Northwestern University nanoscientist Chad A. Mirkin, PhD, has been named a 2013 Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate in the annual pre-Nobel Prize “Thomson Reuters Predicts Nobel Laureates” study.
Mirkin, a world-renowned leader in nanotechnology research and its application, is being recognized for his contributions to DNA nanotechnology. He is a professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, as well as a professor of chemical and biological engineering, biomedical engineering, and materials science and engineering. He is director of Northwestern’s International Institute for Nanotechnology.
One significant example of his work is the invention of spherical nucleic acids (SNAs), new globular forms of DNA and RNA often surrounding a nanoparticle core. These structures have enabled major advances in chemistry, materials science, biology, and medicine, and they form the basis for more than 700 products commercialized by licensees of the technology. Mirkin has created the fundamental design rules for using such structures as artificial atoms and DNA as bonds to program the formation of matter comprised of nanoparticles.
Tanya Simuni, MD, the Arthur C. Nielsen, Jr. Research Professor in Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders and director for the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center, has been awarded $10+ million funding from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for a Phase 3 multicenter study of isradipine as a potential disease-modifying agent in patients with early Parkinson’s disease (PD).
The five-year study, conducted in conjunction with the University of Rochester which will serve as the coordination center, will include 56 sites in North America. This study is an example of the bench-to-bedside effort at Northwestern Medicine®, as it stems from long-term collaborative work with D. James Surmeier, PhD, department chair and the Nathan Smith Davis Professor of Physiology at Feinberg, which is based upon his efforts at the Morris K. Udall Centers of Excellence for Parkinson’s Disease Research. Results of the recently completed Phase II STEADY PD study were published in the journal Movement Disorders. This will be the only Phase III trial currently being funded by the National Institutes of Health that tests disease-modifying therapies in PD.
Stephen B. Hanauer, MD, a distinguished physician-scientist and international leader in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, joined the Feinberg School of Medicine on Jan. 1, 2014, as the Clifford Joseph Barborka Professor of Medicine and the medical director of the Digestive Disease Center.
Hanauer most recently served as the Joseph B. Kirsner Professor of Medicine, professor of clinical pharmacology, and chief of gastroenterology and nutrition at University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. He also served as director of the Logan Center for Gastrointestinal Clinical Research and co-director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research Center at Pritzker.
“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Hanauer to the medical school and Northwestern Medicine®,” says Eric G. Neilson, MD, Feinberg’s vice president for medical affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean. “His focus on Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and reputation as a leading scholar of digestive diseases will greatly enhance our focus in these complicated scientific disorders.”
Sharon A. Blattner, MEd, PA-C, director of clinical education for the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program, received a clinical education award from the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA).
The award was presented at their 2013 Annual Education Forum.
“There are so many talented individuals in this field and to be chosen to receive this award is humbling,” Blattner says. “…I challenge all my PA colleagues to continue to pursue novel approaches to teaching so that our physician assistant students will be leading providers on tomorrow’s healthcare teams.”
Alfred L. George Jr., MD, a recognized leader in the field of ion channel proteins, has been named the Magerstadt professor of pharmacology and chair of the Department of Pharmacology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, effective March 1, 2014. George will also direct a new Center for Pharmacogenomics to advance Northwestern Medicine’s® entry into personalized medicine.
“Al is a superb scientist with a demonstrated ability to lead and mentor the next generation of investigators in pharmacology,” says Eric G. Neilson, MD, vice president for medical affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean. “Over the past several decades he has established his credentials in the fundamental science surrounding ion channel biology… . I look forward to his arrival at Feinberg and the expertise that he will bring.”
George was most recently the Grant W. Liddle Professor of Medicine, professor of pharmacology, chief of genetic medicine, and director of the Institute for Integrative Genomics at Vanderbilt University.
The awards, two from the National Institutes of Health and one from the ALS Association, will fund projects investigating the molecular mechanisms behind the disease, further studying a gene crucial to the lab’s most recent discovery, and creating new mouse models.
“We have come to realize that there are multiple genes involved in ALS,” says Ozdinler, a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. “One of our goals is to identify the pathways these genes affect.”
John E. Pandolfino, MD, has been appointed the Hans Popper Professor and chief of gastroenterology-hepatology in the Department of Medicine.
An internationally recognized gastroenterologist, Dr. Pandolfino specializes in esophageal disorders. He and his colleagues in the interdepartmental Esophageal Center have built one of the pre-eminent gastroenterology programs in the world for research and patient care.
“John has established himself as a leader in the field of esophageal disorders, and has also proven himself to be a terrific collaborator and team player,” says Douglas E. Vaughan, MD, chair of medicine. “I have no doubt that the division will thrive under his leadership.”
Kathryn Radigan, MD, instructor in Medicine-Pulmonary and Critical Care, has received an Early Career Investigator Award from the American Thoracic Society Foundation to aid her investigation into the relationship between a deficiency in the hormone leptin that regulates appetite and obesity and an increased susceptibility to influenza A-induced lung injury.
“Patients with obesity experienced significant mortality during the recent H1N1 outbreak,” Dr. Radigan says. “These studies may identify novel targets for therapeutic drug development in influenza A-infected patients. I plan to employ sophisticated genetic models to help answer mechanistic questions about leptin signaling.”