M. Iréne Ferrer Scholar Award in Gender-Specific Medicine

This Year’s Winner of the M. Irené Ferrer Scholar Award in Gender-Specific Medicine

Doctor Emily J. Tsai

Doctor Tsai is researching a critical issue that is overlooked and under-studied— that heart failure differs between men and women and that a vast number of women with heart failure do not benefit from existing medications. This award will support her research in understanding the biology of gender-differences in heart dysfunction. Her hope is that by understanding the biology of gender-differences in the failing heart, we will one day be able to develop personalized, precision medicine to improve the lives and survival of ALL patients with heart failure, INCLUDING the nearly 3 million women afflicted with heart failure in the US.

The Foundation for Gender-Specific Medicine and the Department of Medicine are pleased to announce the inaugural M. Irené Ferrer Scholar Award in Gender-Specific Medicine. Dr. Ferrer was a cardiologist and medical educator who helped refine the cardiac catheter and electrocardiogram, which became diagnostic essentials in the treatment of heart disease. She joined the faculty of the College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1946, was promoted to the rank of Professor of Clinical Medicine in 1972, and became Professor Emeritus in 1981. She died in 2002 at the age of 89. Gender-specific medicine is the science of the differences between males and females, not an isolated study of females or women’s health, and its research encompasses all levels of investigation from basic bench research with cultured cells to clinical or epidemiological studies.

The research proposed for support by the M. Irené Ferrer Scholar Award included gender as a specific variable in the protocol. Investigators already conducting gender-specific research or research that addressed gender-specific issues were encouraged to apply. Applicants included preliminary or supporting data related to the gender-specific issues of their proposal and described how the funding, if awarded, would permit them to obtain preliminary data that would lead to federal funding for a research (R) grant. One award, of $60,000 is available annually, directed towards junior faculty holding a full-time Assistant Professor appointment in the Department of Medicine. Recipients of NIH career development (K) awards or other junior investigator funding are eligible. All areas of investigation are eligible: basic, translational, clinical, epidemiological, or outcomes research.

Those grant proposals in the area of clinical or epidemiological research should include appropriate numbers of both sexes. Some areas of particular interest include the impact of biological sex on gene expression; the mechanisms of the impact of experience/environment on male-female phenotype differences; and studies involving synthetic biology – i.e., applying concepts of engineering to biological systems through medicinal chemistry, genetic engineering, and other bioengineering approaches. The deadline for submission is February 15, 2017. A committee of senior faculty in the Department of Medicine will review the applications. The recipient will be announced in April 2017 and the awards ceremony will occur at the Foundation Gala in May 2017 in New York City.

The application, as described below, should be sent by e-mail as one attached file (in pdf format) to Dr. Jaime S. Rubin, Vice Chair for Investigator Development, Department of Medicine. Please include “Ferrer Scholar Award” in the Subject line of your e-mail. Cover page with applicant’s (A) Name; (B) Title; (C) Division in the Department of Medicine; (D) Contact information [e-mail address and telephone number]; and (E) Title of proposed research project. Research proposal (3-pages maximum, including figures; literature cited on following page). Proposal should follow the NIH format: (A) Specific Aims, (B) Significance, (C) Innovation, and (D) Approach. Include discussion of statistical approach and analyses. Preliminary Studies/Pilot Data are not a requirement NIH biosketch (include all peer-reviewed publications; 4-pages maximum Listing of all peer-reviewed publications

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