NIAMS’s Katz Honored by Bar-Ilan University
Bar-Ilan University rector Prof. Joseph Menis (l) with NIAMS director Dr. Stephen Katz.
NIAMS director Dr. Stephen Katz was recently awarded the Dr. Tovi Comet-
Walerstein Science Award for 2010 by the Cancer, AIDS and Immunology Research (C.A.I.R.) Institute in Bar-Ilan University’s Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences in Ramat Gan, Israel.
Prof. Uri Nir, dean of the Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, said the award “enables us not only to honor scientific
excellence but also to become directly inspired by the scientific vision of the wrld’s leading scientists.” The award was established in memory of a medical researcher who succumbed to cancer more than a decade ago at age 38. Following her death, her family created the Dr. Tovi Comet-Walerstein Cancer Research Chair in the C.A.I.R. Institute.
Following presentation of the award, Katz gave the keynote lecture on “The Skin Immune System: An Evolving Story.”
Katz has been NIAMS director since August 1995, and is also a senior investigator
in NCI’s Dermatology Branch. He has focused his studies on immunology and the skin. His research has demonstrated that skin is an important component
of the immune system both in its normal function and as a target in immunologically
“I have received awards before, but this one is special,” said Katz. “Dr. Comet-Walerstein epitomizes what one should aspire to in becoming a physician. She experienced both sides of the street—that of being a physician-scientist and then, of course, the other side of the street, being a patient. How moving it is that a patient should take on the responsibilities of so many that were afflicted by the same disease that she had…she was an extremely empathetic person.”
Bar-Ilan University rector Prof. Joseph Menis (l) with NIAMS director Dr. Stephen Katz
NIAAA Grantees Complete Leadership Program
Two NIAAA-funded researchers have completed a program that trains senior women faculty for leadership positions at academic medical centers. Dr. Elizabeth J. Kovacs (r) of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and Dr. Gyongyi Szabo of the University of Massachusetts Medical School were enrolled in the year-long Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. The ELAM program is dedicated to increasing the number of women in top administrative ranks in academic medical centers. During the program, they studied areas such as leadership
skills, faculty development, institutional finance and strategic planning. Kovacs and Szabo, who graduated on Apr. 29, plan to use their knowledge from the ELAM program to help young alcohol researchers at their home institutions. Kovacs is director of Loyola University’s Alcohol Research Program, founder of Loyola’s Biomedical Internship Program and serves as president of the Society for Leukocyte Biology. Szabo is associate dean for clinical and translational sciences at the UMass Medical School and a member of the National Advisory Council for NIAAA.