MSK Awards & Appointments

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Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) announces the following awards and appointments:


Steven M. Larson Receives Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) 2021 Paul C. Aebersold Award for Outstanding Achievement in Basic Nuclear Medicine Science

Steven M. Larson

Steven M. Larson, MD, Nuclear Medicine Physician, Hedvig Hricak Chair in Radiology, Attending, Molecular Imaging and Therapy Service, Department of Radiology, and Member and Lab Head, Molecular Pharmacology Program, has been named the 2021 recipient of the prestigious Paul C. Aebersold Award. The award was announced by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) during its 2021 Annual Meeting.

The Aebersold Award is named for Paul C. Aebersold—a pioneer in the biologic and medical application of radioactive materials and the first director of the Atomic Energy Commission’s Division of Isotope Development. It recognizes outstanding achievement in basic science applied to nuclear medicine and was first presented in 1973. The SNMMI Committee on Awards selects the recipient. SNMMI is an international scientific and medical organization dedicated to advancing nuclear medicine and molecular imaging.


Justin Perry Named a 2021 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences

Justin Perry

Justin Perry, PhD, Assistant Member in the Immunology Program, has been named a 2021 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Perry was selected from among 198 nominations submitted by leading U.S. academic and research institutions to receive four years of funding to invest in exploratory research.

The Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences provides funding to young investigators of outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of human health. The program makes grants to selected academic institutions to support the independent research of outstanding individuals who are early-career junior faculty.


Ricardo Otazo Named a 2021 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) Fellow

Ricardo Otazo

Ricardo Otazo, PhD, Chief of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy Physics, was named a 2021 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) Senior Fellow.

This distinction is presented to those who have made a significant and substantial contribution to research in a field within the Society’s purposes, who have contributed in a significant manner to the development of the Society and/or any of the Predecessor Societies, and/or who have made a significant contribution to education in MR.

Dr. Otazo was selected for his influential work in accelerated image acquisition and reconstruction methods, including contributions to dynamic and extra-dimensional (XD) imaging.


Wanda Rodriguez Receives the 2021 Ina Pipkin American Society of Peri Anesthesia Nurses (ASPAN) Past Presidents’ Distinguish Service Award

Wanda Rodriguez

Wanda Rodriguez, MA, RN, CCRN, CPAN, Nursing Professional Development Specialist, is the recipient of the 2021 Ina Pipkin American Society of Peri Anesthesia Nurses (ASPAN) Past Presidents’ Distinguish Service Award.

The ASPAN Ina Pipkin Past Presidents’ Distinguished Service Award is given to a member that advances perianesthesia nursing on a local, state, and national level. Members are nominated by past ASPAN Presidents and honors Ina Pipkin, the first ASPAN President who was one of the organization’s founders in October of 1980.

Ms. Rodriguez has been an active member of ASPAN for 25 years while supporting the organization’s core purpose and values. She has served as past President of the New York State Perianesthesia Nurses (NYSPANA) and past President of New York City Perianesthesia Nurses.


Natassia Singh Receives 2021 American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) Circle of Excellence Award

Natassia Singh

Natassia Singh, Clinical Nurse IV, is the recipient of the 2021 American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) Circle of Excellence Award. This award is given to individuals who exemplify excellence in high acuity and critical care nursing practice.

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the need for a 150% increase in ICU bed capacity, Ms. Singh helped convert a stepdown into a popup ICU. Her greatest passion lies in mentoring nurses and guiding them through their transition to critical care nursing. Her exceptional interpersonal skills and high emotional intelligence foster a healthy work environment, true collaboration and skilled communication, especially in high-stress situations. With compassion and empathy always at the forefront, Ms. Singh took a stand when visiting guidelines were at their most stringent to ensure families were present at the end of life.


Two MSK Researchers Awarded the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) 2021 New Discoveries Young Investigator Award

Brendan Guercio and Eugene Pietzak

Brendan Guercio, MD, Hematology/Oncology Fellow, and Eugene Pietzak, MD, Surgeon, received the 2021 New Discoveries Young Investigator Award from the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN).

Each Young Investigator Award provides a $50,000 grant that supports one year of early career bladder cancer research. Since 2009, BCAN has awarded more than $5.5 million to promising scientists and research investigators across the country and these awards demonstrate that the important work to improve the understanding of bladder cancer and its impact on patients and families continues.

Dr. Guercio’s project title is “Associations of Patient Diet and Benet from Immunotherapy in Urothelial Carcinoma” and Dr. Pietzak’s project title is “Dening the Clinical Impact and Molecular Drivers of ‘Secondary’ Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer.”


Juan Osorio Receives Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation 2021 Physician-Scientist Training Award

Juan Osorio

Juan Osorio, MD, Medical Oncology/Hematology Fellow, is a recipient of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation 2021 Physician-Scientist Training Award.

To help increase the number of physician-scientists, the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation created the Damon Runyon Physician-Scientist Training Award, which provides physicians who have completed clinical specialty fellowship training the opportunity to gain the skills and experience needed to become leaders in translational and clinical research. Award recipients are selected through a highly competitive and rigorous process by a scientific committee comprised of leading cancer researchers who are themselves physician-scientists. Only five scientists were selected this year.

Dr. Osorio will investigate the mechanisms that promote effective antitumor immunity, aiming to inform the development of optimized antibodies, prevent on-target off-tumor toxicities, and design optimal combination strategies.


Diane E. Stover Recognized as the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) 2021 Edward C. Rosenow III, MD, Master FCCP/Master Teacher Endowed Honor Lecture Recipient

Diane E. Stover

Diane E. Stover, MD, Pulmonologist, has been recognized by the American College of Chest Physicians as the CHEST 2021 Edward C. Rosenow III, MD, Master FCCP/Master Teacher Endowed Honor Lecture recipient.

This endowment, established in 2004, gives special recognition to Dr. Edward C. Rosenow who has promoted the development and training of hundreds of chest physicians during his three decades at the Mayo Clinic. It acknowledges his role of mentoring pulmonary and critical care physicians into CHEST leadership roles, where he has fostered the development of physicians-in-training to improve patient care.


David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at MSK Honored with a National Recognition Award in the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) 2021 Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) Competition

David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at MSK

The David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at MSK received a National Recognition Award in the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) 2021 Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) competition. The National Recognition Award is a prestigious distinction honoring projects which achieved exceptional engineering excellence.