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Awards and Honors Across Weill Cornell Medical College

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Professor of Medical Ethics Inducted to Mastership in The American College of Physicians

Joseph J. Fins, M.D., chief of the Division of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College, was elected and inducted as a Master of the American College of Physicians. The prestigious honor recognizes Dr. Fins' excellence and distinguished contributions to internal medicine.

Dr.Joseph J. Fins, chief of the Division of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College

As a Master, Dr. Fins joins a select group of physicians whose eminent careers as internists and medical teachers inspire others and set the standards in quality in medicine. Masters of the American College of Physicians are "chosen based upon candidates' strength of character, integrity, bravery, perseverance, compassion, devotion, and steadiness, as well as clinical competence." The Awards Committee of the American College of Physicians and its Board of Regents place emphasis on service as a mentor, advocacy for quality in medicine, a commitment to social justice, deep interest in people, and the creation of communities of medicine.

Dr. Fins, The E. William Davis Jr., M.D. Professor of Medical Ethics, Professor of Medicine, Professor of Public Health and Professor of Medicine in Psychiatry, is a leading expert on medical ethics and health policy who has authored more than 200 publications and several books. His research has closely examined the ethical and policy issues surrounding brain injury and disorders of consciousness, palliative care, research ethics in neurology and psychiatry, medical education and methods of ethics case consultation. He is a co-author of the landmark 2007 Nature paper describing the first use of deep brain stimulation in the minimally conscious state, developing the ethical framework for this work. His forthcoming book, "Rights Come to Mind: Brain Injury, Ethics & The Struggle for Consciousness," is under contract with The Cambridge University Press and expected to be published in early 2013. Dr. Fins is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and was most recently elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the most prestigious honors for excellence, extraordinary achievements and leadership in mathematical and physical sciences, biological sciences, social sciences, humanities and the arts, and public affairs, business and administration.

Adjunct Professor of Microbiology and Immunology Wins 2011 NVBMB Prize

Dr. Rogier Sanders, adjunct assistant research professor of microbiology and immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College

Dr. Rogier Sanders, adjunct assistant research professor of microbiology and immunology and a member of Dr. John Moore's lab, won the 2011 NVBMB Prize from the Netherlands Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The society awards the prize to the most promising young Dutch biochemist or molecular biologist with at least two years of postdoctoral experience.

Dr. Sanders, a virologist who also maintains a faculty appointment at the University of Amsterdam, is focusing his research on the structure-based design of better Envelope immunogens. His research also includes a unique combination of virus evolution strategies and X-ray analysis.

The society was established in 1927 representing students and professionals working in the area of biochemistry and molecular biology to stimulate the fields at a high professional level.

Doctoral Students Honored for Original Research

More than a half-dozen doctoral students were recognized for their original research at the 32nd Annual Vincent du Vigneaud Memorial Symposium hosted by the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences April 17. This year more than 80 posters and talks were presented by students to their colleagues and to the faculty of the school. Here are the winners:

Jamie L. McBean is a recipient of a 2012 Vincent du Vigneaud Award for Excellence for the poster presentation "Elucidation of the Substrate Profile of Protein Methyltransferase SET7/9." (Dr. Minkui Luo)

Tina El Rayes is a recipient of a 2012 Vincent du Vigneaud Award for Excellence for the poster presentation "Metastasis-Incompetent Tumors Systemically Generate Metastasis-Suppressive Niche." (Dr. Vivek Mittal)

Vidhya Rangaraju is a recipient of a 2012 Vincent du Vigneaud Award for Excellence for the oral presentation "Syn-ATP a Novel Optical Reporter of Presynaptic ATP Levels." (Dr. Timothy A. Ryan)

Kate M. Rochlin is a recipient of a 2012 Vincent du Vigneaud Awards for Excellence for the oral presentation "Identification of a Novel Splicing Factor is Required for Proper Myotendenous Junction Formation and Maintenance in Drosophila." (Dr. Mary Baylies)

William Mills is a recipient of a 2012 Vincent du Vigneaud First-Year Award for the presentation "Characterization of Szeto-Schiller Tetrapeptide/Phospholipid Binding." (Dr. Hazel Szeto)

