For recipients of the 2022 Iva Dostanic Physician-Scientist Trainee Award, patient care guides their scientific studies.
Dennis Shung, MD, MHS, Research Associate (Digestive Diseases), uses machine learning to identify patients most at risk for gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. “How can we increase the time doctors have to spend with patients?” How can we ensure that providers are equipped to make the best possible decisions for their patients? Shung said. “Machine learning tools can be used to improve the patient experience and strengthen the hands-on presence of providers.”
Benjamin Goldman-Israelow, MD, PhD, ABIM Physician-Scientist Research Pathway instructor and resident, came to Yale School of Medicine (YSM) with a background in molecular virology. Caring for patients leads him to scientific investigations that can provide a better understanding of viruses, such as how they cause disease, and how scientists can create cures and vaccines to treat them. “I’m driven by my patients to understand science,” Goldman-Israelow said.
The YSM Department of Internal Medicine established the Iva Dostanic, MD, PhD, Physician-Scientist Trainee Award and Lecture in 2011 to recognize trainees who have a passion for science as well as clinical care, qualities exemplified by Dostanic , for whom the award is named.
Dostanic, a Yale School of Medicine (YSM) trainee physician-scientist, was accepted into the ABIM Physician-Scientist Research Pathway, but delayed her training after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. While on treatment, Dostanic was a research fellow in the Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine (Yale-PCCSM), but unfortunately her cancer returned. She died in December 2011, less than a week after receiving the first Iva Dostanic, MD, PhD, Physician-Scientist Trainee Award.
Since his death, Dostanic’s parents, Dragana and Predrag Dostanic, have devoted their lives to supporting the trainee physician-researchers of the internal medicine department. (See the article “A Gift to the Place Their Daughter Loved” in Related Documents.)
“It is inspiring to see Iva’s legacy continue through the talented young people who receive this award in her name,” said Peter S. Aronson, MD, CNH Long Professor of Medicine (Nephrology ) and professor of cellular and molecular physiology, who oversees the award. for YSM.
Shung joined the GI Digestive Diseases Program as a Fellow in 2017. In his first year, he completed a systematic review on machine learning in gastrointestinal bleeding, presenting his review at an international meeting in 2018 where she was designated a poster of distinction. He then developed a machine learning model that was available to clinicians everywhere to use to identify high-risk patients with gastrointestinal bleeding. Shung’s manuscript for this study was published in Gastroenterologythe most influential journal in the field.
“He will lead the next generation of researchers, using new and better techniques to advance the field,” Digestive Diseases Chief Loren Laine, MD, said in his letter nominating Shung for the Dostanic Award.
Goldman-Israelow came to Yale School of Medicine as an intern in 2016 after earning a doctorate from Mount Sinai, where he focused on hepatitis C. At Yale, he wanted to gain a better understanding of immunology while continuing his research on the interactions between viruses and the immune system. In January 2020, as the virus that causes COVID-19 emerged, Goldman-Israelow developed university-wide protocols to continue SARS-CoV-2 research and developed a mouse model to study COVID-19, one of the first reports of this type of model for SARS-CoV-2.
“Our studies of immune dysfunction in COVID-19 patients would not have been possible without Ben’s expert ability to ‘translate’ between the clinical aspects of COVID-19 and our research,” said Akiko Iwasaki, PhD, Professor Sterling immunobiology and molecular biology. , Cellular and Developmental Biology.
Erol Fikrig, MD, Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Medicine and Chief of Infectious Diseases, noted that “Goldman-Israelow’s accomplishments and passion for medicine and research make him an outstanding candidate who embodies the ideal represented by the Iva Dostanic Prize”.
Shung and Goldman-Israelow will receive their awards and lecture on their research at the Department of Internal Medicine’s major medical rounds on June 23rd.
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