Archive for the ‘Interviews with Scientific Leaders’ Category

2018 Dan David Prize Laureates Announced

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN


The Dan David Prize is an international prize which annually awards three prizes of US$ 1 million each for outstanding scientific, technological, cultural, and social achievements having an impact on our world. Each year fields are chosen within the three Time Dimensions – Past, Present, and Future.





Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
Berlin, Germany

For her groundbreaking historical work on the “Ideals and Practices of Rationality”, as she has termed the basic categories of scientific investigation and accomplishment. Her meticulous historical studies of “reason,” “proof,” “fact,” “observation,” “scientific object,” “data”, and even “objectivity” itself, masterfully demonstrate how such seemingly universal concepts have changed dramatically since the seventeenth century.



Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Boston, MA, USA

For her pioneering work in science and gender that has transformed our views of the history of science. Fox Keller has examined particularly the role of language in genetics and molecular biology, interrogating the historical legacy embedded in scientific language. Her remarkable insight into the relation between feminism and science reveals the obstacles to the pursuit of science by women and envisions what a gender-free science might look like.



University of Cambridge
Cambridge, United Kingdom

For the way his work has transformed our understanding of science in history by consistently targeting key issues, and probing the limits of current debate. Spanning a remarkable chronological and geographical range, from seventeenth to the twentieth century, and from London and Beijing to Parramatta and Paris, Simon Schaffer’s impressive body of work demonstrates how experiment can no longer be seen as the mere testing of theories, but is located in witnessing, trust and acquired skill. His work exposes how major junctures in the history of science are embedded in the localities of commercial exchange, political negotiation, and the activities of everyday life.



University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA, USA

For advancing the field of bioethics by combining his skills as a physician, policymaker, and scholar. Prof. Emanuel is a pioneer in the field of end-of life care and research ethics. He emphasized that patients who want euthanasia of assisted suicide do not do so because of pain but because of psychological distress, depression and hopelessness. His analysis of the physician patient relationship is a landmark widely taught throughout the world and used to educate medical students.



Kings College London
London, United Kingdom

For his seminal contributions to the theoretical aspects of bioethics. For setting the research agenda in many topics and in particular in Human Enhancement and Reproductive Ethics. His original research spans diverse topics such as human nature, war and the Holocaust, genetic ethics, neuroethics, and psychiatric issues. The originality of his thought is marked by the role he plays in shaping the debates others will follow.



London, United Kingdom

For her leading role in the development of practical bioethics and specifically for her progressive and unparalleled contribution to the ethics of embryology and genetics and their ethical and philosophical implication, reproductive technologies, and disability studies. Dame Mary helped to enhance the welfare of society by breaking the boundaries between academic and enacted ethics.



Ohio State University
Columbus, OH, USA

For pioneering the unraveling of the molecular basis of a number of lymphoma and leukemia cancers. Mastering both cytogenetics and molecular biology, he identified the role of major oncogenes as drivers of cancer development, progression and resistance to therapy. His studies also demonstrated the role of micro RNAs in tumor pathogenesis. His numerous findings in cancer enable precise cancer diagnosis, individualized targeting of therapy and the development of novel rationally designed anti-cancer drugs.



University of Washington
Seattle, WA, USA

For being a world leader in Medical Genetics with major contributions to the study of the molecular basis of several diseases. Her seminal finding was the demonstration of a genetic predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer resulting from mutations in a single gene, the BRCA1 gene. This game changing discovery contributes to the understanding of hereditary cancer predisposition and revolutionized clinical approaches for cancer predisposition screening, individualized interventions and tailoring of rational therapy.



Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD, USA

For his seminal contributions to the understanding of cancer genetics and genomics. His pioneering studies on colon cancer demonstrated that cancer results from sequential genetic and epigenetic alterations. He was involved in the identification and characterization of tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes and developed and applied high throughput methodologies for concomitant analysis of thousands of genes and whole genomes. Such approaches paved the way to early diagnosis, precise characterization and tailoring of individualized therapy of cancer.



