Awardees

2020

Naftali Kaminski .'s picture
Naftali Kaminski ., M.D.
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary); Section Chief, Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine

Innovation: Sobetirome: Thyroid Hormone Mimetics for Pulmonary Fibrosis and COVID19 respiratory disease


Dr. Naftali Kaminski is, as of July 1st, 2013, the Boehringer-Ingelheim Endowed Professor of Internal Medicine and Chief of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, at Yale School of Medicine. Before that he was a tenured professor of Medicine, Pathology, Computational Biology and Human Genetics, and the Dorothy P. and Richard P. Simmons Endowed Chair for Pulmonary Research at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Kaminski was the director of the Dorothy P. and Richard P. Simmons Center for Interstitial Lung Disease and the Lung, Blood and Vascular Center for Genomic Medicine at the division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine in University of Pittsburgh. Dr Kaminski received his medical degree from the Hebrew University - Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem, Israel, and completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Hadassah Mount-Scopus University Hospital in Jerusalem, and a fellowship in pulmonary medicine at Sheba Medical Center in Tel-Hashomer, Israel. Dr Kaminski received his basic science training in Dean Sheppard’s laboratory at the Lung Biology Center at UCSF and in functional genomics and microarray technology at the Functional Genomics laboratory at Roche Bioscience, Palo-Alto. After his fellowship in 2000, Dr. Kaminski was appointed head of Functional Genomics at Sheba Medical Center in Israel, before being recruited to head the Simmons Center at the University of Pittsburgh in 2002.

John Deacon Ph.D.'s picture
John Deacon Ph.D.
Associate Research Scientist

Innovation: Cytosolix: novel small molecule oncology drugs that target a universal biomarker of solid tumors

Ya Ha's picture
Ya Ha, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Pharmacology

InnovationA novel chemical approach to target p53 mutation in human cancer

Akiko Iwasaki Ph.D.'s picture
Akiko Iwasaki Ph.D.
Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Immunobiology and Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology; Professor of Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

InnovationCynAxis: Immunological Approach to Provide Drug Access to the CNS


Akiko Iwasaki received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto (Canada) in 1998, and her postdoctoral training from the National Institutes of Health (USA) (1998-2000). She joined Yale University (USA) as a faculty in 2000, and currently is an Investigator of the HHMI and Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Department of Immunobiology, and of Department of Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology. Akiko Iwasaki’s research focuses on the mechanisms of immune defense against viruses at the mucosal surfaces. Her laboratory is interested in how innate recognition of viral infections lead to the generation of adaptive immunity, and how adaptive immunity mediates protection against subsequent viral challenge.

Ranjit S. Bindra's picture
Ranjit S. Bindra, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Therapeutic Radiology

InnovationAthena Therapeutics - Targeting cancer at its core


Dr. Ranjit Bindra is a physician-scientist at Yale School of Medicine and Co-Director of the Yale Brain Tumor Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital. In the laboratory, his group recently led a team of four major laboratories at Yale, which reported the stunning discovery that IDH1/2-mutant tumors harbor a profound DNA repair defect that renders them exquisitely sensitive to PARP inhibitors. This work was published in Science Translational Medicine, and Nature, and it has received international attention with major clinical implications Dr. Bindra is now translating this work directly into patients, in four phase I/II clinical trials, including an innovative, biomarker-driven trial specifically targeting the Adolescent/Young Adult (AYA) cancer patient population. In addition, he is lead co-PI of a 35-site, NCI-sponsored Phase II trial testing the PARP inhibitor, olaparib, in adult IDH1/2-mutant solid tumors (NCT03212274). As a biotech entrepreneur he recently co-founded Cybrexa Therapeutics, a Series B round-funded company focused on developing an entirely new class of small molecule DNA repair inhibitors, which directly target the tumor microenvironment. Dr. Bindra received his undergraduate degree in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University in 1998, and both his MD and PhD from the Yale School of Medicine in 2007. He completed his medical internship, radiation oncology residency, and post-doctoral research studies at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in 2012.