Suranjit Mukherjee is a recipient of a 2012 Vincent du Vigneaud First-Year Award for the presentation "Development of New Heteroclitic Peptides for B702 and A3/A11 HLA Types for WT1." (Dr. David Scheinberg)

Benjamin Burnett is the recipient winner of the 2012 Vincent du Vigneaud Second-Year Award for the presentation "Kinetic Properties of Elongation Factor-Tu, GTP, and Aminoacyl-tRNA Ternary Complex from Escherichia coli." (Dr. Scott C. Blanchard)

WCMC Animal Facilities Staff Earn New Certifications

Dan Griglen, senior animal care technician at the WCMC Animal Facilities, Research Animal Resource Center at Weill Cornell Medical College received Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician (ALAT) certification.

Syed Zaidi, senior animal care technician at the WCMC Animal Facilities, Research Animal Resource Center received Laboratory Animal Technician (LAT) certification.

Horace Maine, senior animal care technician at the WCMC Animal Facilities, Research Animal Resource Center received Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician (ALAT) certification.

Isela Collazo, supervisor at the WCMC Animal Facilities, Research Animal Resource Center successfully passed the Animal Resources Exam (AR) exam.

Additional Awards and Honors

Toi Covington, administrative assistant to Germaine Arginteanu, director of fundraising programs, received a Certificate of Excellence in the Joint Office of Development.

Dr. Madelon L. Finkel, professor of clinical public health and director of the Office of Global Health Education, was honored by the Eisenhower Institute in April and invited to give a lecture on the public health considerations of unconventional drilling for natural gas (hydraulic fracturing of shale rock to release trapped natural gas). The Eisenhower Institute, located in Gettysburg, Pa., engages leaders and learners for the purpose of addressing critical issues in public policy and leadership development.

Dr. Dara Jamieson, associate professor of clinical neurology, directed a course at the American Academy of Neurology meeting in April on clinical neuroimaging. Dr. Jamieson also shared a lecture and case studies about neuroimaging of toxic-metabolic disorders.

Dr. Utthara Nayar, a postdoctoral associate in the laboratory of Dr. Ethel Cesarman, in the Department of Pathology, attended the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research and received the an AACR-Aflac, Inc. Scholar-in-Training Award.

Kunal Patel, a first-year medical student at Weill Cornell, was awarded a Medical Student Summer Fellowship from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. The fellowship provides 20 first- or second-year medical students in the United States and Canada with the opportunity to participate in neurosurgical research within an academic department of neurosurgery. Fellows receive $2,500 from the Association for at least two months to conduct this research.

Naira Rezende, a doctoral candidate in the Biochemistry and Structural Biology, Cell and Development Biology and Molecular Biology Allied program, has completed the prestigious Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship with the Committee on Science Technology and Law at the National Academy of Sciences. The fellowship is a competitive 12-week program at the National Academies designed to engage its Fellows in the analytical process that informs U.S. science and technology policy.

Victoria K. Schulman, a fourth-year graduate student at the Graduate School of Medical Sciences and a doctoral candidate who does research in Dr. Mary K. Baylies' lab in the Department of Cell & Developmental Biology, was the recipient of the American Society for Cell Biology Travel Award in December and presented her graduate research at its annual Research Conference. In addition, she was selected as one of 45 graduate students nationally to participate at the 2012 National Graduate Student Symposium in March hosted at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, where she presented graduate research work to doctors and researchers working to cure pediatric cancers.

Greta Strong, academic coordinator in the Chairman's Office of Neurology and Neuroscience, received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition by the U.S. House of Representatives in recognition of the National Council of Negro Women's honoring her with the leadership award. The award was signed by Congressman Joseph Crowley. She also received a Certificate of Special Recognition in honor of her outstanding and invaluable service to the community by U.S. Rep. Eliot L. Engel. Lastly, she also received The National Council of Negro Women - North Bronx Section "Leadership Award" from the New York state Senate and received an official citation in recognition of her exemplary service to New York on behalf of her community.

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