The 2014 Penn Medicine Awards of Excellence recognize faculty from The Perelman School of Medicine who exemplify the highest values of innovation, commitment to service, leadership, dedication to patient care, and scholarship and teaching. Four recipients’ distinguished work encompasses their scientific endeavors at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia:
- Gerd A. Blobel, MD, PhD; Stanley N. Cohen Biomedical Research Award
- Victoria A. Miller, PhD; Marjorie A. Bowman New Investigator Research Award
- Grant T. Liu, MD; The Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching
- Eric D. Marsh, MD, PhD; Leonard Berwick Memorial Teaching Award
“I am extremely proud of this year's distinguished recipients of the Penn Medicine Awards of Excellence,” said J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and dean of The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “The contributions of these clinicians and scientists exemplify the outstanding quality of patient care, mentoring, research, and teaching of our world-class faculty. They epitomize the preeminence and impact we all strive to achieve in our shared mission to improve human health, eradicate disease, and provide compassionate care.”
The awardees shared their reactions to this outstanding accomplishment and described some of the projects that demonstrate their drive, dedication, and professionalism. Congratulations to all of the winners!
Dr. Blobel is a hematology researcher in the Department of Pediatrics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a professor of pediatrics at The Perelman School of Medicine: “The award recognizes the highly productive people in our group who have carried out all the work and made the lab into what it is today.
“In recent years what we consider to be our breakthroughs are related to two major areas of investigation. One involves the study of higher order chromatin architecture and the development of reagents to alter it with an eye on therapeutic uses. In particular, we have developed an approach that might be suitable as a strategy to treat sickle cell anemia.
“The other involves studies into epigenetic ‘memory’ as it pertains to cell division. During mitosis our chromatin undergoes massive changes in the way it is organized, and virtually all genes are silenced, and it is believed that specific mechanisms are in place that ensure that the correct gene expression patterns are restored upon exit from mitosis. We think that such mechanisms help cells to maintain their identity and differentiation state. Our lab has gained insights into this question and in the process developed tools that are useful to investigators pursuing similar questions.”
Read our latest blog about Dr. Blobel’s work.
Dr. Miller is a psychologist and director of research for the Division of Adolescent Medicine at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, as well as an assistant professor of pediatrics: “I am so gratified to work at CHOP and Penn, with such a rich array of collaborators doing interesting and innovative work. My research on child and adolescent decision making has depended on the support of multiple clinical programs and principal investigators at CHOP, as well as an effective and talented research staff. The overall goal of my work is to identify the ways in which children and adolescents can be involved in decision making about their own health, to enhance their sense of control and facilitate effective decision making as they mature.”
Read our latest blog about Dr. Miller’s work:
Dr. Liu is a pediatric neuro-ophthalmologist and faculty member of the Ophthalmology Division at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and a professor of neurology and ophthalmology at Penn: “I have to admit that I was humbled by the Lindback Award. Looking at some of the comments about my teaching, I didn't realize that I had had such a positive influence as a teacher. To follow in the footsteps of other highly acclaimed, great teachers is really quite an honor — one that I never really expected.”
Dr. Marsh is an assistant professor of neurology and pediatrics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: “I am thrilled to have been awarded the Leonard Berwick teaching award. I work hard to infuse my clinical teaching with the basic science fundamentals that are important for all students and residents to remember during their clinical training. In my role as a physician scientist, I study the basic physiological mechanisms underlying a disease, infantile spasms, that I diagnosis and treat in children. Hence, in my day-to-day work, I attempt to merge the science and clinical realms and instill this approach to the students I teach. I find my work, going from basic mechanisms to the patient, very fulfilling and one of the most rewarding parts of my job.”