Mount Sinai Scientist Receives Inaugural Landis Award for Outstanding Mentorship
Award will support efforts to help develop the next generation of neuroscientists
Anne Schaefer, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Psychiatry and a Seaver Fellow at The Friedman Brain Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, has been chosen as one of the first five recipients of the inaugural Landis Award for Outstanding Mentorship from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Named after Story Landis, PhD, a noted mentor and director of NINDS from 2003-2014 who established programs to help promote the development of neuroscientists, the Landis Award recognizes researchers who are doing an outstanding job to help advance the careers of students and postdoctoral fellows in their laboratories.
“Receiving this award is a very humbling experience that has made me think about all the people who contributed to my career. None of this would have been possible without the tremendous support of my family and my mentors and senior colleagues at Mount Sinai and The Rockefeller University, where I did part of my graduate and all of my postdoctoral training,” said Dr. Schaefer. “The training, mentorship and experiences I have had at both these fine institutions has taught me to be a better mentor and scientist myself, in turn, enabling me to mentor the students and fellows who now turn to me for guidance.”
The Landis Award will be granted annually, with five researchers each receiving $100,000 to support their mentoring efforts. Nominations are made by current and/or former trainees. Each year, nominations will be accepted for researchers who are at a specific career stage: junior, mid-career, or senior faculty. Because outstanding mentors exist at each career stage, and have different levels of mentorship accomplishments, NINDS will rotate eligibility requirements each year between the three career stages. The inaugural group of grantees comprises junior faculty members who began tenure-track positions within the past 12 years. The award reflects the importance NINDS places on strong mentorship and grows out of the Institute’s efforts to support the development of neuroscientists.
Dr. Schaefer joined the Departments of Neuroscience and Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine in 2011. She obtained her doctoral degree from the Charite Berlin in Germany, where she studied medicine and immunology. Dr. Schaefer’s research centers on how brain cells are affected by epigenetic changes, in which molecules alter the way genes function without changing the DNA code. Many neurological disorders can be traced back to epigenetic mechanisms. Dr. Schaefer’s mentees describe her as irresistibly enthusiastic, with an infectious passion for science and discoveries, and recount many instances when she provided inspiration while sitting at the bench with them during data collection and analysis. Trainees describe her as an empowering teacher with a strong demand for rigor, careful attention to scientific process, and a focus on scientific importance, who guided them with compassion, patience, and whole-hearted support into becoming independent thinkers and researchers.
"Dr. Schaefer is an outstanding scientist who is making significant contributions early in her career to the mentorship of a new generation of scientists," says Paul J. Kenny, PhD, Ward-Coleman Professor and Chair of the Arthur M. Fishberg Department of Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "We are thrilled that NINDS has recognized her exemplary efforts and are grateful for their support of Dr. Schaefer and the many scientists who benefit so considerably from her outstanding mentorship. We congratulate Dr. Schaefer on this well-deserved award."
About the Mount Sinai Health System
Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with more than 43,000 employees working across eight hospitals, over 400 outpatient practices, nearly 300 labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time — discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.
Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 7,300 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 joint-venture outpatient surgery centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. We are consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals, receiving high "Honor Roll" status, and are highly ranked: No. 1 in Geriatrics and top 20 in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology/Lung Surgery, Rehabilitation, and Urology. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 12 in Ophthalmology. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” ranks Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital among the country’s best in several pediatric specialties.