ISHAS Awards and Prizes

Overview

ISHAS aims to promote hyaluronan research and to provide mentorship for researchers working in hyaluronan science. The ISHAS prizes and awards are one way to recognize contributions to the development of hyaluronan science.

Calls for nomination are now open for the Endre Balazs and Janet Denlinger Award and for the Renato Iozzo Singular Achievement Award.

The Rooster Prize was established in 2003, and honors researchers who have made a significant contribution to the hyaluronan field in applied, basic or clinical sciences.

The Endre Balazs and Janet Denlinger Award recognizes researchers at an early phase of their independent research career for making a significant contribution to the development of hyaluronan science. The award was established in 2021.

The Mark Lauer Prize is awarded to the best presentation by a Trainee (e.g. a PhD student or postdoc) at an ISHAS meeting. The prize was set up in 2017 to honor the memory of Dr. Mark Lauer, after his untimely death, with funds provided by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, USA. The prize, initially administered by ISHAS, was adopted as a full ISHAS award in 2020.

The Renato Iozzo Singular Achievement Award is presented at each ISHAS meeting to highlight the most significant contribution to the hyaluronan field since the last meeting. The prize is open to research teams and individuals at any career stage. It was established in 2022 thanks to a generous donation by Dr. Renato Iozzo.

The ISHAS Meeting Dedication honors researchers for their lifetime achievement in the development of hyaluronan science.

This Award was established in 2003 and honors those who have made a significant contribution to the hyaluronan field in applied, basic or clinical sciences. It was called the Rooster Prize because, at that time, extremely pure hyaluronan molecules with very high average molecular weight for therapeutic use could be prepared only from rooster combs.

Past Award Recipients:

  • 2021 – Vincent C. Hascall to acknowledge his work over more than five decades on the biology of hyaluronan
  • 2019 – Thomas N. Wight to acknowledge his work on the hyaluronan-binding proteoglycan versican and inflammation
  • 2017 – Raija and Markku Tammi to acknowledge their novel contributions to understanding the role of hyaluronan in cell physiology and pathology
  • 2015 – Gregory Frost to acknowledge his work on the development of hyaluronidase for therapeutic applications
  • 2013 – Tracey Brown to acknowledge her work using hyaluronan to enhance cancer therapies
  • 2010 – Glenn Prestwich to acknowledge his work on the development of chemically derivatized hyaluronan for therapeutic uses
  • 2007 – Paul DeAngelis to acknowledge his work on the development of synthetic hyaluronan
  • 2003 – Torvard C. Laurent for his significant contribution to the therapeutic use of hyaluronan

The Endre Balazs and Janet Denlinger Award recognizes researchers at an early phase of their independent research career for making a significant contribution to the development of hyaluronan science.

The award was established in 2021 and has been generously funded by a donation from Janet Denlinger. This award is presented at each ISHAS meeting (typically biennial).

A call for nominations for the 2023 Award is now open.

About Endre A. Balazs and Janet L. Denlinger

Janet L. Denlinger and Endre A. Balazs

Endre Alexander Balazs, M.D. (known to many as Bandi) was a pioneer of the hyaluronan (HA) field. He was a scientist, innovator and entrepreneur, who worked for 70 years researching the structure and biological activity of HA. Bandi’s early research led him to isolate and purify HA from rooster combs, and he patented this Non-inflammatory Fraction of Sodium Hyaluronate (NiF-NaHA) in 1970. This work included developing the clinical use of HA during replacement of cataractous lenses and the patented HA product, Healon®, revolutionized eye surgery and has been used in more than 300 million patients. In 1968, Dr. Balazs founded Biotrics, Inc., to develop methods to produce and apply HA for medical purposes, and in 1981 he co-founded Biomatrix, Inc. with Dr. Janet (Jenti) Denlinger. At Biomatrix, Bandi and Jenti established a strong R&D program that focused on modifying HA, work that led to important therapeutic applications, including a new viscosupplement for arthritic joints (Synvisc®), Hylaform® for viscoaugmentation of dermal tissue to reduce facial wrinkles and depressed scars, and Hylashield® to be used on the surface of the eye to alleviate pain and irritation. After Biomatrix was sold to Genzyme Corp. in 2000, Bandi and Jenti continued their research and development work on HA at the Matrix Biology Institute, which they co-founded as a charitable medical research institute. Dr. Denlinger is the President of the Matrix Biology Institute, a position that she has held since 2000.

Dr. Balazs was also instrumental in the birth of the International Society for Hyaluronan Sciences (ISHAS). Bandi brought together 22 senior investigators at the ‘Hyaluronan 2003’ meeting in Cleveland, USA, who as ISHAS Founders supported the formation of the Society. ISHAS was officially incorporated in 2004 by Drs. Balazs and Vince Hascall (our 2021 Rooster Prize awardee). Bandi served as President of the ISHAS from 2008-2011.

Dr. Balazs died in August 2015 at the age of 95, leaving a wonderful legacy in the areas of applied, basic and clinical sciences of HA. As a husband-and-wife team, Bandi and Jenti have contributed an enormous amount of knowledge, passion, energy, and financial support to the HA research field and community. As a result, the leadership at ISHAS is privileged to name our new Early Career award in honor of their contributions.

Past Award Recipients

  • 2021 – Aaron Petrey (University of Utah School of Medicine, USA)

Nominations

Any ISHAS Member can nominate candidate(s), with a seconding nomination from an individual from another institution. The seconding nominator does not have to be a member of ISHAS. Self-nominations are not possible. Nominators should provide a brief statement (up to 500 words) on why the nominee should be awarded the prize, along with a CV of the nominee.

