Sunday Awards Session Honors Four Recipients

Awards Session (G2)

4:30-5:45 p.m.


Hall H (Ground Level), San Diego Convention Center

Four renowned physicians and researchers will be honored during Sunday’s Awards Session, featuring the Amberson Lecture and the presentation of the Trudeau Medal and two Distinguished Achievement Awards.

Amberson Lecture

This year’s Amberson Lecture will be delivered by Scott T. Weiss, MD, MS, who will present “Network Methods to Prevent Asthma.” Dr. Weiss is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He also serves as director of Partners HealthCare Personalized Medicine and associate director of the Channing Division of Network Medicine.

In his lecture, Dr. Weiss plans to talk about network science, a relatively new branch of science that provides a framework to organize and analyze the multiple types of Omics data being generated in the wake of the Human Genome Project. Some of these data types include genome sequence, transcriptomic sequence, miRNA sequence, metabolomics, and proteomics.

Scott T. Weiss, MD, MS

Scott T. Weiss, MD, MS

Dr. Weiss will give some examples of how these data can be combined to find the molecular basis of disease, including the use of networks to find the molecular and genetic similarity between asthma and COPD, to understand how maternal asthma is related to preeclampsia, and to explore the origins of asthma by looking at vitamin D and how it influences genetic risk of asthma through its influence on the sphingolipid pathway.

Dr. Weiss says the goal of the lecture is to emphasize that combining multiomics data with a deep understanding of disease natural history and strong study designs will advance science and ultimately develop cures for disease.

“Network approaches are one of the most important developments for analysis of big or multiomics data,” he says. “I think that is the cutting edge of science and where research needs to go. I want to show the ATS membership the utility of these approaches in potentially curing disease. These new methods of scientific discovery are important and can impact scientists, physicians, and patients, hopefully inspiring all of us to apply these approaches to future scientific problems.”

Jeffrey A. Whitsett, MD

Jeffrey A. Whitsett, MD

Edward Livingston Trudeau Medal

The recipient of this year’s Edward Livingston Trudeau Medal is Jeffrey A. Whitsett, MD. Dr. Whitsett is co-director of the Perinatal Institute and chief of the Division of Neonatology, Perinatal, and Pulmonary Biology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. His work involving surfactant production in preterm infants spans decades and has contributed significantly to saving the lives of countless newborns. (See related Q&A on page 17.)

Distinguished Achievement Awards

Qutayba Hamid, MBChB, PhD, and Monica Kraft, MD, will receive this year’s Distinguished Achievement Awards.

Qutayba Hamid, MBChB, PhD

Qutayba Hamid, MBChB, PhD

Dr. Hamid is a professor of medicine, vice chancellor, and dean of medicine at the University of Sharjah in United Arab Emirates. He is also a professor of medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He was until recently the director of Meakins Christie labs, the James McGill Professor of Medicine and Pathology, and the MUHC Strauss Chair in Respiratory Medicine at McGill University Health Centre.

Dr. Hamid’s research focuses on better understanding the mechanisms of asthma and obstructive airway disease, especially the role of cytokines. In earlier years, he led the application of molecular biology, particularly
in situ hybridization of lung tissue to define airway pathobiology, and pioneered the hypothesis that T2 cytokines, particularly IL-5, play a major role in allergic asthma. This led to the development of biological treatment for asthma. More recently, he has explored the role of IL-17 in patients with difficult-to-treat asthma and the mechanism of steroid resistance.

Monica Kraft, MD

Monica Kraft, MD

Dr. Kraft has served as the Robert and Irene Flinn Endowed Chair of Medicine at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center since 2015. Prior to that, she was the director of the Asthma, Allergy, and Airway Center, division chief for pulmonary, allergy, and critical care medicine, vice chair for research, and Charles C. Johnson Distinguished Professor of Medicine in the Duke University Department of Medicine.

Dr. Kraft has made multiple discoveries of pathophysiologic mechanisms of inflammation and innate immunity that are directly involved in human asthma and are directly associated with clinical characteristics and outcomes of the disease. Her major accomplishments are the translation of cellular events in asthma, including the presence of distal lung inflammation, specific host-pathogen interactions, and innate immune dysfunction to relevant changes in clinical outcomes. She has discovered a link between surfactant protein A and asthma and is developing a therapeutic alternative for asthma based on the discovery.