Former MB&B Ph.D. student and current Yale Professor receives Lois and Franklin Top Jr. Scholar Award

Hongying Shen, PhD, assistant professor of cellular and molecular physiology
April 27, 2021
Hongying Shen, PhD, assistant professor of cellular and molecular physiology, recently received the the Lois and Franklin Top Jr. Scholar Award.
Shen graduated from the MB&B department with her Ph.D. in 2013. Under Dr. Pietro De Camilli, she studied membrane curvature formation and lipid metabolism in endocytic trafficking. Following a post-doc with Dr. Vamsi Mootha at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Shen joined the Cellular & Molecular Physiology Department and the Systems Biology Institute at Yale as an assistant professor in 2020.
Shen’s group is interested in elucidating the mechanisms of human metabolism, specifically by characterizing orphan metabolic enzymes and transporters. She applies techniques from biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, and metabolomics to study cellular metabolism.
The Lois and Franklin Top, Jr. Yale scholarship was founded as a $2.5 million gift to the School of Medicine as part of the Yale Scholars program intended to provide research funding to promising new researchers recruited at the medical school. The scholarship was founded in 2006 as a gift from Franklin H. Top Jr., MD, and his wife, Lois Top, MNEd. 
Top served as executive vice president MedImmune, which developed Synagis, a monoclonal antibody that treats infections, and FluMist, a flu vaccine in nasal-spray form, as well as Ethyol, which protects cancer patient’s salivary glands from radiation treatments. MedImmune was bought for $15.6 billion by AstraZeneca last June.
With the scholarship, Shen will receive four years of funding support to further established her group and pursue her research interests in metabolomics.
By: Brigitte Naughton