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Endocrine Society honors 2014 Early Investigators, FLARE Internship Award winners

Washington, DCThe Endocrine Society is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2014 Early Investigators Awards and the Future Leaders Advancing Research in Endocrinology (FLARE) Internship Awards.

The Early Investigators Awards, supported by the Endocrine Society, were established to recognize the achievements of early career investigators in endocrine research. The FLARE Program, which launched in August 2012, provides training and professional development opportunities for underrepresented minority senior graduate students, postdoctoral and clinical research fellows in hormone health research. The FLARE Awards are supported by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

This year's Early Investigators and FLARE Awards will be presented at the joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society ICE/ENDO 2014 in Chicago, IL on June 21-24.

The 2014 winners of the Endocrine Society's 2014 Early Investigators Awards for Accomplishments in Endocrine Research are listed below.

  • Houda Benlhabib, PhD, is a Research Instructor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. Her research focuses on developmental and hormonal regulation of epigenetic changes surrounding the gene encoding the major surfactant protein in fetal lung tissue.

  • Lily C. Chao, MD, is an assistant professor in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Children's Hospital Los Angeles in Encino, CA. Throughout her clinical training, she has maintained a keen interest in understanding the molecular basis for insulin resistance. Dr. Chao is currently studying the nuclear receptor Nur77, a key mediator of glycolysis and glucose utilization, to determine how it controls muscle mass.

  • Andrew Dauber, MD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, and an attending physician in the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology at Boston Children's Hospital in Boston, MA. He also serves as the Assistant Medical Director for the Clinical and Translational Study Unit at Boston Children's Hospital. He is interested in rare genetic causes of growth disorders and the use of next-generation sequencing technologies to understand pediatric endocrine disorders.

  • Mathieu Ferron, PhD, is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Integrative and Molecular Physiology Research Unit at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montral in Montral, QC, Canada. He is also an active member of the Montreal Diabetes Research Center and an assistant professor at the Department of Medicine at University of Montral. He is researching the role of vitamin K-dependent proteins in glucose and bone metabolism.

  • Sheng Wu, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. The goal of her research is to investigate the mechanisms underlying the interaction between metabolism and reproduction. She is currently investigating the insulin and androgen interaction in obesity-induced infertility.

Additional information on this award and award recipients is located on the Society's Awards and Grants site at

The Endocrine Society's 2014 FLARE Internship Award winners are listed below. FLARE Interns will serve as leaders on Society-based governance committees for one year and as mentors to undergraduate students in the Minority Access Program, which is designed to encourage underrepresented minority undergraduate students to pursue advanced degrees in the biomedical sciences.

  • Michael D. Burton, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr. Joel Elmquist's lab in the Division of Hypothalamic Research at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. His research focuses on how peripheral sensory neurons convey information to the brain to regulate whole body energy homeostasis and glucose metabolism.

  • Diana Cittelly, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Research in the Pathology Department at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, CO. Her research focuses on the hormonal regulation of the brain microenvironment during progression of metastatic cancers.

  • Diana Cruz-Topete, PhD, works as a Research Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. John A. Cidlowski at the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, NC. She is currently investigating the effects of endogenous corticosteroid hormones in cardiac physiology and gene expression.

  • Hector L. Franco, PhD, is an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. In his research, he uses an interdisciplinary approach to study the molecular mechanisms of endocrine and inflammatory signaling in breast cancer.

  • Ekaette Mbong, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, San Diego in LaJolla, California. She is studying the effects of obesity on reproductive fitness.

  • Glenn C. Rowe, PhD, is an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. His research focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying metabolism in the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular system.

  • Bryan Wilson, BS, is a PhD/MBA student in Molecular Medicine and Translational Sciences at the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston Salem, NC. His research focuses on the intracellular mechanisms of action of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) on blood pressure regulation and renal injury.

FLARE is supported by the NIDDK under Award Number R25DK096937. Details about this award and recipients are available on the Society's Awards and Grants site at


Contact: Jenni Glenn Gingery
The Endocrine Society

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