasurer, councilor, and vice president. At Johns Hopkins, she directs all clinical fellowships within the Pathology Department, as well as the Renal Pathology Fellowship Program, and is co-director of the Renal Pathology Diagnostic Service at Johns Hopkins Hospital. As RPS president, Arend will focus on efforts to support and enhance diagnostic renal pathology services in developing countries.

Jessica Ballou, chief resident in the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, has been inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society by the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She is one of six residents recognized this year for their "compassion, humanism, and dedication to patients and students alike, making a deeply positive and lasting impact on their education." Ballou's professional interests focus on burn and trauma reconstruction with an emphasis on incorporating surgical palliative care.

Mary Catherine Beach, a professor of medicine, has received an Excellence in Medical Ethics Award from the Society of General Internal Medicine. The award promotes and rewards outstanding contributions to the field of medical ethics, including not only traditional scholarship such as publication of research but also viewpoint articles, educational materials, popular writing, oral presentations, and efforts to influence health policy. The selection committee noted Beach's work on patient-physician communication and respect for patients, and it said that her patient-centered care in HIV, sickle cell disease, and other conditions has been pioneering and fundamental. It also pointed out that she has had a deep influence as a mentor and educator.

Joel Blankson, a professor of medicine and of molecular and comparative pathobiology, has been elected by the American Society of Microbiology as a 2023 fellow of the organization's American Academy of Microbiology. Election to the academy—an honorific leadership group and think tank within the ASM—is based on a person's "record of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology." Blankson's areas of expertise are HIV pathogenesis and infectious disease, including the natural control of HIV-1 infection. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he increased understanding of the immune system's response to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease.

Neil Bressler, the James P. Gills Professor of Ophthalmology at Wilmer Eye Institute, has been named to the Power List 2023 by Ophthalmologist magazine. The list recognizes the work and impact of the 100 most influential people in ophthalmology. Bressler focuses on retinal diseases, with special interest in diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.

John Carey, a professor and chief of the Division of Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, was inducted into the Distinguished Teaching Society at Johns Hopkins in May. Carey is also director of the Lloyd B. Minor Center for Vestibular and Skull Base Sciences, as well as program director of Otolaryngology's Neurotology Fellowship Program. DTS is a student-organized honor society for outstanding clinical educators. Carey was selected for meeting the highest standard in clinical teaching excellence.

Jeanne M. Clark, a professor of medicine and director of the Division of General Internal Medicine, has received the 2023 Chief's Recognition Award from the Association of Chiefs & Leaders of General Internal Medicine. The award is given annually to the GIM division chief who best represents excellence in division leadership. Clark was nominated for the award by many of her colleagues. The selection committee noted that Clark "stood out as a dedicated leader who has continued to develop a highly successful division with many impressive programs supporting both clinician educators and clinician investigators."

Mark Donowitz, a professor in the Department of Medicine's Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and in the Department of Physiology, gave the 15th Hans H. Ussing Lecture in April at the American Physiological Society Summit in Long Beach, California. This is an honorary lecture by a scientist who has made major contributions to the areas of epithelial biology and transport. Donowitz was selected for his studies on how the physiologic mechanisms of intestinal salt and water transport are regulated and become abnormal in diarrheal disease, the understanding of which can lead to drug development for treating diarrhea. He joins a long list of distinguished physiologists to give the lecture and is the second Johns Hopkins Medicine faculty member honored, after Peter Agre, who gave the lecture after winning the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2003.

Andrea Fava, an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, has been awarded the Lupus Innovation Award from the nonprofit Lupus Research Alliance. This prestigious award provides funding and support for lupus research that is considered pioneering. Fava's research focuses on exploring ways to treat and prevent kidney damage from lupus. He plans to use the funding from the alliance to develop a liquid biopsy test that will use urine samples to detect early kidney damage and inflammation. The work may lead to novel treatment and clinical management strategies that prevent severe kidney damage and kidney failure in people with lupus.

Aaron Hauptman, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, has received the Sidney R. Baer Jr. ANPA (American Neuropsychiatric Association) Career Development Award. Hauptman, who is also a pediatric and adult neuropsychiatrist at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, was honored for his work as a clinical educator and as an advocate for pediatric neuropsychiatry. The award recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of a neuropsychiatry, behavioral neurology, or neuropsychology advanced trainee or faculty member within five years of completing postgraduate education. The award was presented in March during the 33rd annual ANPA meeting, held in Boston.

Helen Hughes, an assistant professor of pediatrics, medical director for Johns Hopkins Medicine's Telemedicine Office, and medical director of Pediatric Telemedicine for Johns Hopkins Children's Center, has been named one of The Daily Record's Leading Women Under 40. As an administrative leader, researcher, and clinician, Hughes collaborates with diverse teams to bring the use of digital health tools to patients and improve their access to health care. The Leading Women Under 40 awards honor work educating future leaders, advocacy and service for communities, and commitment to inspiring change.

Matthew Johnson, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, has been named a Verywell Mind 25 honoree. Verywell Mind is a website providing health and wellness information by health professionals with a particular focus on mental health. Johnson's primary research since 2004 has been in psychedelics and other psychoactive drugs. He has published numerous papers, been interviewed by prominent news outlets about psychedelics and other drugs, and been featured on podcasts promoting mental health and well-being. The Verywell Mind 25 celebrates the top thought leaders, experts, and advocates making a positive impact on mental health today. Winners were chosen by a panel of judges who analyzed the quality and accuracy of their work.

Amir Kashani, the Boone Pickens Professor of Ophthalmology and an associate professor of ophthalmology at Wilmer Eye Institute, has received two awards from the National Institutes of Health: the National Eye Institute Director's Award and the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center CEO Award. The awards recognize Kashani for his contributions to the delivery of an induced pluripotent stem cell–derived retinal pigment epithelium monolayer into a human subject in the United States.

