Dr. Gyongyi Szabo Named 2020 ALF Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award Winner
We’re proud to announce Dr. Gyongyi Szabo, MD, PhD as the 2020 recipient of our Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award (DSAA). Dr. Szabo is the Mitchell T. Rabkin, M.D. Chair, Professor of Medicine and Faculty Dean at Harvard Medical School and Chief Academic Officer at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Beth Israel Lahey Health. In this role, she leads all basic, translational and clinical research activities, innovation, education and faculty development for the BIDMC, a Harvard teaching hospital and for BILH, the second largest health care system in New England.
A physician scientist and an internationally known expert in liver immunology and inflammation Dr. Szabo investigates the complex role of chronic inflammation in progression of liver diseases. Her laboratory studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms of inflammation and innate immunity in liver injury to identify therapeutic targets focused on non-alcoholic liver disease, NASH and alcoholic liver disease. Her investigations recently revealed the importance of microRNAs and extracellular vesicles in liver diseases. She showed that exosomes cannot only be biomarkers but also vehicles of inter-cellular and inter-organ communication. Her studies identified microRNA-122 as a central player in steatohepatitis and showed that miR-155 regulates exosome release. Earlier, her group discovered that Interferon Regulatory Factor 3 downstream from Toll-like receptor 4 regulates hepatocellular damage and represents a key molecule in alcoholic hepatitis. Dr. Szabo’s group made the novel discovery that NLRP3 activation and the IL-1ß pathway are potential therapeutic targets in alcoholic hepatitis and NASH. Her translational studies with the use of IL-1 receptor antagonist in a preclinical model of alcoholic hepatitis provided basis for a subsequent first-time clinical trial in alcoholic hepatitis with IL-1 inhibition. She is the lead investigator on the AlcHeptNet NIH-supported multicenter clinical trial in alcoholic hepatitis. Dr. Szabo’s is member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and fellow of the AASLD, AGA and the American College of Physicians (ACP). Dr. Szabo serves on advisory boards of several federal agencies, leading academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Szabo served on the Governing Board and as President of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) in 2015 and she is the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of Hepatology Communications.
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