Alum Wins Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Award

Posted on: October 22, 2019 Topics: alumni, alumni honors, alumni news, Awards, chronic diseases

Alum Michelle Long (SPH’19), assistant professor of medicine at the School of Medicine, has received a three-year, $495,000 Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

The award provides grants to early-career physician scientists to facilitate their transition to independent clinical research careers. Long, a gastroenterologist at Boston Medical Center, was one of 16 funded investigators out of 210 applicants to receive the award in July.

“I was thrilled to find out I received the award this past spring, especially since I knew this was the last year I would be eligible to apply,” says Long. “I am humbled to have this great opportunity to continue my research.”

Long will use her award to continue her research on hepatic fibrosis in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD affects nearly 40 percent of Americans and represents a spectrum of liver disease that occurs in the absence of excessive alcohol use, including an accumulation of fat in the liver (hepatic steatosis) and a progression of excess scar tissue (hepatic fibrosis).

“During my residency in 2009, NAFLD was just beginning to be widely recognized as an important cause of chronic liver disease,” says Long. “I was excited about the many unanswered questions in the field, and fortunate to have early mentors who were very encouraging and supportive.”

Long received her medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine and master’s degree in epidemiology from SPH. She completed her internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, followed by a gastroenterology fellowship at BMC.

The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and child well-being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties.

—Madeline Bishop

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