NEW ICIS Mentorship Award

Howard A. Young, PhD, Senior Investigator at the Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, USA

Dr. Howard Young has been chosen to be the first recipient of the newly established ICIS Mentorship Award in recognition of significant and sustained contributions to the career development of trainees and to the profession through outstanding mentoring over four decades. Howard has trained a number of post-docs and post-bacs who have gone on to establish their own labs around the world and who, in turn, mentored hundreds of additional trainees following the example that Howard set of promoting high-level human and scientific interactions. 

Nominating Mentees:

  • Professor Ram Savan, who was a post-doctoral fellow in his laboratory from 2005 – 2011 and currently is an Associate Professor of Immunology at the University of Washington in Seattle.
  • Professor Elizabeth J. Kovacs, who was his first postdoctoral fellow, joining his lab in 1984. Dr. Kovacs went on to faculty positions at Loyola and is now Professor, Department of Surgery, Division of GI, Trauma & Endocrine Surgery at the University of Colorado Denver / Anschutz Medical Campus.
  • Professor Antonio Sica who spent 5 years as a postdoc in Howard Young, at N.C.I., Frederick, from 1990 to 1995. He has since become the head of laboratory at the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan and later at the Humanitas and Clinical research Center, Rozzano Milan. Since 2009, he is Full Professor of General Pathology at the University of Eastern Piedmont, Novara, Italy, managing the Molecular Immunology laboratory, Humanitas and Clinical research Center, Rozzano, Milan

Dr. Young has received NCI and NIH mentorship awards for his mentorship and his leadership role in establishing the Werner H Kristen High-School Summer internship program. Dr. Werner Kristen, a previous NCI Frederick Director, started an internship program in 1989 (around 30-40 students/ year) that introduces lab science to high school seniors and which has been a tremendous success with over 1000 students having gone through the program. Howard has also significantly invested time and effort in training post-bacs, many of whom have gone onto successful careers in science and medicine.

Dr. Howard Young is a Senior Investigator in the Laboratory of Cancer Immunometabolism, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute in Frederick, MD.  His research focuses on the regulation and characterization of cytokine gene expression with a special emphasis on interferons. His laboratory has developed a mouse model of chronic interferon-gamma expression that results in at least 4 different autoimmune diseases in C57 BL/6 mice, resembling lupus, myocarditis, autoimmune ovarian failure  and primary biliary cholangitis with a female bias.  He is also investigating therapeutic approaches to monitoring and treating these autoimmune diseases as well as identifying the basis of disease initiation and progression.  Furthermore, his laboratory is studying how cancer progresses in the context of an autoimmune host background.

During his career at the NIH, Dr. Young is a 3 time recipient of the NIH outstanding mentor award and is a recipient of the mentorship award from the Center for Cancer Research Women Scientists Association.   He has also twice chaired both the NIH Immunology Interest Group and Cytokine Interest Group.

He has served on many ICIS committees, was President of the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research and has edited the ICIS/ISICR newsletter since its inception.

The newly established ICIS Mentorship Award recognizes ICIS members who have made significant and sustained contributions to the career development of trainees and to the profession through outstanding mentoring. This award is based on the training experiences and success of the nominee’s mentees, not the mentor’s personal career achievements. For the purpose of this award, mentoring is defined as the process of guiding, supporting, and promoting the training and career development of others. A minimum of three mentees will write a supporting letter on how this person has impacted their development, career and lives, to be submitted together by one of the mentees (the mentee submitting the nomination should be an ICIS member) as a combined pdf file. Please nominate your mentors now as this award is actively recruiting candidates for consideration. The key roles of a mentor include, but are not limited to, providing: 
  • Intellectual growth and development
  • Career development
  • Professional guidance
  • Advocacy
  • Positive role modeling
Eligibility Criteria:
  • To be eligible, the person needs a minimum of three mentees who are willing to write a supporting letter (one page, single spaced) on how this person has impacted their development, career and lives. 
  • Both the nominee and the corresponding nominator must be ICIS members (not a member, apply today)
  • Nominees may include academic, government or industry members
  • Nominees should have a sustained record of mentoring over time 
  • Self-nominations and posthumous nominations will not be accepted.
  • Candidates that were nominated in the preceding year but did not win the award are automatically reconsidered as eligible in the ensuing year.
  • The nomination must be made by a Regular, Industry or Student/Postdoc Member of the Society and include a minimum of two additional letters of nomination. The winner of this award will be announced at the annual meeting.

The Awardee will receive an ICIS Crystal and travel costs to attend the Society’s Annual Meeting up to $1500, and complimentary meeting registration for the year of the award. Mentees are invited to present the Award to their Mentor at the Annual Awards Ceremony.

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