Mass General’s Research Awards and Honors: November 2017

Massachusetts General Hospital’s talented and dedicated researchers are working to push the boundaries of science and medicine every day. In this series we highlight a few individuals who have recently received awards or honors for their achievements:

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Charumathi Baskaran, MD, of the Pediatric Endocrine Unit; Laura Dichtel, MD, of Neuroendocrinology; and Vibha Singhal, MD, of the Pediatric Endocrine Unit, were each honored with an Early Investigator Award from the Endocrine Society.

Baskaran and Dichtel received their awards for endocrine research, and Singhal received his for metabolic bone research.

The awards were established to recognize the achievement of early career investigators in endocrine research. The awardees be honored at the Endocrine Society’s 100th Annual Meeting & Expo next March in Chicago.

“It is a wonderful honor to have been selected as an Early Investigator Awardee through the Endocrine Society. Awards like this one are incredibly important to recognizing and supporting junior investigators as we build our independent research careers. I am grateful to the Endocrine Society for continuing this program of honoring and supporting young investigators. I am additionally grateful to Dr. Karen K. Miller, my research mentor here at MGH, who is truly dedicated to training the next generation of clinical researchers.” – Laura Dichtel, MD

“It was very encouraging to receive the Early investigator Award from the Endocrine Society. Not only did it provide funds for travel and meeting attendance but also provided the moral boost that keeps a young investigator like myself going. I am thankful for the opportunity to be working at MGH which amalgamates the best resources and mentorship. I am looking forward to making some contribution to advancing science.” – Vibha Singhal, MD

“As a member of the faculty at the Pediatric Endocrine Unit, my research focuses on investigating the impact of hormonal changes on mood and behavior in adolescents and young children.

This recognition in the from Endocrine society in the form of  ‘Early Investigator Award’ is a great honor and a big moral boost for me. Endocrine Society offers a platform for budding researchers like me to showcase our findings to their entire professional community.

This award had opens up a whole new area of networking and will allow me to develop collaborations with the leading researchers in my areas of interest. The Early Investigator Award will enable advancement in my research career and will keep me motivated to pursue my goal against all odds.” – Charumathi Baskaran, MD


Merit Cudkowicz, MD, chief of the Neurology Service, has received the American Academy of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine Honorary Membership Award. This award recognizes a nonmember physician who is a major contributor to the field of Neuromuscular disease through teaching, research and/or scholarly

“I was honored to receive this lifetime award from the AANEM. Neuromuscular specialists are physicians who excel at both care and research of people with a large variety of disorders, including ALS. While not personally trained in electrodiagnostics, I have worked closely with my neuromuscular colleagues to develop new treatments and improve the care of people with ALS. Many neuromuscular physician scientists are leaders in clinical trials and are making a huge difference in the lives of our patients. I am proud to be part of this collaborative network of physicians and other healthcare providers.”


Mark Daly, PhD, chief of the Analytical and Translational Genetics Unit, has been named as one of the new members of the National Academy of Medicine.

Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

New members are elected by current members through a process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this recognition and look forward to contributing to the National Academy of Medicine. Genetics today is truly a team sport and my part is just one of very many – therefore I am gratified not by the personal recognition, but that it reflects that our global, collaborative partnerships in genetic research are making real progress that will advance medicine.”


Melissa Walker, MD, PhD, has received the 2017 Shields Research Grant from the Child Neurology Foundation. The award supports translational or basic research by a child neurologist or developmental pediatrician early in his/her academic career.

“I’m honored to receive the Shields Award to support my translational and basic science research in the laboratory of Dr. Vamsi Mootha. Primary Mitochondrial Disorders are a group of individually rare but collectively significant diseases exhibiting remarkable clinical and genetic heterogeneity. Currently, no reliable biomarkers or clinical tests exist for diagnosis or disease monitoring. We aim to develop a reliable, rapid, inexpensive, and noninvasive assay of mitochondrial function. As Director of the MGH Pediatric Mitochondrial Disorders Clinic, this award will allow me to conduct this potentially transformative work in a world-class laboratory while concurrently caring for affected patients.”

About the Mass General Research Institute
Massachusetts General Hospital is home to the largest hospital-based research program in the United States. Our researchers work side-by-side with physicians to develop innovative new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent disease.
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