Jeffrey Bender M.D.'s picture
Jeffrey Bender M.D.
Robert I. Levy Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) and Professor of Immunobiology; Associate Chief, Cardiovascular Medicine, Internal Medicine; Director, Yale Cardiovascular Research Center, Internal Medicine

InnovationAn Enhancing miRNA Target-based Oligonucleotide Therapy for the Treatment of Uveitis and Other Inflammatory Disorders

Barbara Ehrlich's picture
Barbara Ehrlich, Ph.D.
Professor of Pharmacology and of Cellular And Molecular Physiology

InnovationNCS1 - A New Target for Wolfram Syndrome

Sidi Chen Ph.D.'s picture
Sidi Chen Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Innovation: MAEGI Medicine - New Paradigm of Immune Gene Therapy


Sidi Chen joined the Yale Faculty in 2015 as an assistant professor in the Department of Genetics and Systems Biology Institute, also as a member of the Yale Cancer Center and the Yale Stem Cell Center. Chen earned a PhD in evolutionary genetics from The University of Chicago with an award-winning dissertation with Dr. Manyuan Long. After graduation he performed postdoctoral studies at MIT under the mentorship of Dr. Phil Sharp, and also the Broad Institute working with Dr. Feng Zhang. His research focuses on providing a global understanding of biological systems. Chen developed and applied genome editing and high-throughput screening technologies, precision CRISPR-based in vivo models of cancer, global mapping of functional drivers of cancer oncogenesis and metastasis. More recently, he developed novel systems that enable rapid identification of novel immunotherapy targets and new modalities of cancer immunotherapy. Dr. Chen received a number of national and international awards including the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fellow, Dale Frey Award for Breakthrough Scientists, AACR NextGen Award for Transformative Cancer Research, TMKF Innovative/Translation Cancer Research Award, BCA Exceptional Research Grant Award, MRA Young Investigator Award, V Scholar, Bohmfalk Scholar, Ludwig Family Foundation Award, St. Baldrick’s Foundation Award, CRI Clinic & Laboratory Integration Program (CLIP), MIT TechReview Regional 35 Innovators, and Sontag Foundation Distinguished Scientist Award.

Choukri Ben Mamoun's picture
Choukri Ben Mamoun, Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and of Microbial Pathogenesis

InnovationEliV5: First-in-Class Antifungal Agents


Choukri Ben Mamoun is an Associate Professor at Yale with a primary appointment inthe Department of Internal Medicine and a secondary appointment in the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis. He received his Ph.D. in 1996 in Molecular Microbiology in France from University of Paris XI and Insitut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon.

In 1996, he joined the Department of Molecular Microbiology at Washington University as a Research Fellow of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and in 2000 became a faculty member at University of Connecticut Health Center. In 2009, he joined the faculty at the Yale School of Medicine as a Principal Investigator with a focus on the biology and therapy of the protozoan parasites that cause human malaria and babesiosis. 

Andrew Miranker - Ph.D.'s picture
Andrew Miranker - Ph.D.
Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

InnovationBreaking toxin propagation in multiple system atrophy

 
Mark A. Lemmon's picture
Mark A. Lemmon, Ph.D., FRS
David A. Sackler Professor of Pharmacology; Associate Cancer Center Director for Basic Science, Yale Cancer Center; Co-director, Cancer Biology Institute

InnovationDrugging Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva


Mark Lemmon, PhD was appointed the Co-Director of the Cancer Biology Institute and the David A. Sackler Professor of Pharmacology in 2015. Dr. Lemmon returns to Yale, where he completed his PhD in 1993, from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. At UPenn, he was the George W. Raiziss Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics as well as Chair of the department and an Investigator at the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute. Dr. Lemmon’s research focuses on the signaling pathways of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), which, when mutated cause cancers and other diseases.

Jonathan Bogan's picture
Jonathan Bogan, M.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology) and of Cell Biology

InnovationCombatting obesity through a novel mechanism

 
Peter M. Glazer's picture
Peter M. Glazer, M.D., Ph.D.
Robert E. Hunter Professor of Therapeutic Radiology and Professor of Genetics; Chair, Department of Therapeutic Radiology

Innovation: EliV5: First-in-Class Antifungal Agents


Radiation oncologist Peter M. Glazer, MD, PhD, is the chair of the Department of Therapeutic Radiology. He has dedicated his career to helping cancer patients receive the highest quality of care available in a supportive environment.