On Personalized Medicine
“Engineering Tissues and Organs From Patient-Specific Tissues to Bionic Organs”Prof. Tal Dvir
The George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences
Tel Aviv University

On Bioethics
“The Paradox of Jewish Bioethics in Israel”Prof. Shai Lavi
Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University and
Director of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute



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Renowned Electrophysiologist Dr. Arthur Moss Died on February 14, 2018 at 86

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN


— Stephen

Dr. Moss never lost the opportunity to get to know who an individual is by name, to complement one, to greet one, to teach one, to be available, and to show respect. His contributions to clinical medicine, patient care and physician education, along with pivotal research, is among the ver most notable of our era. I will miss him greatly and extend my most heartfelt gratitude to him and his family.

Stephen Winters, MD
Morristown Medical Center

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Renowned Cardiologist Arthur J. Moss, Pioneer of Research and Treatment in Sudden Death, Passes Away

Friday, February 16, 2018

Arthur J. Moss, M.D.

Arthur J. Moss, M.D.

Cardiologist Arthur J. Moss, whose research saved hundreds of thousands of lives and improved the standard of care for legions of people with heart disease, died on February 14, 2018. He was 86.

During a career spanning six decades, Moss made some of the most significant and long-lasting discoveries in the prevention and treatment of sudden cardiac death. His astounding accomplishments in scientific research and clinical care stemmed especially from his special devotion to patients; he understood the importance of listening, building trust and working together to bring about change. He was also a skilled leader, able to foster meaningful collaborations that led to some of the most productive clinical trials in all of cardiology.

“Arthur was a man of absolute integrity, both of science and of character, and an amazing visionary who could see where the field of electrophysiology was headed long before others,” said Wojciech Zareba, M.D., Ph.D.,director of the Heart Research Follow-up Program at the University of Rochester Medical Center, who worked closely with Moss for the past 26 years. “He was eternally optimistic in all aspects of his life; he brought a positive attitude to everything he did and didn’t worry about the small stuff, which helped him accomplish great things.”

In 1958, as an intern at Massachusetts General Hospital, Moss planned to pursue a career in hematology. That summer he was called to serve in the United States Navy. When he arrived in Pensacola, Fla., his commanding officers thought he was a cardiologist, for reasons unbeknownst to him. They asked Moss to teach flight surgeons electrocardiography, a test known as an EKG that checks the electrical activity of the heart. Undaunted, he read multiple books on the topic and taught them. The intricacy of the heart’s electrical activity captured Moss’ interest and he never looked back.

Moss spent the first half of his career figuring out which patients were at high risk of sudden cardiac death and the second half finding the best ways to treat them. He became an eminent authority on common arrhythmias that afflict hundreds of thousands of adults with heart disease and often lead to sudden death, as well as rare heart rhythm disorders that are smaller in number but no less deadly.

An unexpected patient visit in 1970 started what Moss called the most rewarding part of his career: his life-long quest to help individuals with Long QT syndrome (LQTS). Doctors could not understand why this patient – a woman in her 30s – would suddenly fall unconscious when she got excited while bowling. An unusual EKG led Moss, then a young cardiologist at URMC, to diagnose LQTS. An uncommon genetic condition caused by a glitch in the heart’s electrical system, LQTS puts patients at high risk of arrhythmias, fainting spells and sudden death.

Moss devised the first effective surgical treatment for the disorder and had the foresight to create the International Long QT Syndrome Registry in 1979, one of the first rare disease registries in the world. The registry allowed Moss and colleagues to identify risk factors that enable early diagnosis; develop multiple treatment options that have achieved an 80 percent reduction in life-threatening events; and contribute to the discovery of multiple genes associated with the disorder. The National Institutes of Health has supported the registry since its creation, and in 2014 Moss received a NIH grant to fund the registry and associated research projects through 2019.

“Not only was Arthur extraordinary in understanding the immediate problem, but he was also visionary in that long before we knew how to analyze genes he started the registry and preserved blood samples that could be used in the future,” said Mark B. Taubman, M.D., CEO of URMC and dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry. “The registry has become one of the most important repositories in the world, helping prevent thousands of untimely deaths from Long QT and enabling the in-depth investigation of how genetics influence a form of heart disease. The impact of his work is unparalleled.”

