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Copyright 2023. Houston Methodist, Houston, TX. All rights reserved.
Houston Methodist congratulates our leaders, scientists, innovators and teachers who have been recognized.
Cornerstone Award

Career Cornerstone Awards acknowledge junior faculty members who have successfully secured their first National Institute of Health R01 grant. The R01 is the original grant mechanism used by the NIH to support health-related research and development.

Arshad Khan, PhD,
Assistant Research Professor of Pathology and Genomic Medicine, for his R01, “Novel Stem Cell Immunotherapy for MDR-Tuberculosis.” Funds will enable the development of a new method of stem cell therapeutic vaccination to control MDR tuberculosis.
Zhiqiang Zhang, PhD,
Associate Professor of Transplant Immunology in Surgery, for his R01, “Studies of a new checkpoint regulator in the control of intestinal inflammation.” The new funding will enable the team to address the molecular mechanisms in controlling proinflammatory cytokine-induced intestinal inflammation that may have therapeutic implications for colitis and lupus.
Excellence in Education
Joshua D. Harris, MD
Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery. Throughout the pandemic, Dr. Harris has remained busy advancing his education through the completion of four postdoctoral certification courses at three of the most prestigious schools in the country.
Jae Ro, MD, PhD
Anatomic Pathology, Clinical and Laboratory Pathology. To the residents and fellows in the Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine at Houston Methodist, Dr. Ro has long been known for his unparalleled passion, dedication and commitment as an educator to the 40 trainees in the department.
Excellence in Peer-Reviewed Publications
John P. Cooke, MD, PhD
Joseph C. “Rusty” Walter and Carole Walter Looke Presidential Distinguished Chair in Cardiovascular Disease Research, Department of Cardiovascular Sciences Chair, Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, Professor of Cardiovascular Sciences, Director, Center for Cardiovascular Regeneration, Medical Director, Center for RNA Therapeutics, for his paper, "Telomerase Therapy Reverses Vascular Senescence and Extends Lifespan in Progeria Mice,” published in the European Heart Journal. These studies bridge a critical gap in our knowledge of the aging process or senescence by demonstrating a direct correlation to telomere length, chromatin architecture and epigenetic regulation.
Kershaw V. Patel, MD
Assistant Professor of Cardiology, Assistant Clinical Member, for his paper, "Association of Baseline and Longitudinal Changes in Body Composition Measures With Risk of Heart Failure and Myocardial Infarction in Type 2 Diabetes: Findings From the Look AHEAD Trial,” published in Circulation. This manuscript is clinically significant because obesity affects 42% of adults in the United States, which contributes to the more than 34 million adults with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in this vulnerable population.
Qing Yi, MD, PhD
Ralph O’Connor Centennial Chair, Dr. Mary & Ron Neal Cancer Center, Professor of Oncology, Director, Center for Translational Research in Hematological Malignancies, Associate Director, Cancer Center Basic Research Programs, for his paper, "CD36-mediated ferroptosis dampens intratumoral CDS+ T cell effector function and impairs their antitumor ability,” published in Cell Metabolism. This study reveals a new mechanism of CD36 regulating the function of CD8+ effector T cells and therapeutic potential of targeting CD36 or inhibiting ferroptosis to restore T cell function.
Excellence in Research
A. Osama Gaber, MD
John F., Jr. and Carolyn Bookout Presidential Distinguished Chair in Surgery, Department of Surgery, Chair, Department of Surgery, Professor of Surgery, Program Director, Transplant Surgery Fellowship, Department of Surgery, and the transplant team, for his extraordinary efforts in quickly establishing a specimen collection protocol for pre- and post-vaccine sample collection of transplant patients.
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