Awards won by students and Postdocs 2024 - Michael Papanicolaou Congratulations to Michael Papanicolaou, PhD, and his mentor Julio A. Aguirre Ghiso, on receipt of a Cancer Research Institute Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship. This prestigious fellowship provides funding to qualified post-doctoral fellows at leading universities around the world who pursue research in fundamental immunology or cancer immunology. In this awarded project, co-mentored by Ross Levine (Sloan Kettering) and XingXing Zhang (Einstein), Michael will investigate how age-related clonal hematopoiesis influences breast cancer dormancy and metastasis. Congratulations, Michael! 2023 - Rama Kadamb Postdoctoral fellow Dr. Rama Kadamb from the Aguirre-Ghiso lab gave an oral presentation at the Society for Melanoma Research (SMR) held at Philadelphia (06th-09th Nov 2023). In her talk, she shared findings that NR2F1, a lineage commitment and dormancy regulator transcription factor, critically regulates disseminated cancer cell dormancy in spontaneous uveal melanoma (UM). Her study reveals that NR2F1 epigenetically opposes oncogenic Gq-YAP1 signaling, which drives progression of advanced metastatic disease in UM. These findings help elucidate the mechanism for the longstanding medical mystery surrounding late relapse in UM patients and hold promise for the development of anti-metastatic therapies. 2023 - Weihan Li & Peiqi Yin Congratulations to the winners of the 2023 Dennis Shields Postdoctoral Research Prize: Weihan Li, Ph.D. Department of Cell Biology Laboratory of Dr. Robert H. Singer, Ph.D. Peiqi Yin, Ph.D. Department of Cell Biology Laboratory of Dr. Margaret Kielian, Ph.D. Please join us for the award ceremony on Tuesday, October 24, 2023, at 10:00 am, in LeFrak Auditorium of the Price Center/Block Research Pavilion. 2023 - Lindsay Gurska Lindsay Gurska, Ph.D. ’23, who recently graduated from the Gritsman lab, was a recipient of the 2023 Julius Marmur Graduate Student Research Award. In her thesis project, Lindsay teamed up with her colleagues to show that crizotinib, a drug approved for non-small cell lung cancer, can suppress aberrant signaling in cells of patients with myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN), setting the framework for initiating clinical testing of crizotinib for MPN patients. Her work has led to several awards, including the American Society of Hematology Abstract Achievement Award, and she was first author on a paper published in Clinical Cancer Research. Congratulations Lindsay and Kira! Read More 2023 - Weihan Li Dr. Weihan Li, a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Robert H. Singer, has received the prestigious NIH/NIGMS K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award from NIH/NIGMS. This award will provide 2 years of support for Dr. Li’s continued postdoctoral research at Einstein (K99 phase) followed by 3 years of independent funding after he transitions to a tenure-track faculty position (R00 phase). Dr. Li joined Albert Einstein College of Medicine as a postdoctoral fellow in November 2018 after completing his PhD in Biophysics at University of California, San Francisco. Since then, he has developed an improved RNA imaging system that has minimal perturbation to the RNA’s stability (Li, W., Maekiniemi, A. et al. Nature Methods 2022), and was recognized with the American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship. Dr. Li’s K99/R00 project is entitled "The Spatial Coordination Between Cytosolic and Mitochondrial Translation”. Congratulations Weihan on this first step to a successful future career! 2023 - Nayem Haque Nayem Haque has received a prestigious 2023 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) scholarship. NSF fellows receive an annual stipend for three years as well as funds to defray research and travel costs. Past NSF fellows include some of the nation’s most outstanding scientists, including Google co-founder Sergey Brin and former U.S Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, as well as dozens of Nobel laureates and hundreds of members of the The National Academy of Sciences. Nayem is a graduate student co-mentored in the Coleman and Parua lab. Nayem’s research focuses on elucidating the coordination between cyclin-dependent kinases and chromatin modifiers in the regulation of gene expression. Additional information about the fellowship can be found here: https://www.nsfgrfp.org. Congratulations Nayem! 2022 - Yessenia Cedeño-Cedeño Yessenia Cedeño-Cedeño received the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (F31-Diversity) by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) on December 2022 (F31GM146429). This prestigious award will support Yessenia's graduate research training for three years. She is studying the role of NMNAT1 as a nuclear NAD+ synthetase in regulating chromatin remodeling enzyme activity, changes in chromatin structure, and gene expression dynamics. The goal of the NRSA F31-Diversity Fellowship is to enhance the diversity of scientists in the health-related research workforce by supporting the research training of promising predoctoral students from diverse unrepresented backgrounds. Visit the https://researchtraining.nih.gov/programs/fellowships/F31 website for additional information on the NRSA F31 Fellowship. 