Award: Dr. Peeyush Lala honoured with American Association for Anatomy Henry Gray Scientific Achievement Award

Congratulations to Dr. Peeyush Lala, recipient of the 2020 Henry Gray Scientific Achievement Award from the American Association for Anatomy (AAA).

Dr. Lala is being recognized for his research on reproduction and cancer. He was also named a Fellow of the AAA.

“I feel greatly honoured to be the recipient of the Henry Gray Scientific Achievement Award, the highest international award of the AAA,” said Dr. Lala. “However, this award belongs to my many graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, who contributed to the discoveries recognized by this award. I also owe my gratitude to many clinical collaborators and patients who participated in the clinical translation of my basic research.”

Dr. Lala’s research sought to answer two questions about reproduction. First, what protects the placenta from an immune attack? And second, what protects the pregnant uterus from over-invasion by the placenta?

In connecting these questions to cancer, Dr. Lala and his team discovered that the placenta and certain cancers both produce an immune-suppressor molecule called PGE2. Based on this finding, his lab developed an immunotherapy protocol that proved successful in metastatic cancers in mice.

Among other findings, Dr. Lala also identified an early biomarker for preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and damage to other organs.

Dr. Lala’s award-winning research was completed alongside PhD Candidate Chidambra Halari and Pinki Nandi, PhD, a postdoctoral research associate at the Children’s Health Research Institute. 

The Henry Gray Scientific Achievement Award will be formally presented to Dr. Lala at the AAA Annual Meeting in April. He will also give an invited talk at the meeting.