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Goldman-Israelow Receives Young Physician-Scientist Award

May 01, 2023
by Serena Crawford

Benjamin Goldman-Israelow, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine (infectious diseases), was selected for a 2023 American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) Council Young Physician-Scientist Award. He was among 50 recipients to receive the recognition, on April 22, at the 2023 AAP/ASCI/APSA Joint Meeting, in Chicago.

The ASCI Council Young Physician-Scientist Awards recognize physician scientists who are early in their first faculty appointment and have made significant achievements in research. With these awards, the ASCI seeks to encourage and inspire recipients through their participation in the Joint Meeting.

The recognition by peers and mentors is humbling and inspiring, Goldman-Israelow said, as was meeting fellow awardees and ASCI members at the Joint Meeting. “Learning from others about what steps and decision points they took and made along the way helps to inform me in terms of what decisions I'll have to make and how to approach them,” he said.

In addition to attendance at the Joint Meeting, the award offers two years of leadership development workshops, panel discussions, peer review groups, and virtual poster sessions. Goldman-Israelow noted the opportunity the award provided him to build a peer support group with others at similar career stages.

Learning from others about what steps and decision points they took and made along the way helps to inform me in terms of what decisions I'll have to make and how to approach them.

Benjamin Goldman-Israelow, MD, PhD

Goldman-Israelow came to Yale School of Medicine (YSM) as part of the ABIM Physician-Scientist Research Pathway, a two-year short track into fellowship training for residents who are committed to research careers. Soon after, he joined the Iwasaki Lab to study SARS-CoV-2 infection, pathogenesis, and immunity in both patients and preclinical models.

“One of the early things we did was try to dissect which elements of the adaptive immune response—the memory response that helps to protect us from infections in the future by the same or similar pathogen—are important,” Goldman-Israelow said of his time in the Iwasaki Lab. “Using that information, we developed a vaccination strategy to induce what we believe to be the most important aspects of adaptive immunity, not just for protecting the individual, but for protecting against viral transmission.”

Akiko Iwasaki, PhD, Sterling Professor of Immunobiology and professor of dermatology, of molecular, cellular & developmental biology, and of epidemiology (infectious diseases), calls Goldman-Israelow a rising star.

“As a postdoc in my lab, he developed a versatile mouse model to study the consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection and demonstrated the relative importance of T and B cells in controlling virus replication,” she said. “He also developed a new vaccine strategy, called ‘Prime and Spike,’ that generates mucosal immunity in the nose and lungs. This strategy enables the blocking of viral transmission and has the potential to change the way we approach vaccines against mucosal pathogens.”

Goldman-Israelow continues to explore this vaccine strategy in his own lab, which he started last August. Taking on the new role as head of a lab is one of the topics his Young Physician-Scientist Awards cohort has discussed, he said.

“It’s important to learn from each other because there’s no set road to follow,” he said. “It helps me think about where I am and where I’m going.”

Other YSM recipients of the 2023 ASCI Young Physician Scientist Awards are David Braun, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine (medical oncology) and Rohan Khera, MD, assistant professor of medicine (cardiovascular medicine).

The Department of Internal Medicine at Yale is among the nation's premier departments, bringing together an elite cadre of clinicians, investigators, educators, and staff in one of the world's top medical schools. To learn more, visit Internal Medicine.

Submitted by Serena Crawford on May 01, 2023