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Female scientists honored at Feinstein Institute’s AWSM luncheon

Female scientists from Northwell Health’s Feinstein Institute for Medical Research received more than $300,000 in awards during the seventh annual Advancing Women in Science and Medicine (AWSM – pronounced “awesome”) luncheon to celebrate and support excellence and achievements of women in science. Since its inception, the organization has raised more than $1 million to support female scientists.

AWSM was created to highlight opportunities and collaboration among female scientists at the Feinstein Institute. AWSM comprises female faculty members who lead programs in basic, translational and clinical research. The four core initiatives of AWSM are in the areas of career development, recognition, advocacy and education, networking and mentoring.

“A main initiative for AWSM is to empower women in science and medicine to achieve their career and research goals,” said Kim Simpfendorfer, PhD, assistant professor at the Feinstein Institute and co-president of AWSM. “AWSM’s initiatives empower women to obtain financial support to grow their scientific career while making important connections which could lead to future scientific collaboration. This is all with the goal of continuing to conduct important research to help to improve the lives of patients locally and across the globe.”

Director of decision science in the Feinstein Institute’s Center for Health Innovation and Outcomes Research, and recipient of AWSM’s 2017 Alonna and Michael Ostad Innovation Award, Negin Hajizadeh, MD, MPH, spoke at the event, which was moderated by ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Jennifer Ashton, MD.

“The financial and career support of organizations like AWSM are critical to continuing my research to make sure doctors, critically ill patients and families make the most informed and unbiased decisions about their treatment options to obtain the best outcomes,” said Dr. Hajizadeh.

This year, donors contributed more than $300,000 toward AWSM awards that were distributed during the lunch to female scientists of all professional or training levels. Each award, ranging from $1,500 to $25,000, recognized scientific excellence, innovation, mentorship, education and/or training. A select few of the scientists honored at this event include:

Meggan Mackay, MD, MS Winner of the 2018 Barbara and Thomas Dooley Scientific Achievement Award, In Honor of Buddy Norris
Recognized for her work: Development of non-immunosuppressive non-psychotropic therapeutics for the neuropsychiatric lupus patients.

Yun Freudenberg-Hua, MD Winner of the 2018 Scientific Achievement Award
Recognized for her work: Genetic risk assessment-based accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

Ona Bloom, PhD Winner of the 2018 Ide and David Dangoor Scientific Achievement Award
Recognized for her work: How to promote physical recovery and overall health in persons with spinal cord injury.

Negin Hajizadeh, MD, MPH Winner of the 2018 Katz Institute for Women’s Health Partners Council Collaborative Women in Science Award
Recognized for her work: Discovering methods to increase survival in severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Lior Brimberg, PhD, (Co-president of AWSM) – Winner of the 2018 Meadowbrook Women’s Initiative Researcher-in-Training Award
Recognized for her work: The importance of the in utero environment on brain development.

Betsy Barnes, PhDWinner of the 2018 Barbara Hrbek Zucker Scientific Achievement Award
Recognized for her work: Pathologic mechanism of IRF5 genetic variation in autoimmune diseases.

Catherine Benedict, PhD Winner of the 2018 Sybil Sternlieb Innovation Award In Memory of Peter Sternlieb, MD
Recognized for her work: Understanding cancer survivors’ unmet needs post-treatment to develop support interventions using digital platforms.

Betty Diamond, MD Winner of the 2018 Americana Manhasset Scientific Achievement Award
Recognized for her work: Developing soluble molecules that reduce inflammation in multiple autoimmune diseases.

Kristina Deligiannidis, MDWinner of the 2018 Innovation Award In Memory of Anita Ross & Marian Marsh
Recognized for her work: Understanding how sex hormones affect brain chemistry in postpartum depression.

Barbara Sherry, PhDWinner of the 2018 The Paul Foundation Innovation Award
Recognized for her work: Harnessing the immune system to treat cancer.

Gloria Ho, PhDWinner of the 2018 Rita Ranieri Innovation Award
Recognized for her work: Risk factors for lung cancer, and the role of immune response in lung cancer prognosis.

Sun Jung Kim, PhD Winner of the 2018 Anna and Brian Ruane Innovation Award
Recognized for her work: Genetic alteration in immune cells in lupus.

Chunyan Li, PhD Winner of the 2018 RXR Realty Innovation Award
Recognized for her work: Selective therapeutic targeting and personalized medicine to traumatic injuries.

Rachel Bond, MD – Winner of the 2018 Margaret Crotty Innovation Award
Recognized for her work: Development non-invasive evaluation and treatment for heart disease.

Christine Metz, PhD Winner of the 2018 Susan Claster Collaborative Women in Science Award
Recognized for her work: Developing novel methods to improve the understanding and diagnosis of endometriosis.

Allison Marziliano, PhD – Winner of the 2018 Lisa Martin Osler Society Post-Doctoral Award
Recognized for her work: Psychosocial aspects of cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Melissa Pittard – Winner of the 2018 St. Catherine’s Philoptochos Girl Scout Award
Selected for a summer internship with mentor Sun Jung Kim, PhD.

Nicole Fauci Winner of the 2018 Susan Novick Girl Scout Award
Selected for a summer internship with Betty Diamond, MD.

For more information about AWSM click here or email AWSM.Feinstein@northwell.edu. To support the AWSM organization, visit https://support.northwell.edu/AWSM.

About the Feinstein Institute
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is the research arm of Northwell Health, the largest healthcare provider in New York. Home to 50 research laboratories and to clinical research throughout dozens of hospitals and outpatient facilities, the Feinstein Institute includes 4,000 researchers and staff who are making breakthroughs in molecular medicine, genetics, oncology, brain research, mental health, autoimmunity, and bioelectronic medicine – a new field of science that has the potential to revolutionize medicine. For more information about how we empower imagination and pioneer discovery, visit FeinsteinInstitute.org.

Contact: Heather E. Ball Mayer
516-465-4917
hball@northwell.edu

SOURCE The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

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