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Awards & Honors Fall 2023

Yale Public Health Magazine, Yale Public Health: Fall 2023


YSPH faculty honored for their work

The Wheeler Lecture Prize, awarded over the years to the world’s most esteemed chemists, was presented in May 2023 by the University College Dublin School of Chemistry to Paul T. Anastas, professor of epidemiology (environmental health sciences), and Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor in the Practice of Chemistry for the Environment. Considered the “father of green chemistry,” Anastas also received the 2021 Volvo Environment Prize, one of the world’s most respected environmental prizes.

Michael Cappello, professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at the Yale School of Public Health, and professor of pediatrics and microbial pathogenesis at the Yale School of Medicine, was presented with the Francis Gilman Blake Award for outstanding teaching of the medical sciences at YSM’s commencement on May 22, 2023. Each year’s awardees are chosen by the graduating class.

Kai Chen, assistant professor of epidemiology (environmental health) and director of Research, Climate Change and Health, has accepted an invitation to become a member of the Climate & Health Working Group in US CLIVAR, a national research program with a mission to foster understanding and prediction of climate variability and change. The working group will focus on several priorities, including improving the quantification, communication, and understanding of uncertainties in climate predictions and projections.

Nicole Deziel, associate professor of epidemiology (environmental health sciences), has been named a co-director of the Yale Center for Perinatal, Pediatric, and Environmental Epidemiology (CPPEE). She will share leadership duties with the center’s director, Andrew Thomas DeWan, associate professor of epidemiology (chronic diseases).

Jeannette Ickovics, the Samuel and Liselotte Herman Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Yale School of Public Health, will receive the 2023 Martha May Eliot Award for her innovative work in prenatal health care and mentorship. Ickovics is the first person to receive National Institutes of Health funding for a randomized controlled trial on group prenatal care – joining pregnant people with similar backgrounds together for patient education and emotional support. In addition to shaping the group prenatal care curriculum, she was the founding director of the NIH-funded T-32 training grant, which exposes trainees to policy, social, and behavioral research.

Melinda Irwin, Associate Dean of Research and Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Epidemiology, received a $7 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to investigate how nutrition and exercise interventions can improve chemotherapy outcomes and reduce toxicity for women with ovarian cancer. Irwin’s team will assess the effect of the intervention on treatment delays, patient-reported chemotoxicities, and relevant biomarkers.

Akiko Iwasaki, Sterling Professor of Immunobiology and professor of epidemiology (microbial diseases) and of dermatology and molecular, cellular, and developmental biology, and an Investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has been selected as the 2023 recipient of the Connecticut Medal of Science. Iwasaki is recognized for her major discoveries in the areas of innate sensing of viruses, and instruction of adaptive anti-viral immunity. Iwasaki also received the 2023 Else Kröner Fresenius Prize for Medical Research.

Becca Levy, professor of social & behavioral sciences and of psychology at Yale University, was honored with the Gerontological Society of America’s 2023 Richard Kalish Innovative Publication Award for her 2022 book, Breaking the Age Code: How Your Age Beliefs Determine How Long and Well You Live (HarperCollins). The award recognizes insightful and innovative publications on aging and life course development in the behavioral and social sciences.

Shuangge Steven Ma, professor of biostatistics and director of the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Resource, has been awarded a 2023 YCC Pilot Award to support innovative cancer research. Ma, chair of the Department of Biostatistics, is a member of Yale Cancer Center’s Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program, “Cancer omics modeling with statistically principled deep learning.”

Melinda Pettigrew, professor of epidemiology and deputy dean of the Yale School of Public Health, who served as interim dean during the last year, has accepted the position of dean at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Pettigrew, the Anna M.R. Lauder Professor of Epidemiology, assumed the duties of interim dean on July 1, 2022 and filled the role until the arrival of Dr. Megan L. Ranney, MD, MPH, the school’s new dean, in July. Pettigrew will begin her new role at the University of Minnesota on Dec. 29, the university announced. In her research, Pettigrew studies the molecular epidemiology of respiratory tract infections and the growing public health threat of antibiotic resistance. A graduate of Grinnell College, Pettigrew received her Ph.D. from Yale in 1999. She conducted a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan prior to joining the Yale School of Public Health faculty in 2002.

Joseph Ross, professor of health policy and management and of medicine (general medicine), Yale School of Medicine, was named deputy editor of the peer-reviewed journal JAMA. Ross served as an associate editor of JAMA Internal Medicine from 2013-2019, and the U.S. outreach and associate editor at The BMJ from 2020-2023.

Hongyu Zhao, Ira V. Hiscock Professor of Biostatistics, pofessor of genetics and professor of statistics and data science, has been elected president-elect of the International Chinese Statistical Association. Additionally, Hongyu and Heping Zhang were recognized with the ICSA 2023 Distinguished Achievement Award.

The MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies offers awards through the Kempf Memorial Fund, and Faculty Research Grants. Robert Hecht, professor of clinical epidemiology was awarded both to launch a new partnership between YSPH and the Cambodia National Institute of Public Health. Yulia Rozanova, associate research scientist in medicine (AIDS), and Dr. Sheela Shenoi, MD, associate professor of medicine (infectious diseases), with Kaveh Khoshnood associate professor of epidemiology (microbial diseases) and Dini Harsono from the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA), received a Kempf Award to host a series of events titled: “Managing Health during Humanitarian Crises: Resilience, Establishing Health Priorities, and impact on Health Care Workers.”

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