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FASEB Announces 2022 Excellence in Science Award Recipients

Wednesday, September 7, 2022
FASEB bestowed the 2022 Excellence in Science Awards to three scientists in the biological and biomedical sciences:
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Arlene H. Sharpe, MD, PhD, Harvard Medical School
  • Mid-Career Investigator Award: Sallie R. Permar, MD, PhD, Weill Cornell Medicine
  • Early-Career Investigator Award: Smita Krishnaswamy, PhD, Yale University

The awards are given to female scientists demonstrating not only excellence and innovation in their research fields, but exemplary leadership and mentorship as well.

“The 2022 Excellence in Science Award recipients exemplify the highest standards in the scientific community,” says Kevin C. Kregel, PhD, Executive Vice President/Provost at the University of Iowa and FASEB President. “Our award recipients are carrying forward FASEB’s rich history of honoring female scientists who are creating an impact in the biological and biomedical research community. It is a privilege to honor Drs. Sharpe, Permar, and Krishnaswamy for their contributions to the scientific community.” 

Lifetime Achievement Award: Arlene H. Sharpe, MD, PhD
The FASEB Excellence in Science Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes that Arlene Sharpe’s influence in the field of immunology extends well beyond the lab through her passionate training and mentoring of the next generation of scientists. While known for her contributions to paradigm-shifting discoveries in effective treatments for cancer, chronic viral infections, and autoimmune diseases, Sharpe has also made equally substantial contributions by promoting the career development of the next generation of scientists. Throughout her career, she has also provided service on national advisory committees and organizations to foster basic, translational, and clinical research. 

“Dr. Sharpe has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in medical research and education. Her scientific discoveries are among the best examples of bench-to-bedside work in the past 25 years,” says George Daley, MD, PhD, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Harvard University and supporter of Sharpe’s nomination for the award.

A distinguished pathologist and immunologist, Sharpe is the George Fabyan Professor of Comparative Pathology and chair of the Department of Immunology at Harvard Medical School. She is also a member of the Department of Pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a member at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and leader of the Cancer Immunology Program at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. 

Mid-Career Investigator Award: Sallie R. Permar, MD, PhD
Sallie Permar, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine and Pediatrician-in-Chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital, is the recipient of the Mid-Career Investigator Award. 

She is also the Nancy C. Paduano Professor in Pediatrics and Professor of Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine and Professor in the Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis Program at Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences.

Permar has assumed major leadership roles in training research-oriented clinicians, including serving as director of the National Institute of Child Health and Development Pediatric Scientists Development Program, which is a national program established by the Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs to develop pediatrician scientists across the United States and Canada. 

In addition to her leadership role in education and mentoring, the award recognizes Permar’s stellar track record in pediatrics and immunology research, most notably the prevention and treatment of neonatal viral infections. She has made important contributions to the development of vaccines for the prevention of vertical HIV transmission, defining both innate and adaptive immune responses that are associated with protection against infant HIV acquisition. 

Early-Career Investigator Award: Smita Krishnaswamy, PhD
Smita Krishnaswamy, Assistant Professor of Genetics and Computer Science at Yale School of Medicine and Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science, is widely known as one of the most innovative and creative scientists in the biological sciences. The Early-Career Investigator Award recognizes the impact Krishnaswamy’s research, teaching, and community efforts have made in the scientific community. With her background in mathematics, computer sciences, and computational biology, her research is changing how biological data are analyzed and uncovering new ways to extract meaningful biological relationships that to date have been hidden. 

Krishnaswamy’s commitment to excellence in teaching and mentoring is also shaping the future intersection of biology and data science. Through her passion for education and service, she has innovated and created new graduate courses at the interface of biology and data science. She also organized the Open Problems in Single Cell Biology effort with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Many of these classes are bringing together mathematical and computational scientists, sequencing technology developers, and biologists—an unprecedented move. In addition to her work at Yale, she mentors female high school students in her lab as summer interns. 

“Dr. Krishnaswamy has quickly risen to become a leader in machine learning and computational biology at Yale,” says Antonio J. Giraldez, PhD, Chair and Professor of Genetics at Yale School of Medicine. “Her outstanding research program, together with her educational and collaborative efforts across Yale, have built the foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.”

The Excellence in Science Award recipients will present a lecture at the annual meeting of a FASEB member society of their choice. Awards will be presented in conjunction with the lecture. More information on FASEB Excellence in Science Awards can be found here