“When patients are undergoing radiotherapy for cancer, it can be a sensitive and challenging time for them and their families,” he says. “Our team does everything possible to keep our patients safe and comfortable throughout treatment.”

Dr. Glazer makes it his priority to provide patients seeking care at Smilow Cancer Hospital and its Care Centers with the most advanced technologies and evidence-based treatments. “We take great pride in giving our physicians the best tools to treat cancer,” he says.

As a professor of both therapeutic radiology and genetics at Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Glazer researches new therapeutic strategies for treating cancer and the role of altered DNA repair in tumor progression. His research was recently recognized by the National Cancer Institute of the NIH with a prestigious Outstanding Investigator Award of $7 million that will support his efforts to develop novel DNA repair inhibitors for cancer therapy.

2019

Sidi Chen's picture
Sidi Chen, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Genetics

Innovation: Powerful Platform Technologies for Novel I/O Target Identification. 


Sidi Chen joined the Yale Faculty in 2015 as an assistant professor in the Department of Genetics and Systems Biology Institute, also as a member of the Yale Cancer Center and the Yale Stem Cell Center. Chen earned a PhD in evolutionary genetics from The University of Chicago with an award-winning dissertation with Dr. Manyuan Long. After graduation he performed postdoctoral studies at MIT under the mentorship of Dr. Phil Sharp, and also the Broad Institute working with Dr. Feng Zhang. His research focuses on providing a global understanding of biological systems. Leveraging functional genomics and the emerging genome editing technologies and genome-wide in vivo screens, his work has identified and characterized young essential genes, illuminated the regulation of hypoxia and angiogenesis by microRNAs, and developed precision CRISPR-based in vivo models of cancer, and global mapping of functional drivers of cancer oncogenesis and metastasis. His laboratory currently works to develop and apply novel tools for next-generation cancer genetics, genomics and systems biology, and tackle problems in cancer initiation, progression, metastasis, immunity, and therapeutic responses. His group is also interested in developing innovative next generation immuno-oncology therapeutics. 

John Deacon's picture
John Deacon, Ph.D.
Associate Research Scientist

InnovationImproving Small Molecule Therapy Through Targeted Drug Delivery to Solid Tumors


John Deacon’s work aims to revolutionize the way cancer drugs are designed, building in tumor-targeted drug delivery for 95% of cancers through a simple chemical change that can be applied to nearly every class of cancer therapy.   He received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. in Molecular Cellular & Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder.   John joined Yale in 2012 as a postdoc in the lab of Don Engelman.  The Engelman Lab’s research focuses on an underappreciated characteristic of cancer biology – tumor acidity.  During his postdoctoral research to develop the Engelman Lab’s pHLIP technology for drug delivery, John made a discovery that launched his own research trajectory.  John invented a way to impart tumor-targeted delivery on virtually every class of small molecule drugs with just a small chemical change, producing the first orally bioavailable platform for tumor-targeted drug delivery.  John has led the development of his technology, raising over $1.5M in funding since 2015, both within the Engelman Lab and independently, and managing a large collaborative research effort.

 
Naftali Kaminski's picture
Naftali Kaminski, M.D.
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary); Section Chief, Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine

InnovationCuring Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis with Thyroid Hormone Mimetics


Dr. Naftali Kaminski is, as of July 1st, 2013, the Boehringer-Ingelheim Endowed Professor of Internal Medicine and Chief of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, at Yale School of Medicine. Before that he was a tenured professor of Medicine, Pathology, Computational Biology and Human Genetics, and the Dorothy P. and Richard P. Simmons Endowed Chair for Pulmonary Research at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Kaminski was the director of the Dorothy P. and Richard P. Simmons Center for Interstitial Lung Disease and the Lung, Blood and Vascular Center for Genomic Medicine at the division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine in University of Pittsburgh. Dr Kaminski received his medical degree from the Hebrew University - Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem, Israel, and completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Hadassah Mount-Scopus University Hospital in Jerusalem, and a fellowship in pulmonary medicine at Sheba Medical Center in Tel-Hashomer, Israel. Dr Kaminski received his basic science training in Dean Sheppard’s laboratory at the Lung Biology Center at UCSF and in functional genomics and microarray technology at the Functional Genomics laboratory at Roche Bioscience, Palo-Alto. After his fellowship in 2000, Dr. Kaminski was appointed head of Functional Genomics at Sheba Medical Center in Israel, before being recruited to head the Simmons Center at the University of Pittsburgh in 2002.

