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Chen Award Recipient 2018

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Chen Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement in Human Genetic and Genomic Research (2018)

Aravinda Chakravarti, United States
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine 

Aravinda Chakravarti is a human molecular geneticist whose research is aimed at genome-scale analysis of human disease, analysis of gene variation and function, and elucidating the molecular genetic basis of common genetic disorders. He received his doctoral degree in human genetics from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston in 1979 and continued postdoctoral training at the University of Washington in Seattle until 1980. His scientific contributions include pioneering linkage disequilibrium mapping in human genetics, building common variation maps of the human genome, unraveling the multifactorial molecular genetics of Hirschsprung disease and demonstrating the importance of non-coding genetic variation in enhancers in a number of complex diseases. He has been a participant and part of the leadership of the human genome, the HapMap and the 1000 genomes projects. He was the 2008 President of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG), and has been elected to the US National Academy of Sciences, US National Academy of Medicine, Indian National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Chakravarti is one of the founding Editors-in-Chief of Genome Research and the Annual Reviews of Human Genetics & Genomics, and serves on the Advisory and Editorial Boards of numerous national and international journals, boards and societies. He is a past member of the NIH National Advisory Council of the National Human Genome Research Institute, and chaired the NIH Subcommittee on the 3rd 5-year Genome Project Plan. He was awarded the American Society of Human Genetics’ Allan Award in 2013 for his contributions to human genetics.

Chen Award of Excellence (2018)

Ami Bhatt, United States
Stanford University

Prof. Ami Bhatt is a physician scientist with a strong interest in microbial genomics and metagenomics. She received her MD and PhD from the University of California, San Francisco where she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honors Society. She then carried out her residency and fellowship training at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and served as Chief Medical Resident from 2010-2011. She joined the faculty of the Departments of Medicine (Divisions of Hematology and Bone marrow transplantation) and Genetics at Stanford University in 2014 after completing a post-doctoral fellowship focused on genomics at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. Prof. Bhatt is a current Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator and has received multiple awards for her academic scholarship and global health leadership, including a Union for International Cancer Control-Young Leader Award and the Rosenkranz Prize for Global Health.

Her team’s research program seeks to illuminate the interplay between the microbial environment and host/clinical factors in human diseases. Her translational laboratory develops and applies novel molecular and computational tools to study strain level dynamics of the microbiome, to understand how microbial genomes change over time and predict the functional output of microbiomes. These innovations facilitate much improved (1) measurement of the types and functions of microbes in patients with non-communicable diseases, (2) understanding of the interactions between microbial genes, gene products, and host cells and (3) testing of the impact of microbially targeted interventions in clinical trials.

In addition to carrying out research at Stanford University, Prof. Bhatt has active collaborations world-wide including in Nigeria and South Africa. She is committed to ensuring that advances in research touch the lives of individuals in all income settings – and thus, in her spare time, enjoys volunteering for the nonprofit she co-founded, Global Oncology. 

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