The deadline for nominations is 29th January 2023. Please send nominations to the ISHAS Awards Committee via awards@ishas.org

Eligibility Criteria

ISHAS embraces the importance of hyaluronan research in basic, applied and clinical sciences. Nominations are welcome for candidates from governmental, academic, non-profit institutes and for-profit companies, as well as for physicians. ISHAS recognizes that early independent research can be accomplished by nominees holding a variety of different positions. Nominations are welcome for candidates in tenure-track or early tenured positions, postdoctoral research fellows, or in positions outside these academic categories, as long as early independent research can be demonstrated. The nominators will be expected to make a case that the nominee is at the appropriate career stage for this Award.

Nominees do not need to be members of ISHAS at the time of nomination but should demonstrate commitment to continue working in hyaluronan science (the nominators will be expected to comment on this point) and to engage with the wider hyaluronan science research and clinical use communities.

Value

The award includes an invitation to attend the next ISHAS Conference and give a dedicated Endre Balazs and Janet Denlinger Award Lecture, 5 years membership of ISHAS, and a prize of $2,500.

Evaluation Criteria

Research accomplishments that advance hyaluronan science – including basic, applied, or clinical research – will be the principal evaluation criterion. Research accomplishments can relate to:

  • Advancing new knowledge that redirects, disrupts, or significantly enhances current understanding of HA biology, and has potential for future impact
  • Implementing or curating existing knowledge for practical translation and current impact
  • Achieving a clinically significant outcome based on new knowledge in hyaluronan science


ISHAS seeks a balance among these three categories. The evaluation will consider the significance and (potential or realised) impact as well as the quality and originality of the research work.

This prize is awarded to the best presentation by a Trainee (e.g. PhD student or postdoc) at an ISHAS meeting (value: $1,000). The prize was set up in 2017 to honor the memory of Dr. Mark Lauer, after his untimely death, with funds provided by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, USA. The prize, initially administered by ISHAS, was adopted as a full ISHAS award in 2020.

Past Award Recipients:

  • 2021 – Taasin Srivastava (OHSU, USA)
  • 2019
    • Filipe Rivas Duarte (Wake Forrest University, USA) [Prize jointly awarded]
    • Jennifer Rowley (Northwestern University, USA) [Prize jointly awarded]
  • 2017 – Aravind Sivakumar (Cornell University, USA)

The Renato Iozzo Singular Achievement Award is awarded at each ISHAS conference to highlight the most significant contribution to the hyaluronan field since the last conference.

The award was established in 2022 and has been funded by a generous donation from Dr. Renato Iozzo.

The first call for nominations is now open.

Call for Nominations

Any ISHAS Member can nominate candidate(s), with a seconding nomination from an individual from another institution. The seconding nominator does not have to be member of ISHAS. Self-nominations are not possible. Nominators should provide a brief statement (up to 500 words) on why the contribution is worthy of the Award.

The deadline for nominations is 29th January 2023. Please send nominations to the ISHAS Awards Committee via awards@ishas.org.

Eligibility Criteria

ISHAS recognises that contributions to the HA field come in many forms. Next to research papers reporting new mechanistic insight, ISHAS will consider other contributions, such as tools for the HA research community (e.g., in the form of new experimental and theoretical methods, and databases), commercial products derived from HA research (e.g., in the form of filed patents or successful clinical trials) with tangible societal or economic impact, etc. The nominator will be expected to make a case as to the significance of the nominated contribution to the HA field.

The time window for eligible contributions is set with reference to the submission deadline for Award nominations. Any contribution that was made available to the community within the 2 years prior to the submission deadline will be eligible. Publications are eligible as long as they are published, online or in print, within the eligibility window (preprints are not eligible).

The prize is open to researchers at any career stage. Many important contributions to the HA field are made by teams of researchers, rather than an individual. Nominations for research teams are therefore encouraged, although individuals can also be nominated. Whenever research teams are nominated, a single individual within the team should be identified who will act as the contact on behalf of the team.

ISHAS embraces the importance of HA research in basic, applied and clinical science, and welcomes nominations for candidates from governmental, academic, non-profit institutes and for-profit companies, as well as for physicians. Nominees do not need to be members of ISHAS at the time of nomination but should demonstrate commitment to continue working in hyaluronan science and to engage with the wider hyaluronan science research and clinical use communities (the nominator will be expected to comment on this point).

Value

The Award comprises a certificate and a cash prize of $2,500. The awardee, or one member of the awarded team, will be expected to attend the ISHAS conference at which the Award is presented. The cash prize includes a contribution towards travel and subsistence for attending the HA conference, but whether the Award is used for this purpose is at the discretion of the awardee or award team. The Award additionally comprises a waiver of the registration fee for the HA conference.

Evaluation criteria

The significance of the contributions to the HA field – including basic, applied, and clinical research – will be the principal evaluation criterion. Contributions can relate to:

  • Advancing new knowledge that redirects, disrupts, or significantly enhances current understanding of HA biology, and has potential for future impact
  • Implementing or curating existing knowledge for practical translation and current impact
  • Achieving a clinically significant outcome based on new knowledge in hyaluronan science

ISHAS seeks a balance among these three categories. The evaluation will consider the significance and (potential or realized) impact as well as the quality and originality of the contribution.

This honor is given to researchers for their lifetime achievement in the development of hyaluronan science.

  • 2017 Cleveland Meeting: Endre Alexander Balazs
  • 2015 Florence Meeting: Koji Kimata
  • 2013 Oklahoma City Meeting: Bryan Toole
  • 2010 Kyoto Meeting: Vincent Hascall
  • 2003 Meeting: Torvard C. Laurent

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