Young Investigator Awards Going to Reiter, Radley, Reddien and Guttman
AAA’s Young Investigator Awards combine three long-standing AAA awards—Bensley, Herrick, and Mossman—with the recently established Morphological Sciences Award, all recognizing investigators in the early stages of their careers who have made important contributions to biomedical science through their research in cell/molecular biology, developmental biology, comparative neuroanatomy, or the morphological sciences.
This year’s Young Investigator Awards Committee was chaired by David Bilder (Univ. of California/Berkeley), Iain Cheeseman (Whitehead Institute), Andrew J. Ewald (Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Medicine), Konrad Hochedlinger (Massachusetts General Hospital), Michael J. Piper (The Univ. of Queensland), Adrian Salic (Harvard Medical School), Katja Schenke-Layland (Fraunhofer Institute), and Alexis M Stranahan (Medical College of Georgia).
Recipients of all four awards will present lectures in AAA’s Young Investigator Awards Symposium, scheduled for Sunday, April 22, 5-7 p.m., at the AAA Annual Meeting/EB 2012 in San Diego.
Jeremy Reiter Wins Bensley Award
Jeremy F. Reiter will receive the 2012 R.R. Bensley Award in Cell Biology and present an award lecture entitled “Tectonics Form a Transition Zone Complex of Ciliopathy Proteins that Regulate Ciliary Composition” at the AAA Annual Meeting during EB 2012.
The award to Reiter recognizes him for his elegant analysis of basic mechanisms of cilia structure and function, including defining key roles for a human disease-related gene in cilia assembly, analyzing the role of cilia during Hedgehog signaling in normal and cancer cells, and applying beautiful imaging-based analysis to central organismal questions.
Calling Reiter a “fearless, pioneering, interdisciplinary scientist,” nominator Graeme Davis notes that his contributions include “the first demonstration that cancer cells can be ciliated and the first demonstration that cancer cells can be dependent on cilia.” Thus, Davis says, “his recent work on the Hedgehog signaling pathway and the function of cilia has opened an exciting new research area and positions him as a leader in the field.”
Reiter, now an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics and the Cardiovascular Research Institute at UCSF, received his B.A. in molecular biochemistry and biophysics from Yale College, and his Ph.D. in developmental biology and M.D. from UCSF. After postdoctoral research at Berkeley with William C. Skarnes, he was a UCSF Fellow in the Developmental and Stem Cell Biology Program for three years prior to beginning his current position in 2006.
Among his other honors, Reiter received the March of Dimes Basil O’Connor Research Award (2004-2006), a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences (2005-2010), and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2009).
AAA’s Bensley Award is presented annually for “distinguished contribution to the advancement of anatomy, through discovery, ingenuity, and publications in the field of cell biology.”
Jason Radley Honored with Herrick Award
AAA’s 2012 C.J. Herrick Award in Neuroanatomy goes to Jason J. Radley, who will present an award lecture on “Evidence for a Limbic Cortical HPA-Inhibitory Network and Its Role in Chronic Stress-Induced HPA Axis Hyperactivity" at the AAA Annual Meeting at EB 2012.
The award recognizes Radley for his novel insights into the mechanisms underlying neural plasticity in response to stress, significance of which is underscored by the number of high quality articles he has published.
According to nominator Paul Sawchenko, Radley is “poised to make significant independent contributions to our understanding of the role of limbic mechanisms in stress adaptation, and their relevance to neuropsychiatric disorders.” Sawchenko notes that “his performance overall was solidly among the best of the postdoctoral fellows I have supervised over nearly 40 years as a faculty member at the Salk Institute.”
Radley received his B.A. in physics from Miami University and his Ph.D. in neuroscience from Princeton University. After completing neuroscience postdocs at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Radley served as a senior research associate at Salk from early 2009 to early 2011, when he moved into his current position as assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Iowa.
In addition to the AAA award, his other honors include a NARSAD Young Investigator Award, (2006-2008 and 2008-2010), an ADAA Junior Faculty Research Grant Award (2006-2007), and a NIDA Postdoctoral National Research Service Award (2001-03).