Andrew Miranker Ph.D.'s picture
Andrew Miranker Ph.D.
Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

InnovationWrangling Rogue Proteins

Anna M. Pyle's picture
Anna M. Pyle, Ph.D.
Sterling Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and Professor of Chemistry; Director, Division of Biological Sciences

InnovationNontoxic Antifungals that Target RNA


Anna Marie Pyle is the William Edward Gilbert Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and Professor of Chemistry at Yale University. She has been a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator since 1997. Dr. Pyle obtained her undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Princeton University and received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Columbia University in 1990, where she worked with Professor Jacqueline K. Barton. Dr. Pyle was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Thomas Cech at the University of Colorado. Dr. Pyle formed her own research group in 1992 in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University Medical Center. In 2002, she moved to Yale University, where she leads a research group that specializes in structure and function of large RNA molecules and RNA remodeling enzymes. Dr. Pyle teaches the undergraduate Molecular Biology course at Yale and she is Chair of the Building Committee for the new Yale Biology Building. Dr. Pyle is the Chair of the MSFA Study Section at the NIH, and previously served as a permanent member on the MSFE, and MGB Study Sections. At Brookhaven National labs, she serves on the Science and Technology Steering Committee and on Beamline Advisory Teams at the NSLSII light source.

Aaron Ring Ph.D.'s picture
Aaron Ring Ph.D., M.D.
Assistant Professor of Immunobiology

 InnovationBreaking the Vicious Cycle of Inflammation and Cell Death in Sepsis


Aaron Ring received his undergraduate training at Yale University and entered the Stanford Medical Scientist Training Program for his MD and PhD degrees. At Stanford, he worked in the laboratories of K. Christopher Garcia and Irving Weissman to use structure-based protein engineering to develop new cytokine and immune checkpoint therapies for cancer. He additionally developed novel methodologies in protein engineering to create biologic agents against challenging targets such as G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Aaron joined the faculty of the Yale Department of Immunobiology in 2016 as the Robert T. McCluskey Yale Scholar. The focus of his research is to understand and manipulate the activity of immune receptors using structural and combinatorial biology approaches.

David Spiegel's picture
David Spiegel, M.D., Ph.D., A.B.
Professor of Chemistry

InnovationMODA Pharmaceuticals: Targeted Elimination Platform for Pathogenic Extracellular Proteins


The Spiegel lab develops novel chemical methods to enable the synthesis of a variety of complex molecular targets, including natural products. These synthetic materials will be used to study the molecular mechanisms that underlie human disease processes (e.g., cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes) as well as to develop novel therapeutic approaches to these conditions. Overall, students in the Spiegel lab receive in-depth training in organic synthesis as well as to techniques in molecular and cellular biology.

 
Paul Turner Ph.D.'s picture
Paul Turner Ph.D.
Elihu Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

InnovationDeveloping Phages as Evolution-Proof Therapies Against Drug-Resistant Bacteria


The Turner group is interested in examining how viruses evolutionarily adapt to overcome new challenges, such as emergence on novel host species, transmission via new arthropod vectors, survival at elevated temperatures, or changes in host immunity. Their work also examines how viruses can be used in phage therapy as an alternative to traditional antibiotics, and in oncolytic therapy against cancers. They employ a wide variety of study systems, including bacteria-bacteriophage studies, and tissue culture experiments using molecular virology models such as vesicular stomatitis virus and Sindbis virus, and disease pathogens such as dengue virus.

