Dr. Cecelia Yates Receives the Emerging Innovator Award from the University of Pittsburgh


Congratulations to Dr. Cecelia Yates for receiving the Emerging Innovator Award from the University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute. The Innovation Institute established the Emerging Innovator Award in recognition of the potential difference developers can make on people’s lives through commercial translation. The Emerging Innovator Award was established three years ago to recognize Pitt innovators in mid-career who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to achieving impact for their research through commercialization.

Dr. Yates is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Promotion & Development, School of Nursing at the University of Pittsburgh, with secondary appointments in the Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, and the Department of Bioengineering, School of Engineering.  Additionally, she is co-director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s TL1 Predoctoral Fellowship sponsored by NIH Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program. Dr. Yates attended Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama, where she earned her BS in Biology/Chemistry and her PhD in Integrative Biomedical Science and Pathology in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh. Upon completing her education, she participated in a Fellowship in Pathology at Pitt’s School of Medicine.

She is the co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Fibrokine Inc., a Pittsburgh-based start-up developing a broad spectrum of anti‐fibrotic chemokine peptides to treat organ fibrosis. She is also the co-founder and member of the Scientific Advisory Board of a Pittsburgh-based start-up, Ocugenix, focused on ocular therapeutic development. In addition, she is involved with several ongoing therapeutic commercialization ventures.

Dr. Yates has over 15 years of experience in fibroblast, chemokine, and extracellular matrix biology and the pathogenesis of organ fibrosis. She has a continuous track record of innovative research and therapeutic development in the field of tissue repair. Her research focuses are on understanding immune cell and stromal cell mediated interactions that contribute to the pathogenesis of fibrotic diseases such as systemic sclerosis (Scleroderma) and IPF. Her research group combines both translational and clinical models to develop therapeutics including biometric peptides, cellular transplantation, and bioreactive scaffolds to promote tissue regeneration. Dr. Yates’ research has been supported externally by the National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, and internally by the Chancellor’s Innovation Award, the Center for Medical Innovation, and the University of Pittsburgh Genomic Hub. Dr. Yates’ entrepreneurial activities include more than eight issued US patents, several international patents, and pending applications associated with her work.

Dr. Yates received the 2011 ASIP Excellence in Science Award and serves on the ASIP Council in the role of Councilor At-large. She is a member of a number of ASIP Committees, including the Research and Science Policy Committee and the Membership Committee. Dr. Yates serves as a member of the Editorial Board for The American Journal of Pathology

Congratulations, Dr. Yates!

Member Spotlight – Roberto Ivan Mota Alvidrez MD, MS

My name is Roberto Ivan Mota Alvidrez, I am from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. I am a Research Assistant Professor working at the University of Pittsburgh/University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in the Department of Surgery. I study the role of platelets in diabetic vasculopathy looking particularly at anti platelet and immunothrombotic approaches while maintaining coagulation hemostasis in translational research. I am a physician scientist working in basic and translational research focusing in the consequences of diabetic disease in cardiovascular and metabolic function particularly atherosclerotic vascular disease. My research program focuses in understanding the molecular mechanisms that guide why diabetic patients have worst and accelerated vasculopathy with life threatening complications in sex-specific disease progression. My research has helped develop the first diabetic, atherosclerotic, obese and dyslipidemic rat model and a non-invasive, longitudinal pre-clinical SPECT/CT imaging tool to externally evaluate inflammation in atherosclerosis from my training at UNM, UNC and UTSW. As a result of my research, I have been able to obtain independent funding for my research project as a Principal Investigator as well as a postdoctoral fellow. My research program identifies timely and accurate preclinical diagnostic modalities that can be translated to the clinic in diabetic vasculopathy. My research program also focuses in identifying therapeutic targets and vascular drug delivery and immunotherapies in the still unresolved and important biomedical problem of diabetic vasculopathy with innovative approaches. I am married to my gorgeous wife Nahomi and have 3 beautiful kids (Oliver, Isabella and Thiago).

