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RISE: The Robert W. Finberg, MD Memorial Research Training Awards for UMass Chan Department of Medicine Postdocs and PhD or MD/PhD Students


2023 RISE Awardees

Applications were scored by an independent review panel and the following individuals have been named as the inaugural awardees:

Liraz Galia, Kevin Gao and Samantha Tse, 2023 winners of the RISE Finberg Award
Liraz Galia, Kevin Gao, and Samantha Tse

Liraz Galia, PhD
Postdoctoral awardee
Project title: The LncRNA HOXA11os Regulates Mitochondrial Function in Myeloid Cells to Maintain Intestinal Homeostasis

Kevin Gao, MD/PhD student
Student awardee
Project title: STING-Mediated Autoinflammation in Endothelial Cells Initiates Interstitial Lung Disease

Samantha Tse, MD/PhD student
Student awardee
Project title: Non-Canonical Pattern Recognition by a Nuclear Hormone Receptor Identifies Virulent Bacteria in C. elegans

Congratulations Liraz, Kevin, and Samantha!

Learn more about this year's awardees. 
Read their feature in UMass Chan news.


The 2023 application period is complete. Please check back in early winter 2023 for the 2024 request for proposals.

The Program in Innate Immunity is thrilled to announce an open competition for RISE: The Robert W. Finberg, MD Memorial Research Training Awards. The purpose of these awards is to incentivize our students and post-doctoral scholars to produce highly competitive research in honor of the late Robert W. Finberg. As many of you know, Dr. Finberg was the Richard M. Haidack Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at UMass Chan from 1999-2020 and was a trusted leader, scientist, and physician in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic before he passed away unexpectedly on August 30, 2021. Dr. Finberg was a remarkably talented and energetic investigator who embraced all aspects of clinical medicine, infectious diseases, and immunology. It was under his guidance that the current Program in Innate Immunity came to be born, to grow and to thrive. 

There will be two awards: one for the best student research finding and one for the best post-doctoral applicant. The only restriction on applicants is that their research must be related to the broad fields of innate immunity and inflammation. 

The winners will be acknowledged in two important ways. First, they will be invited to present their research orally at Innate Immunity Day. Second, they will each be awarded a cash prize ($1000 to the award-winning post-doc and $750 to the award-winning student). 

Kate Fitzgerald, PhD
Douglas Golenbock, MD
Co-Directors of the Program in Innate Immunity