Dr. Addy Alt-Holland, Assistant Professor at the Department of Endodontics at Tufts Dental School, received recognition for her contributions and achievements in the sciences when the Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB) presented her with the “Young Scientist Award”.
Dr. Alt-Holland received the award during the SIVB Annual Meeting in Providence, Rhode Island on June 17. The award, which was granted only one other time in the organization’s history, is based on six primary criteria: excellence in scientific contribution to the organization, commitment to teaching and mentorship, outreach within the community, research excellence, private sector excellence, and public and professional excellence. Applicants must be able to satisfy at least three of these criteria to be eligible for consideration. Dr. Alt-Holland had significant offerings for all six.
“I’m very enthusiastic about research, teaching, and mentoring,” she said. “You ask me about science, it’s like pushing a button and I start to talk. I really, really love what I do, and I really, really do what I love.”
Some of the accomplishments listed on Dr. Alt-Holland’s application included her involvement in the scientific program of the 2013-2014 SIVB Annual Meetings; her mentorship and instruction of faculty members, post-doctoral fellows, and students at both Tufts and Pine Manor; her position as Director of the Tufts Cancer Center Tissue Engineering Core; her authorship of several articles in peer-reviewed journals; and her ownership of several international patents.
It’s a challenging career path, but one she says she is thrilled to receive recognition for.
“I’ve won other awards in my professional life,” she said. “But this is a different one. I view this as a stepping stone in my career. It’s based on not just one piece of what I do, but on the whole package. You have to be a mentor, a teacher, a researcher, have an impact on society. It’s recognition within the larger scientific community, beyond the school where I’m working.”
Dr. David Songstad, the SIVB President, said in Dr. Alt-Holland’s award letter that her body of work has had substantial influence on others in the field.
“As a scientist, your involvement and dedication within the Society has impacted the careers of many students, young scientists, and colleagues,” Dr. Songstad wrote.
Within three years of being involved with the SIVB, Dr. Alt-Holland was elected Chair of the scientific program of the In Vitro Animal Cell Science Section for the 2013-2014 conferences- she received separate recognition for her work on the SIVB Annual Meeting the last day of the conference on June 19. She said the society is eager to have participation and involvement from all members, including students, and that its smaller size makes it an encouraging and welcoming atmosphere to contribute to.
“I had asked how I can do more for the SIVB,” she said, laughing. “That is always a dangerous question to ask.”
Dr. Alt-Holland grew up in Kfar-Saba, a town in Israel about 13 miles north of Tel-Aviv. She received her Ph.D. from Bar-Ilan University where she had also received her M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees. She was appointed as Assistant Professor at the Department of Endodontics at TUSDM in 2007, in part to promote research collaborations between clinicians and scientists.
“I like to try new things,” she said. “I always say yes. I believe that an inherited feature of being a scientist is welcoming new experiences and challenges.”