AAA’s Herrick Award is given annually “to recognize young investigators who have made important contributions to the field of comparative neuroanatomy and have demonstrated remarkable promise of future accomplishments.”
Morphological Sciences Award to Julian Guttman
Julian A. Guttman will receive AAA’s Morphological Sciences Award and present an award lecture on “Knocking E. Coli Off of Their Pedestals: Understanding the Strategies Microbes Exploit to Generate Morphological Structure during their Disease Processes” at the AAA Annual Meeting during EB 2012.
The award to Guttman recognizes him as an emerging leader in resolving the molecular basis of host–pathogen interactions, a field with profound potential to limit the burden of human disease, through his innovative combination of morphological techniques both in vitro and in intact animal model systems.
Stating that Guttman “innovative, independent, ambitious, and resourceful,” nominator A. Wayne Vogl refers to him as “‘cell biologist/anatomist’ using morphological techniques to explore questions of microbial pathogenesis both in vitro and in intact animal model systems.
Guttman received his B.S. in biology from the University of Western Ontario, his M.Sc. in anatomy at the University of British Columbia, and his Ph.D. in anatomy and cell biology, also from UBC. Following a postdoc with Brett Finlay at UBC, he joined the Department of Biological Sciences at Simon Fraser University as an assistant professor in 2007.
Guttman joined AAA as a student in 2000 and was served as Student/Postdoctoral Member on the AAA Board from 2005-2007 and currently serves on the ACYA and the Membership Committee. He received AAA’s Presley-Zeiss Young Investigator Award (2000; 2002), Postdoctoral Fellow Poster Presentation (2006), Postdoctoral Fellow Platform Presentation Award (2007), and the Keith & Marion Moore Young Anatomist Publication Award (2008). Among his other honors, Guttman won the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Doctoral Research Award (2002), the Laura G. Jash Memorial Prize (2003), and the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology CIHR AstraZeneca Research Initiative Award (2004), and the CHIR New Investigator Award (2009).
AAA’s Morphological Sciences Award was established in 2008 to recognize investigators in the early stages of their careers who have made important contributions to biomedical science through research in the morphological sciences, as broadly defined, and have demonstrated remarkable promise of future accomplishments.
Mossman Award to Peter Reddien
AAA’s 2012 Harland Winfield Mossman Award in Developmental Biology goes to Peter W. Reddien, who will present an award lecture entitled “The Cellular and Molecular Basis for Regeneration in Planarians”at the AAA Annual Meeting at EB 2012.
The award recognizes Reddien for his seminal contributions to the field of tissue regeneration by studying its underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms. Using planaria as a model system, Reddien has demonstrated the pluripotent stem cell-like nature of the regenerative source tissue and defined key pathways involved in regeneration.
According to nominator David Page, Reddien is an exceptionally clear thinker with a great breadth of knowledge, and…his model system will continue to bear fruit throughout his career as well as provide a gateway to the study of regenerative biology and epigenetics in general.” Moreover, Page says, “his remarkable clarity of thought is articulated in his talks.”
Reddien did his undergraduate work in molecular biology at the University of Texas, Austin, then completed his Ph.D. in biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After being an HHMI Postdoctoral Fellow in H.R. Horvitz’s lab at MIT and a postdoc in developmental biology in the laboratory of A. Sánchez Alvarado at the University of Utah, he joined the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and served as assistant professor at MIT from 2005-2009, becoming an associate professor in 2010.
Among his honors, Reddien received an NSF graduate fellowship (1997-2000), a Helen Hay Whitney Foundation postdoctoral fellowship (2003-2005), the Searle Scholar Award (2006-2009), the W. M. Keck Foundation Distinguished Young Scholar Award (2008), and is an HHMI Early Career Scientist (2009).
AAA’s Mossman Award is presented annually “to recognize young investigators who have made important contributions to the field of developmental biology and have demonstrated remarkable promise of future accomplishments.”