2022 - John Hobbs John Hobbs received the New York Consortium for Interdisciplinary Training in: Kidney, Urological, & Hematological Research (KUHR) grant. This grant will support his graduate school research in both the Coleman and Steidl lab for 3 years, where he is studying how transcription factors dynamically regulate hematopoiesis. The aim of this award is to provide training and interdisciplinary collaboration in research related to nephrology, urology, and hematopoiesis. Information related to the KUHR grant can be found at https://nyckuhr.org/ 2022 - Jessie Larios-Valencia, a MD/PhD The Department of Cell Biology would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Jessie Larios-Valencia, a MD/PhD predoctoral candidate in the laboratory of Dr. Wenjun Guo, who was recently awarded an NIH F31 Predoctoral Individual NRSA fellowship. He will be pursuing studies dissecting the role of dedifferentiation in basal-like breast cancer. 2022 - Emily Schwenger Emily Schwenger was awarded a Google Fellowship in the category of Health Research, which will directly support her graduate research in the Steidl Lab for 2-3 years. The award is granted to innovative research in areas relevant to computer science and related fields with the intention of supporting promising PhD candidates of all backgrounds who seek to influence the future of technology. Additional information on the fellowship can be found at https://research.google/outreach/phd-fellowship/. Congratulations Emily! 2022 - Dr. Yuhong Ma Dr. Yuhong Ma, postdoctoral scientist in the laboratory of Dr. Britta Will, received one of the 2022 American Society of Hematology Scholar Awards! This prestigious and highly competitive three-year award program supports fellows and junior faculty dedicated to careers in hematology research as they transition from their training into careers as independent investigators. The award recognizes and supports Yuhong's exciting work on the role of chaperone-mediated autophagy in leukemic stem cell maintenance. Congratulations, Yuhong! 2021 - Dr. Mohd Nauman Postdoctoral fellow Dr. Mohd Nauman received a Poster Award from the Society for Glycobiology at their Annual Meeting held in San Diego on November 7-10, 2021. His poster entitled, 'Glycans that Regulate Notch Signaling in Small Intestine', by Mohd Nauman and Pamela Stanley was presented by Nauman, in person and in a short video. They discovered that deletion of Eogt, an enzyme that adds O-GlcNAc to Notch EGF repeats, rescues the altered intestinal phenotype of triple Fng knockout mice which cannot extend O-fucose on Notch EGF repeats. This study reveals an unexpected, negative regulatory role played by O-GlcNAc in Notch signaling in this context. Congratulations, Nauman! 2021 - Dr. Rajni Kumari The Department of Cell Biology would like to congratulate Dr. Rajni Kumari, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Ulrich Steidl, for receiving the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) Medal for Young Scientists 2021! This prestigious award recognizes contributions in research along with great potential to be a leader in research in the future. Every year a total of only 40 young Indian researchers are selected for this award. The INSA Young Scientists Award, considered to be the highest recognition of promise, creativity and excellence in a young scientist, is made annually to those distinguished for these attributes as evidenced by their research work carried out in India. 2020 - Dr. Rebecca Brown Congratulations to Dr. Rebecca Brown from Dr. Margaret Kielian’s lab! Rebecca is a recipient of this year’s Dennis Shields Postdoctoral Research Prize. This award recognizes her outstanding work that revealed the mechanisms used by alphavirus to selectively package its genomic RNA. 2020 - Justin Wheat, M.D./Ph.D. The Department of Cell Biology would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Justin Wheat, M.D./Ph.D. candidate, mentors Ulrich Steidl, M.D., Ph.D. and Robert H. Singer, Ph.D., who was awarded the 2020 Julius Marmur Graduate StudentResearch Award Read more ... 2020 - Dr. Rajni Kumari The Department of Cell Biology would like to congratulate Dr. Rajni Kumari, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Ulrich Steidl, who was awarded a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)! 2019 - Dr. Urvi Shah, M.D.  Congratulations to Urvi! Dr. Urvi Shah, M.D., a former Montefiore Hematology and Oncology Fellow and newly appointed faculty member of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, is the first prize winner of this year’s Henry L. Moses Award in the clinical research category. As part of her fellowship training, Dr Shah performed 2 years research in Dr. Ye’s laboratory which led to a first author publication in Blood last year. The award winning study is entitled “North American ATLL has a Distinct Mutational and Transcriptional Profile and responds to epigenetic therapies”. The Henry L. Moses awards recognize research excellence of fellows and junior faculty members of Montefiore Medical Center. Dr. Shah received the award at the annual Dinner Dance and Awards Ceremony on Saturday, March 23rd from Dr. Steven M. Safyer, President and CEO, and Dr. Victor B. Hatcher, Research Director of Montefiore Medicine. 2019 - Jiahao Chen  The Department of Cell Biology would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Jiahao Chen, an predoctoral student in the laboratory of Dr. Ulrich Steidl, who was recently awarded the 2019 Julius Marmur Graduate Student Research Awards for his study entitled “Myelodysplastic Syndromes Progression to Acute Myeloid Leukemia at the Stem Cell Level”. He will present his award-winning studies at the 23nd Annual Julius Marmur Research Symposium on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 10:00am in the 3rd Floor Lecture Hall (Forch). The entire Einstein community is invited to the Symposium. 