Roberto Ivan Mota Alvidrez MD, MS
Research Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery
University of Pittsburgh
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
F1271.2 PUH 200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone number: 505-415-8005

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ASIP Member Spotlight – Richard N. Mitchell, MD, PhD

Richard N. Mitchell, MD, PhD

Dr. Richard (Rick) Mitchell is a long-time member of the American Society for Investigative Pathology and is currently serving as President of the Society. Dr. Mitchell has been a member of the ASIP since 1991 and has served in many different capacities over the years. Dr. Mitchell served on the ASIP Education Committee for many years, and as Chair of the Education Committee from 2009-2015. As a member of the ASIP Education Committee, Dr. Mitchell served on several subcommittees, including those overseeing CME and on-line education. In 2008, Dr. Mitchell co-organized and Directed the ASIP Summer Academy on the topic of Molecular Mechanisms of Human Disease: Injury, Inflammation, and Tissue Repair. Dr. Mitchell joined the ASIP Council as Chair of the ASIP Program Committee from 2016-2018, prior to his election as Vice President in 2018. From 2018-2019, Dr. Mitchell served as Vice President and Chair of the Membership Committee. From 2019-2020, Dr. Mitchell served as President-elect and Chair of the Meritorious Awards Committee. Dr. Mitchell currently serves as President of the ASIP (July 2020-June 2021). In addition to his leadership roles within the Society, Dr. Mitchell has worked with The American Journal of Pathology for many years, most recently serving as Senior Associate Editor (since January 2018). Beyond the ASIP, Dr. Mitchell has been active in the American Society for Cell Biology, the American Society of Transplantation, the International Academy of Pathology, and the Society for Cardiovascular Pathology.

Dr. Mitchell began his training at the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA) where he earned a BS with Honors in Chemistry in 1975. He subsequently attended The Rockefeller University (New York, NY) where he earned a PhD in Cell Biology/Immunology in 1980 (working in the laboratory of Dr. William Bowers). Dr. Mitchell moved to the Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA) where he earned an MD in 1984, and subsequently trained in internal medicine (1984-1985) at Beth Israel Hospital (Boston, MA) prior to residency training in pathology (1985-1988) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Boston, MA), where he served as Chief Resident from 1987-1988. Upon completion of residency training, Dr. Mitchell completed a clinical fellowship in cardiac pathology (1988-1990) and a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Abul Abbas (1990-1992) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Mitchell became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology at the Harvard Medical School in 1992, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2000. In 2009, Dr. Mitchell became the Lawrence J. Henderson Associate Professor of Pathology and Health Sciences and Technology, and in 2011 was promoted to become the Lawrence J. Henderson Professor of Pathology and Health Sciences and Technology. Dr. Mitchell is associated with the Graduate Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences and the Graduate Program in Human Biology and Translational Medicine, and serves as Program Director of the Health Sciences and Technology Education and Curriculum. In addition, Dr. Mitchell serves as Director of Research Career Development and Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Pathology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Mitchell plays major roles in education at his institution, directing several courses, participating on dissertation committees for PhD students, and directing a T32-funded training program in Vascular, Pulmonary, and Renal Injury. Dr. Mitchell has received numerous teaching awards from Harvard/MIT. In recognition of his contributions to pathology education at Harvard and across the field of pathology at-large, Dr. Mitchell received the ASIP Robbins Distinguished Educator Award in 2013.

Dr. Mitchell has committed substantial time and energy to clinical service, training of clinical fellows, participation in teaching, and direction of education programs during his career. In addition, he is a very successful researcher. His research program has been well funded and has produced >150 papers, reviews, and book chapters to date. His original research has been published in exceptional journals, including The American Journal of Pathology. Dr. Mitchell’s research has focused on cardiovascular pathology with a focus on the mechanisms of acute allograft rejection and transplant-associated arteriosclerosis. His research utilizes murine aortic and cardiac allograft models, taking advantage of mouse strains with targeted deletions of various cytokines, chemokines, or their receptors to examine the roles of selected mediators, co-stimulatory molecules, and therapeutic agents in the development of acute and chronic allograft rejection. Dr. Mitchell’s research has shown that circulating bone marrow-derived precursors contribute to allograft arteriopathy, as well as in more typical atherosclerosis and other vascular pathologies, and has also demonstrated that different cytokine milieus lead to either stenosing vascular lesions (Th1 cytokines) or to aneurysm formation (Th2 cytokines).

Robin G. Lorenz, MD, PhD – Member Spotlight

Robin G. Lorenz, MD, PhD
Senior Director, Department of Pathology
Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, CA, USA

Dr. Robin Lorenz is a long-time member of the American Society for Investigative Pathology and has recently served in leadership. She was an At-Large Member of the ASIP Council from 2016-2019, and is currently the ASIP Representative to the Training and Career Opportunities Subcommittee of FASEB Science Policy Committee, as well as a current member of the ASIP Meritorious Awards Committee. Dr. Lorenz served as Senior Assistant Editor for The American Journal of Pathology from 2013-2017, and is a current member of the Editorial Board. In 2016, Dr. Lorenz received the ASIP Robbins Distinguished Educator Award.