Maximilian F. Konig, an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology and a physician-scientist in the Ludwig Center for Cancer Genetics and Therapeutics, has been awarded the Lupus Innovation Award from the Lupus Research Alliance. This award recognizes pioneering research to overcome major diagnostic and therapeutic challenges in lupus. Konig's team focuses on the development and application of first-in-class precision immunotherapy approaches for antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), a major cause of thrombosis, pregnancy loss, and death in patients with lupus. The research could lay the groundwork for highly optimized treatments for APS and other autoimmune diseases that would eliminate disease-causing B cells without harming normal B cells—a critical step in avoiding treatment-related complications such as infection.

Shinjini Kundu, a resident and researcher in the Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, has been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. She joins a class of new young leaders from around the world that includes nearly 100 individuals with exceptional accomplishments in technology, business innovation, and more. Kundu's research focuses on using artificial intelligence in medical images to identify patterns and abnormalities that the human eye may not see. Using this technology, physicians can diagnose patients' diseases earlier and more accurately, potentially improving treatments and health outcomes. Previously, Kundu was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 and MIT Technology Review 35 Under 35 lists.

Amanda Lauer, an associate professor of otolaryngology and neuroscience, has been elected a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America. This honor is bestowed on nominees who have provided outstanding service or made other notable contributions to the advancement or diffusion of the knowledge of acoustics. The overall goals of Lauer's research are to understand the link between perceptual deficits associated with hearing loss and auditory brainstem changes, how the brain contributes to auditory dysfunction and plasticity via olivocochlear efferent feedback loops, and the comparative pathobiology of the auditory system.

Arik Marcell, an associate professor in Pediatrics–Adolescent Medicine, and Annemarie McCartney Swamy, Adolescent Medicine fellow, have received the 2023 Vaughn Rickert Vaccine Research Award from the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine for their abstract "A System-Level Approach to Improve Uptake of First COVID-19 Vaccine Dose Among Various Age Groups Within a Primary Care Setting: The Value of Health Educators." The award was presented in March during the society's annual meeting in Chicago.

Susan Mirabal, a General Internal Medicine fellow, has been honored with the Fatemeh Vahabzadeh Award for Cross-Collaborative Research. The award, which was presented by the GIM Fellowship, recognized Mirabal for her stakeholder-engaged work across multiple medical education projects.

Fatemeh Rajaii, an assistant professor of ophthalmology at Wilmer Eye Institute, has been given a Physician-Scientist Award by Research to Prevent Blindness/American Academy of Ophthalmology. The award is designed to allow physicians to devote more time to clinical research activities, providing greater opportunities for specialized study with direct application to the human condition.

Mariah Robertson, an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, has been awarded the Geriatric Academic Career Award through the Health Resources and Services Administration. This award offers $350,000 over four years to support Robertson's educational efforts in the Baltimore community. Her primary project will use arts-based teaching, specifically visual thinking strategies, to help learners examine the biases and perspectives they bring to home and community environments. This work will align with the Age-Friendly Health System efforts already in place at Johns Hopkins Medicine and help further the educational work being done in Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology.

Charles Della Santina, a professor of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery and of biomedical engineering, has been inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering College of Fellows. The AIMBE honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering and medicine research, practice, or education" and to "the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of medical and biological engineering or developing/implementing innovative approaches to bioengineering education." Della Santina was nominated and elected by peers for his "pioneering contributions to research and development of vestibular implants to aid individuals disabled by loss of inner ear function."

Adrienne Scott, an associate professor of ophthalmology at Wilmer Eye Institute, has received a 2022 Clinical Excellence Award for Best Consulting Physician—Johns Hopkins Hospital from Johns Hopkins Medicine. The awards are given in recognition of clinicians whose work has demonstrated consistent excellence. Scott is a retina specialist who treats patients across the spectrum of vitreoretinal medical and surgical diseases, including macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachments, and more.

Stephen D. Sisson, a professor of medicine and vice president of clinical operations for the Office of Johns Hopkins Physicians, has been appointed president-elect of the American College of Physicians for April 2023&ndash24 and president of the ACP for April 2024–25.

Uri Soiberman, an associate professor of ophthalmology at Wilmer Eye Institute, has received a Physician-Scientist Award from the organization Research to Prevent Blindness. Soiberman's award will fund his work developing the first topical medical treatment for keratoconus, a vision disorder that occurs when the cornea becomes misshapen and causes vision distortion.

Corey Tapper, an assistant professor of palliative medicine in the Department of Medicine, has been selected to serve on the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Item-Writing Task Force for the American Board of Internal Medicine. His term runs from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2025, and he may opt for another term after that. He will be working on board question development and improvement for the initial certification, recertification, and longitudinal knowledge assessment exams.

Robert Wood, a professor of pediatric immunology and director of Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology at Johns Hopkins Children's Center, has been awarded the Distinguished Clinician Award from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Wood was recognized for his commitment to patient care and clinical investigation focused on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of asthma and allergic disease. The award was presented in February at the organization's meeting in San Antonio.

Christiana Zhang, an assistant professor of medicine, has received the 2023 Lisa J. Heiser Award for Junior Faculty Contribution in Education from the School of Medicine's Institute for Excellence in Education. The IEE's selection committee said that Zhang's commitment to advancing education of the highest quality in so many settings and formats at Johns Hopkins and beyond is truly remarkable and worthy of recognition. Zhang's areas of expertise include women's primary care, internal medicine, and medical education. The committee also said that Zhang's thoughtful teaching philosophy truly reflects the spirit of the award and the work of Lisa Heiser, an assistant dean for faculty development and equity at Johns Hopkins Medicine until her death in June.

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