Ram Sasisekharan, assistant professor in the Division of Bioengineering and Environmental Health, was one of six researchers nationwide to receive the 1999 Burroughs Wellcome Fund New Investigator Award in the basic pharmacological sciences. Dr. Sasisekharan's work is on heparin-like glycosaminoglycans as a target for therapeutic intervention. The awards, which provide $210,000 over three years, are intended to give recipients the freedom and flexibility to engage in higher-risk research with potential for moving pharmacology in promising new directions.
Walter Alessi, the men's lacrosse and men's soccer coach, has recently been elected to the Hall of Fame of the Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of US Lacrosse. Mr. Alessi, who was an All-America defense-man at the University of Massachusetts, has coached the MIT Engineers for the past 25 seasons and has been active in the sport regionally at an administrative level throughout his MIT career. In 1998 he was the Pilgrim League Coach of the Year.
Associate Professor Anne Mayes in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering recently received the 1999 John H. Dillon Medal, awarded by the American Physical Society Division of High Polymer Physics. This medal is awarded annually to recognize outstanding research accomplishments by a polymer physicist who has demonstrated exceptional research promise early in his or her career. Professor Mayes was cited for "her unique combination of theoretical and experimental insight into polymer self-organization." The Dillon Medal was presented following a symposium held in her honor at the APS centennial conference in Atlanta. Colleagues and collaborators from MIT and other universities were featured as speakers along with Professor Mayes, who spoke on "Comb Surface Segregation: New Routes to Hydrophilic Polymer Surfaces."
Dr. Frederick J. Schoen, professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School and a faculty member in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST), has received the 1999 Founders Award of the Society for Biomaterials. The honor is considered a lifetime achievement award for members of the biomaterials community.
Contributions by Professor Schoen (who is also vice chair of pathology and director of cardiac pathology at Brigham and Women's Hospital) have been in the areas of host-biomaterial interactions, structure-function-pathology correlations in heart valve substitutes, calcification of bioprosthetic tissues and heart transplantation. Among his other honors are the Irving M. London Teaching Award (1992) and Taplin Fellowship (1998), both from HST.
A version of this article appeared in the April 28, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 43, Number 28).