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Medical Alumni Association Distinguished Graduate Alumni Award

The Medical Alumni Association’s Graduate Alumni Award is presented to an alumnus/a from the College of Medicine’s Ph.D. or M.S. programs who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in basic, clinical or applied research; education; industry; public service/humanitarianism; and/or outstanding commitment to the College of Medicine community.

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2014 Recipient

Peter Paradiso, Ph.D.

Peter Paradiso, Ph.D. '77

Dr. Paradiso recently retired as Vice President, new business and scientific affairs for Pfizer Vaccines, a Division of Pfizer, Inc. In this position, he was responsible for global scientific affairs and strategic planning within the vaccine research and development group and for commercial oversight of products in development. He has worked in the field of vaccine development for the past 28 years. Dr. Paradiso has published broadly in the field of pediatric vaccines, especially in the areas of glycoconjugates, combination vaccines and respiratory viral vaccines. He has been involved in the development and the global registration of many major vaccines.

Dr. Paradiso served as a member of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) and is currently a member of the Advisory Council on Immunization for New York State and a liaison member of the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. He has also served as an advisor to the WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on vaccines and to the GAVI Task Force on Research and Development.

Prior to his graduate degree, he earned a B.S. in chemistry from St. Lawrence University.


2012 Recipients

James Aiken, Ph.D.

James Aiken, Ph.D.’70

James Aiken is President and Chief Executive Officer of Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology, a 40-year-old, educational nonprofit organization that annually conducts 50 to 60 biomedical conferences attended by about 14,000 scientists.  Prior to his work with Keystone Symposia, Dr. Aiken had a distinguished career spanning 32 years as a research scientist and research executive in the pharmaceutical industry.  He was Senior Director of Therapeutic Area Strategy for Pharmacia Corporation in Peapack, NJ until the company was acquired by Pfizer in 2003.  Before that he was Director of Biology in Stockholm and Uppsala for the Swedish branches of Pharmacia & Upjohn, Director of Metabolic Diseases Research for the Upjohn Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan and held various research positions at Upjohn in the areas of atherosclerosis, thrombosis, and diabetes.  At Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis, he conducted research in the field of smooth muscle function, as it relates to vascular biology and hypertension as well as uterine physiology and parturition. 
Dr. Aiken has received numerous honors and served on committees influencing research direction. He was a long term member of the Pharmacology Advisory Committee of the Pharmaceutical research and Manufactures Association Foundation; a former member of the Board of Directors and on various committees of the Michigan Affiliate of the American Heart Association; a member of the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research Boards for Cardiovascular Diseases and Biopolymers and Biocompatible Materials. He was an adjunct Professor of Pharmacology at Michigan State University and adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine.  In 1998 he received a Graduate College Alumni Scholar Award from the University of Vermont.   He is currently on the Board of Directors of the Global Food Protection Institute.   Dr. Aiken received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Dartmouth College in 1965 and his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Vermont in 1970. 


David Lyden, M.D., Ph.D.

David Lyden, M.D.,Ph.D. ’86

David Lyden is a pediatric neuro-oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He holds a joint appointment at Weill Cornell Medical College and is the Stavros S. Nairchos Chair and Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Cell and Developmental Biology. Dr. Lyden has made several fundamental discoveries which involve the role of bone marrow-derived stem and progenitor cells in tumor vasculogenesis and in metastasis. He and his colleagues showed the first evidence of genetic regulation in vasculogenesis with the discovery of one family of genes called Id1-4 in early blood vessel development in embryogenesis and in tumorigenesis. His laboratory was the first to identify two bone marrow-derived cells, endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) that participate in the formation of new blood vessels in primary tumors. In recent years, his team has shown evidence that secreted factors from primary tumors prime certain tissues for tumor cell engraftment. In response to these secreted factors, tumor associated cells such as hematopoietic progenitor cells cluster at ‘pre-metastatic niches’, creating an environment which is conducive for tumor cell adhesion and invasion. At the pre-metastatic niche, newly recruited myeloid cells collaborate with other cells types residing in the tissue parenchyma. Together, these cells provide a platform of chemokines, growth factors, matrix-degrading enzymes and adhesion molecules that accelerate metastatic niche formation. This model suggests that systemic therapies targeted to the metastatic microenvironment should be used early in treatment of tumors. Most recently, he has found that tumor-secreted microparticles, known as exosomes, induce bone marrow progenitor cells and pre-metastatic niche cells towards a pro-metastatic phenotype (Nature 1999, 2001, 2005, Nature Reviews Cancer 2009 & Nature Medicine 2012.)

Dr. Lyden’s honors and awards include: Distinguished Alumnus Brown University (2003) and the Leonard Weill Memorial Lecturer Award (2007). His work was highlighted in “Nature Milestones: Cancer”. In 2007, he was awarded a Presidential Medical Distinction Bial Award by President Cavaco Silva of Portugal. He is Co-Senior Editor for “Cancer Metastasis: Biologic Basis and Therapeutics”, the first cancer metastasis textbook published by Cambridge University Press (April 2011), and has been featured as one of fifteen cancer experts in the book ‘Why Millions Survive Cancer: The Successes of Science” (author: Lauren Pecorino, Oxford Univ. Press). He is also the recipient of the 2011 Duke University Residency Alumni Award and Lecture. He will be honored for his work in metastasis as recipient of the Inaugural I.J. “Josh” Fidler Innovation in Metastasis Research Award, given by the Metastasis Research Society and Anti-Cancer Inc., USA at the International Metastasis Research Society Meeting in Brisbane, Australia in September 2012. Dr. Lyden was educated at the, University of Vermont (PhD 1986), Brown University (MD 1989), Duke University (Residency) and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (Fellowship).


Previous Winners

2010 Brooke T. Mossman, M.S. '70, Ph.D. '77

2005 Mark Brann, PhD ’85

Last modified October 17 2016 01:43 PM