Eight Weill Cornell Medicine faculty members have received Young Physician-Scientist Awards from the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), the most awarded to any institution this year. The 2021 award recipients are Drs. Oleh Akchurin, Parag Goyal, Jiwon Kim, John Lee, Jyoti Mathad, Santosh Murthy, Anna Nam and Lisa Giulino Roth.
One of the nation’s oldest nonprofit medical honor societies with more than 3,000 physician-scientists from all medical specialties, the ASCI seeks to support the scientific efforts, educational and mentorship needs and clinical aspirations of physician-scientists to improve the health of all people. The ASCI Council Young Physician-Scientist Awards recognize physician-scientists who are early in their first faculty appointment and have made notable achievements in their research.
Dr. Oleh Akchurin is the Rohr Family Clinical Scholar and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine, and an attending pediatric nephrologist in NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Akchurin is a recipient of the K08 Career Development Award from the NIH NIDDK, which support his studies to understand how iron impacts progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in children. Iron participates in oxygen transport in the human body, among other functions, and children with CKD do not process iron properly—which has a well-established role in the development of anemia. However, the potential direct role of iron in the development of kidney failure has not been recognized until recently. Dr. Akchurin has previously contributed to scientists’ understanding of the role of hepcidin, a master iron-regulatory hormone, in anemia and other complications in juvenile CKD. His work also revealed the complexity of the interaction between iron metabolism, iron therapy and bone health, including skeletal growth, in juvenile CKD.
Dr. Parag Goyal is an assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine with appointments in the Division of Cardiology as a board-certified heart failure cardiologist and in the Division of General Internal Medicine as a member of the core health services research faculty. Dr. Goyal serves as director of the Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction Program, and director of the Cardiac Amyloidosis Program at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Goyal’s research focuses on improving the wellbeing of older adults with heart failure, with a special focus on polypharmacy or high medication burden and deprescribing—the discontinuation of medication under supervision of a clinician. This work is supported by National Institute on Aging, American Heart Association and New York Community Trust. Current projects include development of a unique strategy to help patients and clinicians determine whether deprescribing beta-blockers can help improve symptoms and physical function in patients with heart failure.
Dr. Jiwon Kim is The Bruce B. Lerman, M.D. Clinical Scholar and an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Weill Cornell Medicine, where she is the associate director of the adult echocardiography laboratory and co-directs the cardiac MRI program. Dr. Kim studies the role of cardiovascular remodeling and its associations with clinical outcomes. Her primary research goal is to develop and test new diagnostic tools towards the goal of improving cardiac function among patients with cardiomyopathies with a particular focus on the right heart. She is the recipient of NIH K23 Career Development Award (“Advanced CMR Tissue-Based Prediction of Right Ventricular Dysfunction and Revascularization Response”) to study right ventricular remodeling to improve exercise tolerance. Her work has also focused on the design and implementation of echocardiography and cardiac MRI imaging protocols for numerous NIH and foundation sponsored studies.
Dr. John Lee is an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Lee trained under Dr. Manikkam Suthanthiran, chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, and Dr. Eric Pamer, director of the Duchossois Family Institute. Dr. Lee established a research program focused on characterizing the relationship between the bacteria in the digestive system and complications in patients with kidney disease. He has received a career development award from the National Institutes of Health and a National Kidney Foundation Young Investigator Grant. He has identified gut bacterial profiles that are associated with development of urinary tract infections, one of the most common infection in kidney transplant recipients, and has also found that gut bacteria metabolizes tacrolimus, a medication kidney transplant recipients take to prevent rejection. He has extended his studies to investigate bacterial profiles in the urine of kidney transplant recipients.
Dr. Jyoti Mathad is an assistant professor of medicine in the Departments of Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology, based at the Center for Global Health at Weill Cornell Medicine. Her research interests include how the immune changes of pregnancy impact the risk of getting infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis (TB). She has been conducting NIH-funded research on maternal-child TB in India since 2010. For the past five years, she has led the PRACHITi study, which investigates the effect of pregnancy and HIV on the immune response to TB in India. Her K23 award focuses on identifying behavioral and biologic risk factors that predict which women are at highest risk of developing active TB. She has also used the PRACHITi cohort as a platform to understand placental immunology. She is an investigator in the International Maternal, Pediatric and Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Network (IMPAACT), through which she led a multi-country trial examining how a newer regimen for the prevention of TB is metabolized and tolerated in pregnant and postpartum women.
Dr. Santosh Murthy is an assistant professor of neurology at Weill Cornell Medicine and medical director of the neurointensive care unit at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Murthy’s research interest is hemorrhagic stroke or a brain bleed. His research focuses on better understand clotting complications after a brain bleed, especially ischemic strokes and heart attacks. To mitigate clotting events in these patients, he also studies the risks and benefits of starting blood thinning medications, which are otherwise discontinued after a brain bleed. As a founding member of the Brain-Heart Taskforce of the World Stroke Organization, his research strives to improve scientific understanding of the complex relationships between the brain and the heart. Dr. Murthy’s research is currently supported by the NIH/NINDS through a K23 Career Development Award. He previously received the American Academy of Neurology clinical research training fellowship and was a Leon Levy Fellow.
Dr. Anna Nam is an assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. During her clinical training, she conducted genomics research with Dr. Dan Landau at Weill Cornell Medicine and the New York Genome Center. Her laboratory seeks to understand how DNA mutations cause blood cancers by advancing novel sequencing technologies that provide multiple layers of information for patients’ diseased cells. She is the recipient of a K08 Award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Awards for Medical Scientists and the NIH Director's DP5 Early Independence Award.
Dr. Lisa Giulino Roth is an associate professor of pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine and director of pediatric oncology at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Roth’s laboratory research focuses on identifying novel therapies for lymphomas that occur in children and young adults. She is particularly interested in lymphomas associated with Epstein Barr virus and has been studying mechanisms to modulate the virus in these tumors to allow the immune system to recognize and kill tumors. Her laboratory work is closely tied to her clinical research where she is leading several national clinical trials focused on advancing therapy for children, adolescents and young adults with Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.