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
The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City's largest integrated delivery system, encompassing eight hospitals, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai's vision is to produce the safest care, the highest quality, the highest satisfaction, the best access and the best value of any health system in the nation. The Health System includes approximately 7,480 primary and specialty care physicians; 11 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 410 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. The Icahn School of Medicine is one of three medical schools that have earned distinction by multiple indicators: ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report's "Best Medical Schools", aligned with a U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" Hospital, No. 12 in the nation for National Institutes of Health funding, and among the top 10 most innovative research institutions as ranked by the journal Nature in its Nature Innovation Index. This reflects a special level of excellence in education, clinical practice, and research. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked No. 14 on U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" of top U.S. hospitals; it is one of the nation's top 20 hospitals in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Gynecology, Nephrology, Neurology/Neurosurgery, and Orthopedics in the 2019-2020 "Best Hospitals" issue. Mount Sinai's Kravis Children's Hospital also is ranked nationally in five out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report. The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked 12th nationally for Ophthalmology and the South Nassau Communities Hospital is ranked 35th nationally for Urology. Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke's, Mount Sinai West, and South Nassau Communities Hospital are ranked regionally.