BOSTON – Ramy Arnaout, MD, DPhil, Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology and Director of Reference Laboratory Testing at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) whose highly original work spans investigations of antibodies, T-cells and immunity, as well as big-data analyses of laboratory testing and personalized medicine, was presented with the 2014 Dvorak Young Investigator Award during BIDMC's Annual Meeting of the Boards on October 1.
Named in honor of cancer research pioneer Harold Dvorak, MD, whose novel investigations helped launch the field of angiogenesis, the award was created in 2013 through a gift from BIDMC donors Sheldon Simon and Ruth Moorman, whose generous support is helping to train the next generation of outstanding biomedical researchers.
"Some of our most creative ideas are emerging from the labs and clinical work of BIDMC's junior investigators," said BIDMC Chief Academic Officer Vikas P. Sukhatme, MD, PhD. "It is this group of talented individuals who face the greatest challenges in securing funding to carry out their promising investigations. Through the generosity and foresight of Sheldon Simon and Ruth Moorman, the Dvorak Young Investigator Award provides seed funding to enable young scientists like Dr. Arnaout to establish their laboratories and encourages their continued pursuit of biomedical research in today's challenging funding environment."
Arnaout's work makes use of computational biology, math, physics and engineering to understand complex systems in biology, genomics and medicine. Using big-data analytics coupled with traditional techniques, he has revealed useful patterns, trends and features of conventional medical care and genomic medicine. His work has helped launch the field of immunomics, the high-throughput study of antibodies and T-cells in the immune system. As Associate Director of BIDMC's Clinical Microbiology Laboratories, he has conducted in-depth analyses of how blood tests are ordered throughout medicine by using big data from electronic medical records and recently published a landmark 15-year study on lab test overuse and underuse.
His recent work focuses on dissecting and illuminating the role of antibodies in vaccines. Collaborating with Dan Barouch, MD, PhD, Director of BIDMC's Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Arnaout is building a comprehensive list of the millions of antibodies elicited by a promising candidate vaccine for the prevention of HIV. By examining the issue from a big-data standpoint, Arnaout aims to provide the first comprehensive description of the antibody response to a candidate HIV-1 vaccine and define signatures of desirable responses that should help in developing both therapeutic and preventive approaches for AIDS.
"As a member of BIDMC's Pathology faculty, I am humbled and honored to receive this award commemorating our own Hal Dvorak, who truly blazed a trail for the pursuit of unique scientific ideas," said Arnaout. "I am extremely grateful to Sheldon Simon and Ruth Moorman for their support of young investigators and their commitment to highlight the critically important role that biomedical research plays in improving patient care."
Arnaout is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his doctorate in mathematical (systems) biology from Oxford University on a Marshall Scholarship and his medical degree from Harvard Medical School as a Soros Fellow. He completed his residency training at Brigham and Women's Hospital and postdoctoral work at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and currently ranks third in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide.
BIDMC is in the community with Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth, Anna Jaques Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, Lawrence General Hospital, Signature Healthcare, Beth Israel Deaconess HealthCare, Community Care Alliance, and Atrius Health. BIDMC is also clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and Hebrew Senior Life and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit http://www.bidmc.org.