2018 - Dr. Rebecca Brown The Department of Cell Biology would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Dr. Rebecca Brown, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Margaret Kielian, who was awarded the Charles H. Revson Senior Fellowship in Biomedical Sciences (2018-2020). 2018 - Dr. Samuel Taylor The Department of Cell Biology would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Dr. Samuel Taylor, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Ulrich Steidl, who has been awarded a two year NYSCF Druckenmiller Fellows Award! He will be pursuing studies into pharmacological inhibition of the transcription factor PU.1 as a novel treatment for acute myeloid leukemia. 2018 - Ali Zahalka  The Department of Cell Biology would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Ali Zahalka, an predoctoral student in the laboratory of Dr. Paul Frenette, who was recently awarded the 2018 Julius Marmur Research Awards for his study entitled “Adrenergic nerves activate an angio-metabolic switch in prostate cancer” (mentor: Dr. Paul Frenette). He will present his award-winning studies at the 22nd Annual Julius Marmur Research Symposium on Monday, March 19, 2018 at 10:00am in the 3rd Floor Lecture Hall (Forch). The entire Einstein community is invited to the Symposium. 2018 - Richard Piszczatowski  The Department of Cell Biology would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Richard Piszczatowski, an MD/PhD predoctoral student in the laboratory of Dr. Ulrich Steidl, who was recently awarded an NIH NRSA F30 Individual Predoctoral Fellowship Award for the project entitled "Investigating the role of Nol3 in normal and malignant hematopoiesis"! 2017 - Dr. Barnali Biswas Dr. Barnali Biswas received a poster award of $500 for her poster presented at the Dennis Shields Awards. She recently received a prestigious INSPIRE award from the Department of Science and Technology of the government of India. The award will allow her to set up her laboratory as an Assistant Professor in Mumbai at the National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health. 2017 - Dr. Advaitha Madireddy Dr. Advaitha Madireddy, Postdoctoral fellow in Cell Biology, is the recipient of a five-year K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Grant/Award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, NIH. The grant was awarded to support her study to investigate how replicative defects drive hematological abnormalities and cancer predisposition in Fanconi anemia patients. 2017 The Graduate School just announced the winners of the 2017 Julius Marmur Research Awards. Of the four winners this year, two are from the Department of Cell Biology: Halley Pierce and Robert Stanley. Congratulations to Halley and Robert and their laboratories for receiving this prestigious award! They will present their award-winning studies at the 21th Annual Julius Marmur Research Symposium on Monday, March 20, 2017. Halley Pierce Halley Pierce -- for her study entitled “Central nervous system Chrm1 signals prime hematopoietic stem cells for mobilization via a glucocorticoid mediated relay”. (mentor: Dr. Paul Frenette). Robert Stanley Robert Stanley -- for his study entitled “A myeloid tumor suppressor role for NOL3”. (mentor: Dr. Ulrich Steidl). Dr. Rebecca Brown On Dec 8th, the Department of Cell Biology would like to congratulate Dr. Rebecca Brown, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Margaret Kielian, who has been awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA F32 Postdoctoral Fellowship from the NIH. 2016 The Department of Cell Biology would like to congratulate the following four Predoctoral Fellows and their laboratories who received NIH Predoctoral Fellowship Awards. Ali Zahalka Ali Zahalka -- NIH NRSA F30 Individual Predoctoral Fellowship Award for a project entitled " Contributions of sympathetic signals to prostate cancer progression" (Sponsor, Paul Frenette, Cell Biology). Cary Weiss Cary Weiss -- NIH NRSA F30 Individual Predoctoral Fellowship Award for a project entitled "MicroRNA-22 and the microRNA-22/tet2 network as regulators of the cell fate decision in hematopoietic stem cells and in the development of myelodysplastic syndrome" (Sponsor, Keisuke Ito, Cell Biology). Sean Healton Sean Healton -- NIH NRSA F30 Individual Predoctoral Fellowship Award for a project entitled "Epigenetic activity of normal and cancer-associated mutant H1 linker histones" (Sponsor, Arthur Skolutchi, Cell Biology). Ruth Howe Ruth Howe -- NIH NRSA F30 Individual Predoctoral Fellowship Award for a project entitled "Characterizing the Novel Protein C15ORF65" (Sponsor, Ulrich Steidl, Cell Biology). 2017 - Dr. Elena Tosti  The Department of Cell Biology would like to congratulate Dr. Elena Tosti, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Winfried Edelmann, who has been awarded a fellowship from the Department of Defense. 2016 - Dr. Dachuan Zhang The Department of Cell Biology would like to congratulate Dr. Dachuan Zhang, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Paul Frenette, who has been awarded of the 2016 Julius Marmur Research Awards for his proposal, “Neutrophil aging is regulated by the microbiome". 2016 - Michael Willcockson The Department of Cell Biology would like to congratulate Michael Willcockson, an MD/PhD student in the laboratory of Dr. Arthur Skoultchi, who has been awarded an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Predoctoral Fellowship for his proposal, “Regulators of the Erythroid Terminal Differentiation Decision and their Connection to the Cell Cycle".