Skip to content

Meritorious Awards

Dr. Guillermo Oliver

2021 Recipient of the Earl P. Benditt Award

The NAVBO Meritorious Awards Committee and Council are pleased to announce the selection of Guillermo Oliver, MS, PhD, as the 2021 recipient of the Earl P. Benditt Award in recognition of his numerous contributions to our understanding of the cell biology of the lymphatic system. Dr. Oliver is currently the Thomas D Spies Professor of Lymphatic Metabolism, the Director of the Center for Vascular and Developmental Biology and Director of the Regenerative Biology & Stem Cell Initiative at Northwestern University.

Dr. Oliver and his collaborators have published over 120 peer-reviewed papers, and his research on Prox1 in mammalian lymphangiogenesis has earned NIH RO1 support for 18 consecutive years. He enjoys the great respect and admiration of his scientific peers for both his research accomplishments and his role as a mentor for young scientists. Notes of his award nominees: “The creation of the next generation of scientists is arguably the most important contribution a senior scientist can make, and in the case of Dr. Oliver he has populated an entire field of vascular biology. This is a lasting legacy for both Dr. Oliver and vascular biology that is in the true spirit of the Benditt award.”

See below for further details.

Dr. Oliver presented the Benditt Lecture, titled “Prox1 and lymphatics, a personal perspective,” online on November 2, 2021 - log into the Member Portal to watch the recording.


APRIL 15, 1916–MAY 27, 1996

This award recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding discovery or developed a concept that has been seminal to our understanding of vascular biology or pathology.

The recipient will receive a crystal plaque and a monetary award and will be asked to give a lecture at the Vascular Biology Meeting.

Recipients of the Earl P. Benditt Award include:

Dr. Carlos Fernandez-Hernando2021 Recipient of the Judah Folkman Award in Vascular Biology

The NAVBO Meritorious Awards Committee, the Scientific Advisory Board, and the NAVBO Council announce with pleasure the selection of Carlos Fernández-Hernando, PhD, as the recipient of the 2021 Judah Folkman Award in Vascular Biology. This award recognizes outstanding contributions from vascular biologists who are at mid-career (within fifteen years of their first faculty appointment).

Dr. Fernández-Hernando earned a BSc in Chemistry (1998) and a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2003) from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in Spain. Following post-doctoral work at Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Spain, and Yale University School of Medicine, he joined the faculty of the NYU School of Medicine in 2009. He moved to Yale as an Associate Professor in the Department of Comparative Medicine and the Interdepartmental Program in Vascular Biology and Therapeutics in 2013. Since 2019, he has held the position of Professor in Yale’s Departments of Comparative Medicine and Pathology, with continuing roles in the Programs in VBT and Integrative Cell Signaling & Neurobiology Metabolism.

Dr. Fernández-Hernando’s early research focused on the study of cellular cholesterol homeostasis in regulating cell cycle progression and cellular proliferation. His postdoctoral research in Vascular Biology and Pharmacology at Yale University School of Medicine examined the molecular mechanisms that control lipoprotein transport across the endothelium during atherosclerosis and the regulation of eNOS activity. During his time at Yale, he and Dr. Suárez accomplished in Bill Sessa’s lab the first identification and characterization of miRNAs as major regulators of endothelial cell biology and angiogenesis.  Read more below.

Dr. Fernández-Hernando presented his Folkman Award Lecture online on November 4, go to the Member Portal to access the recording.

FEBRUARY 24, 1933 – JANUARY 14, 2008

The Judah Folkman Award is a mid-career award. At the time of the Award, nominees will be between 3 and 15 years of their first faculty appointment (Assistant Professor or in non-academia, Staff Scientist or equivalent).  Therefore, a nominee's initial faculty appointment must be between 2007 and 2019 for the 2022 award.

In recognition of the breadth of Dr. Folkman's interests and his many contributions to vascular biology, the award will not be limited to the field of angiogenesis per se, but will encompass the full range of original research in vascular biology. Awardee will have made a significant impact on the field through his/her original research accomplishments.

Past Recipients include:

Dr. Brant WeinsteinBrant Weinstein - Recipient of the Inaugural Stephen Schwartz Award

Part of NAVBO’s 2021 Vascular Biology annual meeting festivities will be presenting the first annual Stephen Schwartz award. Named in honor of Dr. Stephen Schwartz, a revered and beloved member of NAVBO and co-founder of the society, the award recognizes a mentor who has contributed significantly to the successful career of scientists who have trained in their laboratory, as well as served as an exemplary mentor to graduate students and postdocs, and who has contributed to fostering an environment which facilitates both professional and personal growth. The award will be presented on Thursday, October 28th.  Register for Vascular Biology 2021.

This year’s honor is being presented to Dr. Brant M. Weinstein, who is currently Associate Scientific Director at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Weinstein has been a NAVBO member since 1997 and has served on its Membership Committee, Governing Council, and as President.

Praise for Dr. Weinstein’s ability to mentor was widespread among NAVBO members. Here are some selected quotes from Dr. Weinstein’s nominators:
“Some of the features that make Dr. Weinstein a unique, outstanding, and cherished mentor are his dedication to each one of his trainees, his patience and generosity, the high respect he provides to each one of the people he works with and his advocacy to make science a diverse and welcoming space for everyone.”

Read more about Dr. Weinstein below.

JANUARY 1, 1942–MARCH 17, 2020

This award recognizes a mentor that has contributed significantly to the successful career of scientists who have trained in their lab; who has served as an exemplary mentor to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and contributed to fostering an environment which facilitates both professional and personal growth.


Dr. Ying Yang


Ying Yang, Ph.D.
University of South Florida

Dr. Yang presented her talk, Foxo1 Deletion Promotes the Growth of New Lymphatic Valves, at Vascular Biology 2021 on Friday, October 29

This award recognizes a Junior Faculty, who is within five years of their first independent investigator position or within five years of an independent research position in academia, government, or industry.  An applicant must be submitting and presenting an abstract at the upcoming annual meeting.  The award recipient will present their abstract in a 20-minute presentation usually within the Award Lecture session.

For the 2022 award, the first appointment needs to be January 1, 2017 or later.

Please note: A first independent investigator is defined as an Assistant Professor or in non-academia, Staff Scientist or equivalent.


Past Recipients include:

Florence Sabin

Photo courtesy of Smith College

The Florence R. Sabin Award recognizes a unique individual who embodies the spirit of Dr. Florence Sabin (1871-1953) who broke scientific barriers with her research and contributions in the field of Vascular and Lymphatic Biology, as well as various social barriers. In addition to her contributions to science, Florence Sabin's later work as a public health administrator left a permanent imprint upon the communities in which she served. Sabin’s accomplishments include becoming the first woman faculty member at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and its first female full professor, the first woman to be elected President of the American Association of Anatomists, and the first woman elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences. One of her most passionate causes was the advancement of equal rights for women in education, employment, and society in general. Sabin was known as a brilliant scientist, a trailblazer and role model for women in the medical profession and a steadfast believer in equal opportunities for women, a teacher, a colleague, and a friend.

This annual award is open to active or retired members of the national or international vascular or cardiovascular biology communities who work or have worked as scientists, physicians, or physician/scientists. Candidates must have distinguished themselves in at least one of the following areas: promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in social issues which benefit underrepresented groups, public health, or public service to the broader community, in addition to their scientific/clinical accomplishments.

To nominate a colleague for this award, please see additional information under Nominations on this web site

This award is co-sponsored by the Meritorious Awards and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committees