Beginning in the 1990s, Moss led the MADIT (Multicenter Automatic Defibrillator Implantation Trial) series of clinical trials, which showed that the implantable cardioverter defibrillator or ICD – a device that detects arrhythmias and shocks the heart back into a normal rhythm – significantly reduces the risk of sudden death in patients who’ve experienced a heart attack. In the early 2000s these findings changed medical guidelines worldwide and led to the use of life-saving ICD therapy in hundreds of thousands of patients.

Later, in 2009, Moss completed the MADIT-CRT trial, which found that cardiac resynchronization therapy plus defibrillator – CRT-D therapy – prevents the progression of heart failure in patients living with mild forms of the disease. The device, which improves the mechanical pumping action of the heart and corrects fatal rhythms, was originally approved to treat patients with severe heart failure. Moss’ work opened the door for multitudes more patients to benefit and live longer, better lives.

“Arthur’s research was so successful and powerful because the results of his studies were usually strikingly positive or negative. This came from his rare ability to ask a simple question, and use a simple clinical trial design,” said Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Medicine and Cardiology at URMC. “He did this so well because he was a superb clinician who had a remarkable insight into the underlying pathologic mechanisms of heart disease.”

Colleagues also credit Moss’ research success to his unique ability to bring people together, trigger discussion, and make all involved – from the highest-ranking physician to the newest graduate student or fellow – feel welcome and valued.

“I first met Art in 1976 and was at least three academic ranks lower than anyone else at the meeting,” said Henry (Hank) Greenberg, M.D., special lecturer of Epidemiology and Medicine at the Columbia University Medical Center. “Art sensed this and stated that everyone at the table contributed. This carried forward for four decades and was a reason why his trials were always superbly done. His ego did not get in the way.”

Moss was founding director of URMCs Heart Research Follow-up Program, a worldwide hub of international studies on medical interventions for sudden death, cardiac arrhythmias, heart attack and heart failure. He published more than 750 scientific papers, including a 1962 article – his first of many in the New England Journal of Medicine – highlighting the first three published cases of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), which included external chest massage followed by external defibrillation.

Charles J. Lowenstein, M.D., chief of Cardiology at URMC, said, “Arthur’s contributions to cardiac electrophysiology were vast and he was extremely well respected as a clinician and researcher. He also trained hundreds of medical students, residents, and fellows, and inspired many of us to dedicate our lives to medicine. This is his greatest legacy.”

Moss attended Yale as an undergraduate then Harvard Medical School. He interned at Massachusetts General Hospital and finished his residency in Rochester, where he also did a fellowship in cardiology. Moss joined the faculty at URMC in 1966 and stayed for the rest of his career, ultimately becoming  the Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D. Distinguished Professor in Cardiology. A valued member of the faculty, Moss received the Eastman Medal in 2012, the University of Rochester’s highest honor that recognizes individuals who, through their outstanding achievement and dedicated service, embody the high ideals for which the University stands.

On numerous other occasions, Moss was recognized locally, nationally and internationally for his tenacity and advancement of medical and cardiologic science. In 2008 he received the Glorney-Raisbeck Award in Cardiology, the highest honor of the New York Academy of Medicine. A year later he was awarded the prestigious Golden Lionel Award at the Venice International Cardiac Arrhythmias Meeting. The Heart Rhythm Society, the major international electrophysiology society, bestowed its top honor, the Distinguished Scientist Award, to Moss in 2011 and its Pioneer in Cardiac Pacing and EP Award to Moss in 2017.  

On November 11, 2017, just four months before his death, Moss was given the 2017 James B. Herrick Award at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions. The award is given annually to a physician whose scientific achievements have contributed profoundly to the advancement and practice of clinical cardiology.

“Arthur’s passing is very sad news for the world of cardiology and clinical trials,” said David Cannom, director of Cardiology at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles. “There was no one quite like Arthur in terms of intelligence, judgement, leadership skills and thoughtful friendship. Plus good humor. An era is closing and he will be sorely missed.”  Other colleagues from around the world described him as a “true giant” in the field, a “role model,” and a “pioneer.”

