Awards & Accolades: June 2020


Jamie Shuda, EdD


Steven Farber, PhD


Christoph Thaiss, PhD


Scott A. Peslak, MD, PhD


Senthil Selvaraj, MD, MA

Jamie Shuda, EdD, director of life science outreach and co-principal investigator for BioEYES and director of education and outreach for the Institute of Regenerative Medicine, and Steven Farber, PhD, scientific director of BioEYES, received the 2020 Bruce Alberts Award for Excellence in Science Education from the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB). The award is focused on their work developing and disseminating Project BioEYES, which is a science education program that offers hands-on learning experiences for local K-12 students. Launching in 2002, Shuda and Farber created the program with a goal to encourage students to see themselves as capable of becoming scientists by doing science in their classroom.

Christoph Thaiss, PhD, an assistant professor of Microbiology, was selected to join the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences. Thaiss will receive four years of funding to invest in foundational research to pursue scientific breakthroughs and advance human health. The Thaiss Lab investigates how immune cells contribute to tissue maintenance—and how loss of this housekeeping function exacerbates disease. Immune functions go far beyond the ability to eliminate infections. They also play an important—albeit less understood—role in scouring tissues for damage and eliminating the harmful materials that build up in and around cells, such as the toxic plaques found in people with atherosclerosis and neurodegenerative disease.

Two fellows in the Perelman School of Medicine are among the winners of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s (DDCF) Physician Scientist Fellowship grants. Scott A. Peslak, MD, PhD, a fellow in Hematology-Oncology, and Senthil Selvaraj, MD, MA, assistant program director of the Cardiovascular Fellowship Program, are two of only six winners nationally. They will each receive $220,000 over two years. The grant specifically funds research by clinical investigators who are at the subspecialty stage of their careers, with the goal of promoting the transition of emerging physician scientists into faculty-level positions. Peslak’s award will fund the study of cellular signaling pathways in the regulation of fetal hemoglobin for the treatment of sickle cell disease. Selvaraj’s randomized trial will evaluate therapeutic exogenous ketosis in heart failure.

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