• Press Release

National Cell Biology Award Named After Mount Sinai Health System Faculty Member

American Society for Cell Biology Honors Sandra K. Masur, PhD, as the Namesake for Senior Leadership in Cell Biology Honor

  • New York, NY
  • (March 02, 2015)

The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) has established a national award named for Sandra K. Masur, PhD, Professor of Ophthalmology, Mount Sinai Health System. The award honors individuals with a distinguished research career in cell biology and outstanding leadership in mentoring.

The Sandra K. Masur Senior Leadership Award, (previously the Women in Cell Biology (WICB) Senior Leadership Award) will honor “a woman or man at a later career stage (generally full professor or equivalent) whose outstanding scientific achievements are coupled with a record of active leadership in mentoring both men and women in scientific careers.” It will join four other named ASCB awards and is the first named for a woman.

“Dr. Masur has been a prolific researcher throughout her career and has provided guidance and mentorship for many junior researchers especially women and the underrepresented in developing their careers in cell biology and vision research,” said James C. Tsai, MD, MBA, Chair, Department of Ophthalmology at the Health System, and President of New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai. “Winning a lifetime achievement award is impressive - but getting the lifetime achievement award named after you is another level entirely."

Dr. Masur earned her B.A. in Biology and Aesthetics at the City College of New York (CCNY) and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Cell Biology at Columbia University. She has held academic appointments at CCNY and Columbia University and as visiting Professor at the University of Iowa, EMBL in Heidelberg, Germany and Centre D’Etudes Nucleaires, Saclay, France.

She joined the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Mount Sinai in 1968. Her research program today employs a corneal stroma model to study the interconnections between extracellular matrix, cell-cell interaction, and growth factors in wound healing. At the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai(ISSM), Dr. Masur was Associate Dean for Faculty Development and currently is the founding Director of ISMMS’s Office for Women’s Careers.

Dr. Masur has served on the governing council of the ASCB and as President of the New York Society of Experimental Microscopy. She has been the chair of ASCB’s WICB since 2009. She was co-director of the National Eye Institute’s “Fundamental Issues in Vision Research” at the Marine Biology Lab.

In announcing the naming of the award, ASCB Executive Director Stefano Bertuzzi said, “Dr. Masur’s dedication to WICB and to ASCB has been an exemplar of leadership and volunteer engagement in our Society, which truly helped move the needle in changing social norms and in particular in creating opportunities for women in science.”

About the Mount Sinai Health System

The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.

The System includes approximately 7,100 primary and specialty care physicians; 12 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 140 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the renowned Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the highest in the nation in National Institutes of Health funding per investigator. The Mount Sinai Hospital is in the "Honor Roll" of best hospitals in America, ranked No. 15 nationally in the 2016-2017 "Best Hospitals" issue of U.S. News & World Report. The Mount Sinai Hospital is also ranked as one of the nation's top 20 hospitals in Geriatrics, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Nephrology, Neurology/Neurosurgery, and Ear, Nose & Throat, and is in the top 50 in four other specialties. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 10 nationally for Ophthalmology, while Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke's, and Mount Sinai West are ranked regionally. Mount Sinai's Kravis Children's Hospital is ranked in seven out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report in "Best Children's Hospitals."

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