Moss’s daughter Deborah, herself a physician, was always inspired by her dad’s curiosity, creativity and perseverance. “He paid close attention to his patients, their stories and their situations, and generated research questions that would make a difference not just for one patient, but for many patients. He was bold, never afraid to try something new, and wouldn’t stop until he solved a problem. Looking back on the entirety of his career, it was really incredible.”

Moss is survived by his wife Joy F. Moss, three children – Katherine M. Lowengrub, M.D., instructor in Psychiatry at the Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv, Israel; Deborah R. Moss, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; and David A. Moss, Ph.D., professor at Harvard Business School – and nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. A memorial service will take place at Temple B’rith Kodesh on Elmwood Ave at 11 a.m. on Sunday, February 18. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to:

UR Heart Research Follow-Up Program

Alumni & Advancement Center

300 East River Rd. P.O. Box 270032

Rochester, NY 14627


His legacy is a career spanning more than 60 years that was marked by major contributions to cardiac electrophysiology, including the first surgical treatment for long QT syndrome and his leadership in the MADIT trials showing that an implantable cardioverter defibrillator could reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death.

Moss started his career in risk stratification studies and evaluating the potential of ventricular arrhythmias, according to longtime colleague Sanjeev Saksena, MD, past president of the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology. Sakesna said that in 1983 Moss published “pivotal studies on risk stratification after myocardial infarction that led to his recognition as a leader in this field and was famously covered by TIME magazine for these contributions.”

Saksena also noted his early support of Michel Mirowski’s concept of an implanted standby defibrillator. This support, Saksena said “made him a lone voice arguing against the medical establishment more than 40 years ago for development of a therapy that is now a cornerstone of cardiovascular medicine.”

Douglas Zipes, MD, Past President, American College of Cardiology: “Wonderful man, scientist. He was the gold standard role model for the clinician investigator: he took care of patients and advanced the science of cardiology. A great loss, but his observations will live on.”

Robert Myerberg, MD, Professor of Medicine, University of Miami: “Art Moss had had an incredibly productive career. His dominant characteristic was a lack of fear of stepping into areas where there were gaps in our knowledge or untested hypotheses, and find a way to get us on to a path that would ultimately answer important and practical questions … His impact will continue to be felt long into the future. And on a personal level, his warmth and collegiality will be missed by his friends and colleagues.”

Bernard Gersh, MD, Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic: “Major contributions to our understanding of the long QT syndrome and the PI [principal investigator] of the major trials that established the clinical role of the ICD.”

Richard L. Page, MD, Chair, Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin, School of Medicine & Public Health: “Arthur Moss was a consummate professional, gentleman, scholar, and physician. He was a role model for me and for a generation of cardiologists.”

Jagmeet P. Singh MD, Roman W. DeSanctis Endowed Chair in Cardiology, Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center: “A huge loss for our community. He was my mentor.”


Eminent Cardiologist Arthur Moss Dies

Tributes to a giant in electrophysiology

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2018 National Academy of Sciences AWARDS on April 29 during the Academy’s 155th annual meeting

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN


The National Academy of Sciences will honor the following individuals with awards in recognition of their extraordinary scientific achievements in a wide variety of fields. These awards will be presented to on April 29 during the Academy’s 155th annual meeting.

NAS Public Welfare Medal
Paul Farmer
For pioneering enduring, community-based treatment strategies that demonstrate the delivery of high-quality health care in resource-poor settings in the U.S. and other countries.

The NAS Public Welfare Medal is the Academy’s most prestigious award and is presented annually to honor extraordinary use of science for the public good.

Alexander Agassiz Medal
Dean Roemmich
For his leadership in understanding the ocean’s roles in climate variability and change.

Atkinson Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences
Barbara Dosher
For her groundbreaking work on human memory, attention, and learning.

Atkinson Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences
Richard M. Shiffrin
For pioneering contributions to the investigation of memory and attention.

Daniel Giraud Elliot Medal
Günter Wagner
For his book “Homology, Genes, and Evolutionary Innovation,” which makes fundamental contributions to our understanding of the evolution of complex organisms.

Gilbert Morgan Smith Medal
Mark E. Hay
For his research into algal science, with implications for the world’s imperiled coral reefs.

J. Lawrence Smith Medal
Kevin D. McKeegan
For discoveries related to the oxygen isotopic composition of the sun.

James Craig Watson Medal
Ewine F. van Dishoeck
For improving our understanding of how molecules, stars, and planets form.