2018

Jeffrey Bender's picture
Jeffrey Bender, M.D.
Robert I. Levy Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) and Professor of Immunobiology

Innovation: Novel Oligonucleotide Strategy to Specifically Inhibit IL-17A Gene Expression shows In Vivo Activity in Animal Model of Multiple Sclerosis. (Development Grant winner)

Akiko Iwasaki's picture
Akiko Iwasaki, Ph.D.
Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Immunobiology and Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

Innovation: RIG-I agonists as next-gen immunotherapies. (Development Grant winner)

Team: Akiko Iwasaki/Anna Pyle

Anna Pyle's picture
Anna Pyle, Ph.D.
Sterling Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and Professor of Chemistry; Director, Division of Biological Sciences

Innovation: RIG-I agonists as next-gen immunotherapies. (Development Grant winner)

Team: Anna Pyle/Akiko Iwasaki

Aaron Ring's picture
Aaron Ring, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Immunobiology

Innovation: Engineered IL-18 immunotherapy: An untapped cytokine pathway. (Development Grant winner)

Alanna Schepartz's picture
Alanna Schepartz, Ph.D.
Sterling Professor of Chemistry

Innovation: Cell permeable miniature proteins: demonstrated platform superiority against third party platforms. (Development Grant winner)

Paul Turner's picture
Paul Turner, Ph.D.
Elihu Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

InnovationPhage therapy increases effectiveness of antibiotics for treating multi-drug resistant bacterial infections. (Development Grant winner)

 

2017

Anton Bennett's picture
Anton Bennett, Ph.D.
Professor of Pharmacology and of Comparative Medicine; Co-Director, Program in Integrative Cell Signaling and Neurobiology of Metabolism; Director, BBS Minority Affairs

Innovation: Developing a chemical drug design platform to establish rich intellectual property for a first-in-class therapeutic for the treatment of fibrosis which accounts for nearly 45% of all deaths in the developed world. (Development Grant winner)

Elliott Brown's picture
Elliott Brown, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging

Innovation: A novel bone marrow aspiration device that limits blood contamination and maximizes stem cell recovery while also increasing the area of bone sampled 45-fold compared to current devices. (Pilot Grant winner)

Michael Giradri's picture
Michael Giradri, M.D.
Professor, Vice Chair, and Program Director for the Department of Dermatology

Innovation: A multi-functional bioadhesive nanoparticle platform that has the potential to revolutionize the suncare industry. (Pilot Grant winner)

Team: Michael Girardi/W. Mark Saltzman

Andrew Miranker's picture
Andrew Miranker, Ph.D.
Professor of Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry

Innovation: Advancing a small molecule that is water soluble, non-toxic and crosses the plasma membrane and can work in conjunction with existing diabetes drugs to improve long-term b-cell health. (Pilot Grant winner)

Anna Marie Pyle's picture
Anna Marie Pyle, Ph.D.
William Edward Gilbert Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and Professor of Chemistry; Director, Division of Biological Sciences

Innovation: Developing a proprietary class of molecules to be used as tumor vaccines. (Pilot Grant winner)

W. Mark Saltzman's picture
W. Mark Saltzman, Ph.D.
Goizueta Foundation Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Chemical & Environmental Engineering & Physiology

Innovation: A multi-functional bioadhesive nanoparticle platform that has the potential to revolutionize the suncare industry. (Pilot Grant winner)

Team: W. Mark Saltzman/Michael Girardi

Alanna Schepartz.'s picture
Alanna Schepartz., Ph.D.
Milton Harris ‘29 Ph.D. Professor of Chemistry & Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

Innovation: A robust technology for trafficking diverse protein materials into the cytosol and nucleus with high efficiency and intact form to deliver personalized therapeutics. (Development Grant winner)

Stephen Strittmatter's picture
Stephen Strittmatter, M.D., Ph.D.
Vincent Coates Professor of Neurology and Professor of Neuroscience; Director, Cellular Neuroscience, Neurodegeneration and Repair; Director, Memory Disorders Clinic; Director, Yale Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center

Innovation: Developing select inhibitors to slow, halt or reverse the course of Alzheimer’s disease. (Development Grant winner)

Andrew Xiao's picture
Andrew Xiao, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Genetics

Innovation: Developing therapeutics around a novel epigenetic mechanism aimed at end-stage tumors that are resistant to standard therapies. (Development Grant winner)

2018 Blavatnik Fund Awardees2017 Blavatnik Fund Awardees