Aaron Lohr
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Jenni Glenn Gingery
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Chevy Chase, MD–The Endocrine Society is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2013 Early Investigators Awards and the inaugural Future Leaders Advancing Research in Endocrinology (FLARE) Internship Awards.

The Early Investigators Awards, supported by Amgen and Pfizer, Inc., were established to recognize the achievements of early career investigators in endocrine research. The FLARE Program, which launched in August 2012, provides training and professional development opportunities for underrepresented minority senior graduate students, postdoctoral and clinical research fellows in hormone health research.

This year’s Early Investigators and FLARE Awards will be presented at ENDO 2013, the 95th Annual Meeting & Expo, being held June 15-18 in San Francisco, CA.

The Endocrine Society’s 2013 Early Investigators Award winners are listed below.

The Early Investigators Awards for Accomplishments in Endocrine Research Supported by Amgen:

Brian J. Feldman, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Pediatric Endocrinology at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. His research focuses on illuminating the role of the endocrine system in both health and the development of diseases. His laboratory aims to increase the understanding of important physiological processes that are controlled by hormones, with a particular focus on the role of hormones in stem cell fate decisions. Dr. Feldman resides in Stanford, CA.

Shivatra Chutima Talchai, PhD, is a recent tenure-track faculty appointee at the Graduate School of Biological Sciences and Dentistry of Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University. Her work challenges beliefs in major areas of diabetes research and treatment, including the rescue of type 1 diabetes by generation of functional insulin-producing cells in the gut. She also leads a new trend of therapeutic thinking for type 2 diabetes. Her research aims to answer fundamental questions that have been assumed addressed in type 1 diabetes research and how it can be translated to treat diabetic patients. Dr. Talchai resides in Thailand.

Hideo Makimura, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and staff neuroendocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. His current research continues to focus on obesity and its cardiometabolic complications but in the ultimate model system, humans. He is currently expanding his research to study the role of free fatty acids to affect mitochondrial function and insulin resistance in obesity. Dr. Makimura resides in Boston, MA.

Joshua Thaler, MD, PhD, is an assistant professor at the University of Washington. His current research focuses on obesity-associated insulin resistance in peripheral tissues such as liver, muscle and adipose tissues, and long-term high-fat (HFD) consumption by rodents and their association with hypothalamic inflammation. This investigation of HFD-induced hypothalamic inflammation, its cellular origin, its metabolic consequences and translational implications is the centerpiece of his burgeoning research program. Dr. Thaler resides in Seattle, WA.

Richard D. Wainford, PhD, FAHA, is an assistant professor at Boston University School of Medicine in the Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Pharmacology and the Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute. His most recent research focuses on the central molecular mechanisms by which G-alpha subunit proteins mediate neural and humoral responses to increased salt intake in the pathophysiology of salt-sensitive hypertension. Dr. Wainford resides in Boston.

The Early Investigators Awards for Accomplishments in Endocrine Research Related to Women’s Health Supported by Pfizer, Inc.:

Victor Navarro, PhD, is an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. His research focuses on the characterization of the central circuits governing reproductive function and metabolism. Dr. Navarro resides in Boston.

Zhaoyu Li, PhD, is an assistant professor of Cancer Biology at the Mayo Clinic. His research focuses on genomic regulation of sex hormone signaling in liver cancer and breast cancer. Dr. Li resides in Rochester, MN.

Jennifer Hill, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Toledo College of Medicine. Her laboratory is focused on understanding infertility related to anorexia, obesity and diabetes. Most recently, her laboratory has shown that insulin sensing by kisspeptin neurons of the hypothalamus is critical for the normal timing of puberty. Dr. Hill resides in Toledo, OH.

Michael T. Sellix, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in New York. His lab work focuses on the role of the circadian timing system in diseases that affect both reproductive function and metabolism. His group recently found that excess androgen during sexual development, known to be a significant factor in the development of polycystic ovarian syndrome, severely disrupts internal circadian organization. Dr. Sellix resides in Rochester.

Additional information on this award and award recipients is located on the Society’s Awards and Grants site at http://www.endocrine.org/eia.

The Endocrine Society’s 2013 FLARE Internship Award winners are listed below. FLARE Interns will serve as leaders on Society-based governance committees for one year and as mentors to undergraduate students in the Minority Access Program, which is designed to encourage underrepresented minority undergraduate students to pursue advanced degrees in the biomedical sciences.

Irene O. Aninye, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow in pediatric endocrinology and metabolism at Johns Hopkins University. Her research focuses on thyroid receptor action and regulation of the body’s metabolism. It is her goal to empower adolescents and families affected by thyroid and other endocrine-related diseases. Dr. Aninye currently resides in Baltimore, MD.

Michelle Y. Rivera-Vega, MD, is a second-year fellow in pediatric endocrinology at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Her current research interest is focused on the evaluation of clinical and biochemical characteristics of youth with obesity and type 2 diabetes as well as assessing their insulin sensitivity with the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp technique. Dr. Rivera-Vega currently resides in Pittsburgh, PA.

Carmen L. Soto-Rivera, MD, is a fellow in pediatric endocrinology at Boston Children’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School. She focuses her clinical research on endocrine diseases related to critical illness. Her career goal is to become an independent clinical researcher devoted to advancing the understanding and treatment of hormone disorders in critical care. Dr. Soto-Rivera currently resides in Boston.

Rhonda Souvenir, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Utah. Her dissertation work focused on mechanisms of erythropoietin-induced neuroprotection in hypoxia ischemia. Her current research interest is mitochondrial dysfunction in platelets in diabetics. Dr. Souvenir currently resides in Salt Lake City, UT.

Lindsey Trevino, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow at Baylor College of Medicine. Her current research interest is the role of steroid hormone receptor signaling in reproductive cancers and breast cancer. Her research is focused on examining the effect of posttranslational modifications and cell signaling pathways on progesterone receptor function in breast cancer cells. Her ultimate goal is to pursue a career in academia and serve as a mentor for other trainees, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds. Dr. Trevino currently resides in Houston, TX.

FLARE is supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R25DK096937. Details about this award and recipients are available on the Society’s Awards and Grants site at http://www.endocrine.org/FLARE.


Founded in 1916, The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest, largest, and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology. Today, The Endocrine Society’s membership consists of over 16,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses, and students in more than 100 countries. Society members represent all basic, applied, and clinical interests in endocrinology. The Endocrine Society is based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at www.endocrine.org. Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/EndoMedia.