A magazine for friends of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

A Rewarding Year


BioMed faculty earn prominent awards, distinctions in 2023.

Throughout 2023, faculty in the Division of Biology and Medicine were honored for outstanding research, service, and leadership with numerous awards, fellowships, and other honors. The scholars earned both national and international recognition and support for their work.

Among such distinctions are the following honors:

Jasjit Singh Ahluwalia, MD, MPH, MS, a professor of behavioral and social sciences and of medicine, was selected by the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s Health Equity Special Interest Group to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his substantial and distinguished scholarly contributions to research on health equity promotion in behavioral medicine.

Alfred Ayala, PhD, a professor of surgery (research), received the 2024 Legacy Keynote Lecture Award from the Society of Leukocyte Biology and was invited to give the keynote lecture at the society’s annual meeting. The award is presented annually to a member for excellence in leukocyte biology research and is the highest honor bestowed by the organization.

Richard Besdine, MD, a professor of medicine and of health services, policy, and practice, was honored in 2023 by HopeHealth with the Human Dignity Award. The nonprofit organization, a teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School, recognized Besdine for his dedication to the essence of hospice, which is to provide comfort, compassion, and dignity to patients, and hope and healing to their families.

Mary Carskadon, PhD, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior, received the 2023 Excellence in Research Award (in honor of sleep researcher Dr. William C. Dement) from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The award recognizes scholars who have displayed exceptional initiative and progress in the areas of sleep research, dissemination of knowledge, and mentoring of the next generation of physicians and scientists.

Philip Chan, MD, MS, an associate professor of behavioral and social sciences and of medicine, was elected to the Presidential Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS. In this role, he will advise the federal government on policy related to HIV across the United States. Since 2015, Chan has served as consultant medical director for the Rhode Island Department of Health Center for HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases, and tuberculosis.

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Silvia Chiang, MD, ScM, received a Fulbright US Scholar Award to conduct tuberculosis research in Brazil during the 2023-2024 academic year.

Don S. Dizon, MD, a professor of medicine and of surgery and head of community outreach and engagement at Brown’s Legorreta Cancer Center, was named editor of CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, the flagship journal of the cancer-fighting organization the American Cancer Society.

Colin Harrington, MD, a clinical professor of psychiatry and human behavior, of medical science, and of medicine, was named president-elect of the American Neuropsychiatric Association, which aims to improve the lives of people with disorders at the interface of psychiatry and neurology. Harrington, who for two decades has been active in administrative and leadership roles with the organization, will serve as president-elect from 2023 to 2025 and as president from 2025 to 2027.

Diane Lipscombe, PhD, the Thomas J. Watson, Sr. Professor of Science, a professor of neuroscience, and the director of Brown’s Carney Institute for Brain Science, received the Landis Award for Outstanding Mentorship from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Lipscombe was one of five awardees to be recognized for showing dedication to superior mentorship and training in neuroscience research.

Elizabeth Lowenhaupt, MD, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior, of pediatrics, and of medical science, was named chair of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, an organization that aims to ​​improve the quality of health care in jails, prisons, and juvenile facilities. Lowenhaupt serves as consulting medical and psychiatric director at the Rhode Island Training School, the state’s only juvenile correctional facility.

Patrick McGann, MD, PhD, an associate professor of medicine and of pediatrics, is among the first cohort of the Obama Foundation’s USA Leaders program, a six-month virtual program that supports and connects emerging leaders. McGann, who is the director of the Lifespan Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center, was selected to join the program for his commitment to improving the lives of individuals with sickle cell disease through a focus on antiracism and health equity both locally and internationally.

Noah Philip, MD, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior, received the George N. Thompson Award for Distinguished Service from the Society of Biological Psychiatry for outstanding service to the organization. Since Philip joined the society as a resident in 2009, he has participated in several of the organization’s committees and leadership roles, including serving as education chair and, most recently, program chair.

Patricia Poitevien, MD, MSc, an associate professor of pediatrics and the senior associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion at The Warren Alpert Medical School, is one of 84 new members of the American Pediatric Society. Current members nominate new members through a process that recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves as child health leaders, teachers, scholars, policymakers, and clinicians.

Stephen Salloway, MD, MS, the Martin M. Zucker Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, a professor of neurology, and the associate director of Brown’s Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research, received the Leon Thal Award for Alzheimer’s Research from the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health at the Cleveland Clinic. Salloway was cited for “helping open the molecular era for the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Rahul Vanjani, MD, MSc, a clinical assistant professor of medicine, was one of six early career educators in medicine and nursing to be named a Macy Faculty Scholar, an honor that came with up to $100,000 over two years to implement an educational scholarly project and participate in a program of career development activities. Vanjani will expand the existing social medicine elective, which he launched at Brown in 2021, to professions beyond medicine, including nursing, pharmacy, social work, and law.

See the complete list of Brown faculty awardees.


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