2021 Fishman Fund Award ceremony celebrates postdoctoral scholars
The Fishman Fund Awards were presented on September 23, 2021, in a virtual ceremony that honored the enduring legacy of our Institute’s founders, Dr. William and Lillian Fishman.
The three exceptional winners were welcomed by Fishman Fund co-founder Reena Horowitz; co-founder designee Jeanne Jones; and 2018 award recipient Laura Martin-Sancho, who commented, “A Fishman Fund Award is more than the money—it means that someone believes in you and believes in your goals.”
Longtime supporter, Institute trustee and namesake Malin Burnham reflected on his first meeting with the Fishmans more than 40 years ago when they were setting the stage for Sanford Burnham Prebys. “The Fishmans were creating a collaborative, inspirational atmosphere for postdocs—the lifeblood of scientific enterprise. This award pays tribute to their vision that young, talented scientists hold the key to curing disease.”
Sanford Burnham Prebys CEO Randy C. Mills thanked our supporters and shared, “Fishman Fund Award winners are on a journey not only to make their mark through scientific discovery, but also to define themselves as scientific leaders. I’m excited to see the vision of better science that they will translate into reality for the benefit of patients in need.”
Reena Horowitz and the late Mary Bradley established the Fishman Fund Awards in 2001 to honor the Fishmans and advance the careers of promising young scientists. Ever since the fund was launched 20 years ago, more than 70 awards have been conferred—now worth $10,000—to support career-development activities.
This year’s awards were presented to:
Cynthia Lebeaupin, Ph.D.
The Lenka Finca and Erna Viterbi Fishman Fund Prize
“I’m especially grateful to be affiliated with a community that supports its postdoctoral researchers, helping us transition into the great leaders of tomorrow.”
Dr. Lebeaupin is studying how fatty liver disease progresses to liver cancer. Fatty liver disease is rapidly increasing in the U.S. and around the world—and there is no cure. Studying how cells respond to stress conditions may open new avenues to target those responses and prevent cancer. Dr. Lebeaupin, a postdoctoral associate in the lab of Randal J. Kaufman, Ph.D., aims to become a professor of biology in academia.
Valeria Guglielmi, Ph.D.
The Reena Horowitz and Mary Bradley Fishman Fund Founders Award
“Now more than ever, we need people like you who trust scientists and believe science can really make a difference in our lives.”
Dr. Guglielmi is researching nuclear pore complexes and their role in the development and activity of immune cells. This research may lead to novel treatments for health conditions caused by dysregulated immune-cell production and function. Guglielmi is a postdoctoral associate in the lab of Maximiliano D’Angelo, Ph.D., and her goal is to become an independent investigator to further research on the immune system.
Paulina Sosicka, Ph.D.
The Jeanne Jones and Kathryn Fishback Fishman Fund Prize
“I’m very grateful and honored to receive this Fishman Fund Career Development Award. Thank you to the founders and donors who made this possible.”
Dr. Sosicka is investigating the application of dietary supplementation to treat debilitating genetic conditions called CDGs, which are rare diseases—mainly affecting children—caused by defects in the human enzymes and proteins responsible for adding sugar molecules onto proteins and lipids. The research may also provide insights into new approaches to treat obesity and cancer. A postdoctoral associate in the lab of Hudson Freeze, Ph.D., Dr. Sosicka aspires to become a professor in academia in the field of glycobiology.