OSAKA, Japan, and CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, April 5, 2022 – Takeda (TSE:4502/NYSE:TAK) and the New York Academy of Sciences today announced the winners of the fourth Innovators in Science Award for their excellence in, and commitment to, innovative science that has significantly advanced the field of research in gastroenterology. Each winner receives an unrestricted prize of $200,000 USD.
The 2022 Senior Scientist Award winner is Jeffrey Gordon, M.D., Director of the Edison Family Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology and Dr. Robert J. Glaser Distinguished University Professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Dr. Gordon is widely recognized as the “Father of Microbiome Science” and has served as the research mentor for more than 140 doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows who have become the next generation of leaders in the field. His pioneering interdisciplinary research has revealed the profound effects of the human gut microbial community on physiology and metabolism. Dr. Gordon’s preclinical studies have yielded fundamental insights about the mechanisms that underlie the formation and functioning of the human gut microbiome, as well as its causal links to disease states, including malnutrition. Dr. Gordon’s group has developed microbiome-targeted therapeutic foods for the precision repair of the gut microbiomes of malnourished children and restoration of their growth.
“This award is a wonderful recognition of the excitement and promise that the field of microbiome research offers, and of the collective efforts of the inspiring group of talented students, staff, and collaborators who I've been privileged to work with as we strive to better understand how the gut impacts our health,” said Dr. Gordon.
The 2022 Early-Career Scientist Award winner is Elaine Y. Hsiao, Ph.D., De Logi Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at UCLA. Dr. Hsiao has made groundbreaking discoveries into how the gut microbiome influences the brain and behavior. Her research has upended conventional thinking about the cause and treatment of neurological diseases such as autism and epilepsy. Some of Dr. Hsiao’s most impactful work investigating the influence of the maternal microbiome on fetal brain development has laid the foundation for hypotheses of microbial contributions to risk for neurodevelopmental disease. Dr. Hsiao has also advanced the understanding of how microbiota influence serotonin-producing endocrine cells in the gut — research that has the potential to affect the understanding of intestinal and neurological diseases.
“Winning the Innovators in Science Award is a great privilege for me as an early-career scientist,” said Dr. Hsiao. “Not only does it signal a welcome to new researchers to help advance the field, it also recognizes the discoveries made possible by my talented and inspiring colleagues in the lab who share my dedication to uncovering interactions between the gut, its native microbes, and the brain. This award will continue to motivate me to go where science leads, and toward better understanding how life works in ways that I hope will one day benefit people.”
“The work of Dr. Gordon and Dr. Hsiao to uncover more about the role of our gut microbiome in disease pathology and apply that understanding to create meaningful interventions for patients suffering from gastrointestinal, neurological diseases, and beyond is truly inspiring,” said Andrew Plump, M.D., Ph.D., president, Research & Development at Takeda. “We proudly support the Innovators in Science Award because at Takeda we deeply value the pursuit of science and those who push the boundaries of what is possible to dramatically improve people’s lives.”
“We are pleased to join Takeda in championing the tireless work of researchers around the world,” said Nicholas Dirks, Ph.D., president and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences. “The 2022 Innovators in Science Award winners are pursuing groundbreaking medical research that reveals the workings of the gut microbiome to potentially bring innovations to patients everywhere who are affected by gastrointestinal disease and more.”
The 2022 winners will be honored at the Innovators in Science Award ceremony and symposium October 13-14, 2022, in Boston. For more information and to register for the 2022 Innovators in Science Award virtual symposium, please visit: https://www.nyas.org/awards/innovators-in-science-award/
The Innovators in Science Award grants two unrestricted prizes of US $200,000 each year: one to an early-career scientist and the other to a well-established senior scientist who have distinguished themselves for the creative thinking and impact of their research. The Innovators in Science Award is a limited submission competition in which research universities, academic institutions, government, or non-profit institutions, or equivalent from around the globe with a well-established record of scientific excellence are invited to nominate their most promising early-career scientists and their most outstanding senior scientists. The therapeutic focus rotates each year through one of five fields — neuroscience, gastroenterology, rare diseases, oncology, and regenerative medicine. The 2022 focus was gastroenterology, next year the focus will be on oncology. Prize winners are determined by a panel of judges, independently selected by the New York Academy of Sciences, with expertise in these disciplines. The New York Academy of Sciences administers the Award in partnership with Takeda.
Takeda is a global, values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader headquartered in Japan, committed to discover and deliver life-transforming treatments, guided by our commitment to patients, our people and the planet. Takeda focuses its R&D efforts on four therapeutic areas: Oncology, Rare Genetics and Hematology, Neuroscience, and Gastroenterology (GI). We also make targeted R&D investments in Plasma-Derived Therapies and Vaccines. We are focusing on developing highly innovative medicines that contribute to making a difference in people’s lives by advancing the frontier of new treatment options and leveraging our enhanced collaborative R&D engine and capabilities to create a robust, modality-diverse pipeline. Our employees are committed to improving quality of life for patients and to working with our partners in health care in approximately 80 countries and regions. For more information, visit https://www.takeda.com.
The New York of Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that since 1817 has been committed to advancing science for the benefit of society. With more than 20,000 Members in 100 countries, the Academy advances scientific and technical knowledge, addresses global challenges with science-based solutions, and sponsors a wide variety of educational initiatives at all levels for STEM and STEM related fields. The Academy hosts programs and publishes content in the life and physical sciences, the social sciences, nutrition, artificial intelligence, computer science, and sustainability. The Academy also provides professional and educational resources for researchers across all phases of their careers. Please visit us online at www.nyas.org.
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