2014 Fishman Fund Awards announced

| Written by rbruni
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Three gifted and promising young postdoctoral researchers were presented the prestigious Fishman Fund Award at the annual ceremony on October 2. More than 50 generous benefactors and past award winners joined the celebration to congratulate the young scientists and encourage them to continue their research careers.

Mary Bradley and Reena Horowitz established the Fishman Fund Awards in 2001 to honor Dr. William and Lillian Fishman, founders of Sanford-Burnham (previously known as the La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation). Dr. and Mrs. Fishman were committed to fostering the careers of young scientists. The Fishman Fund committee honors our founders’ dedication to furthering the careers of young scientists by gathering each autumn to select exceptional young postdocs for the honor. The award provides the means and incentive to further the recipients’ professional development.

During the ceremony, Sanford-Burnham CEO Perry Nisen, M.D., Ph.D., talked of the vital role postdocs play at the Institute and reiterated the importance of supporting the next generation of principal investigators. Stefan Grotegut, Ph.D., a previous winner of the award, presented the keynote speech, sharing with the audience how the award has been instrumental to his successful scientific career.

The awards were then presented to:

Hongbo Pang, Ph.D. — Pang is studying how to achieve targeted drug delivery into cells of choice, which is expected to greatly increase the effectiveness of current anticancer therapies, while reducing side effects. He currently works in the lab of Erkki Ruoslahti, M.D., Ph.D., where he is examining a novel class of peptides, short sequences of amino acids, that can lead drugs into tumors, especially those “hidden” regions normally out of reach for current drugs.

Emily Y. Smith, Ph.D. — Smith conducts research in the lab of Daniel Kelly, M.D., at our Lake Nona campus. She seeks to elucidate the mechanisms by which exercise enhances energy metabolism in skeletal muscle. She hopes to identify novel pathways that function to increase muscle fuel-burning capacity to discover new approaches to combating obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Karthik Bodhinathan, Ph.D.— Bodhinathan studies the molecular basis of neurodegeneration in the laboratory of Stuart Lipton M.D., Ph.D. His research focuses on the molecules that regulate communication between neurons in the brain. Specifically, he is investigating the role of ion channels in the pathology of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and several neuro-cognitive disorders.

We wish them well and look forward to watching their budding careers flourish!


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