Dr. Lorenz received her BS in Biology from Stanford University in 1984 and then attended Washington University in St Louis as a Medical Scientist Training Program fellow, where she earned an MD and a PhD in Immunology in 1990. She completed residency training in laboratory medicine (clinical pathology) at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and then transitioned to Assistant Professor in the Departments of Pathology and Medicine at Washington University in 1994. In addition to directing a basic science research lab focused on chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, Dr. Lorenz served as Co-Director of the Joint Clinical Immunology Laboratory of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St Louis Children’s Hospital and Associate Director of the Laboratory Medicine Residency Training Program. Dr. Lorenz joined the Department of Pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 2002 as an Associate Professor, and was promoted to Professor in 2007. Dr. Lorenz’s laboratory at UAB focused on gastrointestinal immune responses to both pathogenic (H. pylori) and commensal microbiota and the impact of these responses on systemic autoimmune diseases and was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. Dr. Lorenz played many key roles at UAB, including serving as Associate Dean for Physician Scientist Development, Director of the UAB Medical Scientist (MD-PhD) Training Program, and Director of the UAB Medical Student Summer Research Program. At UAB, Dr. Lorenz held secondary faculty appointments in the UAB departments of Medical Education and Microbiology, and was a member of the Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Comprehensive Diabetes Center, and the Comprehensive Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Center. While working at UAB, Dr. Lorenz earned an MS in Healthcare Quality and Safety (2017). Dr. Lorenz has a longstanding involvement in the Academy of Clinical and Laboratory Physicians and Scientists (ACLPS), where she participated in the formulation of a national curriculum for the teaching of clinical immunology. More recently, she was one of the leaders in the national dialogue on whether Pathology should form a research track for Pathology residents. This track was recently endorsed by the American Board of Pathology and is now available to Pathology residents who are training to become physician-scientists.

Dr. Lorenz assumed her new position of Senior Director of Research Pathology at Genentech in South San Francisco, CA in 2018. At Genentech, her department provides high quality pathology support to laboratory and clinical scientists engaged in biomarker strategy/development/deployment across the drug development pipeline. These activities extend into “late stage” clinical development efforts (Phase III clinical trials). The Research Pathology department provides Research and Development personnel with intellectual and technical expertise concerning pathology-related study design, tissue selection, microscopic interpretation, analytical techniques, and support for regulatory and clinical queries. The Pathologists’ collaborative support of research and development scientists include histopathology interpretive expertise informed by traditional diagnostic categories and by detailed and current understanding of molecular and cellular biology. These activities provide cutting edge technology platforms for analysis of fresh, frozen and formalin-fixed paraffin embedded tissues and cell lines used to assess (i) new therapeutic targets and pathways and (ii) biomarkers relevant to diagnosing and treating human disease. The Department also manages 6 core pathology laboratories that include necropsy, clinical pathology, histopathology, immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization, a human tissue biorepository, and advanced light microscopy, electron microscopy and digital pathology.

Katti Crakes, PhD

Congratulations to Dr. Katti Crakes upon the very recent completion and defense of her PhD research. Dr. Crakes is a new member of the ASIP and was planning to attend Experimental Biology 2020 prior to its cancellation.

Dr. Crakes spent the majority of her childhood in Los Angeles CA, but eventually transplanted to New York. She remained in New York for her undergraduate training leading to a BS in Animal Science in 2014 from Cornell University (Ithaca, NY). Dr. Crakes moved back to California in 2014 to enter graduate school in the Integrative Pathobiology DVM/PhD program at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Crakes did her PhD research with Dr. Satya Dandekar in Medical Microbiology & Immunology. One of their main research goals was to identify host-microbe interactions in the gut that can restore mucosal health during viral infections. Dr. Crakes investigated the pathogenesis of SIV infection in the gut and mechanisms involved in intestinal barrier damage using a non-human primate model of HIV infection. Her research focused on understanding the role of metabolic pathways on mucosal health at the host-microbe interfaces, particularly in diabetes and HIV infection.

Dr. Crakes has a special interest in comparative animal models from ruminants to companion animals to non-human primates. Having completed her PhD work, Dr. Crakes will return to veterinary school to complete the last 2 years of clinical training. Dr. Crakes is currently an NIH-funded fellow (NIAID F30) and serves as the Student President of the Integrative Pathobiology graduate program, and is also a member of the Chancellor’s Graduate & Professional Student Advisory Board. Dr. Crakes’ long-term goal is to help bridge veterinary and human medicine, to advance funding opportunities in veterinary research, and to champion mental health and wellness in academia. 

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