Jessie Stevenson Kovalenko Medal
James P. Allison
For important medical discoveries related to the body’s immune response to tumors.

John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science
David M. Kreps, Paul R. Milgrom, Robert B. Wilson
For using game theory to help solve real-world problems.

Michael and Sheila Held Prize
Prasad Raghavendra and David Steurer
For revolutionizing our understanding of optimization and complexity in computer science.

NAS Award for Scientific Reviewing
Adriaan Bax
For contributions that have greatly impacted the field of structural biology.

NAS Award in Chemical Sciences
Jennifer A. Doudna
For co-inventing the technology for efficient site-specific genome engineering using CRISPR/Cas9 nucleases.

NAS Award in Molecular Biology
Howard Y. Chang
For the discovery of long noncoding RNAs and the invention of genomic technologies.

NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences
Rodolphe Barrangou
For his discovery of the genetic mechanisms and proteins driving CRISPR-Cas systems.

Pradel Research Award
Silvia Arber
For her groundbreaking research on the organization and function of circuits regulating motor behavior.

Troland Research Award
Marlene R. Cohen
For her pioneering studies of how neurons in the brain process visual information.

Troland Research Award
Josh McDermott
For groundbreaking research into how humans hear and interpret sound.

William and Katherine Estes Award
Etel Solingen
For pathbreaking work on nuclear proliferation and reducing the risks of nuclear war.


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2018 Dan David Prize Laureates announced on 2/7/2018

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

2018 laureates

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Defining Health Care’s Future: Digital Health, Innovation Accessible, Prevention Importance as Cure – The Vision of Stanford Medical School Dean delivered at 2018 JP Morgan in San Francisco

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN


At JPM 2018: Three Challenges That Will Define Health Care’s Future

Lloyd Minor

Lloyd Minor, LinkedIn Influencer

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Where Does Kaiser Permanente Stand on Doctor Choice? Interview with George Halvorson, CEO, Kaiser Permanente, CA

 Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN


George Halvorson – All Videos


34 Videos


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2017 Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research goes to Young Investigators (under 45) named by Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK)


Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN


The winners are Gad (Gaddy) Getz, PhD, of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center, and Harvard Medical School; Chuan He, PhD, of the University of Chicago; and Aviv Regev, PhD, also of the Broad Institute. Each will receive an award of $50,000 and will give a scientific presentation at a symposium held at MSK on November 30, 2017.

The award was created to honor Paul Marks, MD, President Emeritus of MSK, for his contributions as a scientist, teacher, and leader during the 19 years he led the institution.

Since it was first presented in 2001, the biennial prize has recognized 28 young scientists and has awarded more than $1 million.


Gad (Gaddy) Getz, PhD, doctorate in physics from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

“The future of this field is only going to be more collaborative,” he says. “To have the statistical power to find these cancer drivers, we need to look at data from all over the world. Including greater numbers of patients is key to making a difference in this field.”


Chuan He, PhD, earned his doctorate in chemistry from MIT. A expert in the field of cancer epigenetics and RNA modification biology. He was the first to put forward the idea that modifications to RNA are reversible and can control gene expression. Eraser proteins, and in later work characterized a series of Reader proteins that explain how RNA methylation functioned. “Cancer and other diseases can hijack aberrant RNA methylation to gain a survival advantage, allowing cells to proliferate and grow out of control.” Dr. He’s work forms some of the foundations for developing potential future therapies that target RNA methylation effectors against human cancer.


Aviv Regev, PhDearned her doctorate in Computational Biology from Tel Aviv University in Israel.

Made discoveries in two types of cancer: Brain tumors (oligodendroglioma and astrocytoma, two types of brain cancer, appear to be very different, they both contain the same cancer stem cells) and Melanoma (determined that a small subset of tumor cells is resistant to therapy before treatment has even started). One of the leaders of Human Cell Atlas, an international effort to build a collection of maps that will describe and define the cellular basis of health and disease. Single cancer cells, using NGS, RNA sequencing (RNA Seq) rather than DNA, determining which genes are being expressed, or “turned on,” in particular cells.









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