Early Career Awards

The ISSFAL Early Career Award is intended to honour an investigator at an early stage of his or her career, and who has published significant research papers in the field of lipids and fatty acids. The prize (US$4,500 + registration to the awarding ISSFAL meeting) will be awarded every 2 years during the biennial congress. The first such award was made at the congress in Kansas City in 2008 and will be available at all subsequent ISSFAL Biennial Meetings.

Eligibility Requirements for Nomination

  • A nominee must have received his or her first professional post graduate degree within the previous 10 years at the time the award is made.
  • A nominee must have made a significant contribution to the field of lipids and fatty acids. The nominee should be the first author of patents or high-impact scientific journal publications in the area of lipids and fatty acids.
  • The nominee must be a member in good standing of the society.

Failure to receive an award in one year shall not bar a nominee from consideration for an award in a subsequent year, so long as they continue to meet the required rules of eligibility. Rather, nominators of high quality nominees shall be encouraged to update and resubmit their nominating documents for subsequent awards.


Following a biennial congress, and no later than 1st of September of the year preceding that in which an award is to be made at the next congress, the Secretary/Treasurer of ISSFAL shall issue a call for nominations. The call for nomination shall be published on the ISSFAL website and in the ISSFAL Newsletter and shall include: the announcement of the name of the award, the rules of eligibility, and the deadline date for receipt of nominations. 

Each member of the Society, except members of the Award Selection Committee, can nominate one candidate for each award period.

The nominator will submit 1) a primary letter of nomination, 2) two supporting letters of nomination from different people, 3) a resume which includes date when the nominee’s highest degree was obtained, a summary of the nominee’s research and its significance, list of all publications, degrees held (with names of the Institutes granting the degrees and dates of the degrees) and professional positions held.

Letters of nomination and supporting documents shall be submitted to the Secretary/Treasurer of ISSFAL for receipt by mail by December 1 of the year preceding the year the award will be given. The Secretary/ Treasurer shall forward a copy of all properly prepared nominations and supporting documents as well as a copy of the rules for the award to the members of the Award Selection Committee by December 30th of the year preceding the awarding meeting. 

Award Selection Committee

This committee shall be chaired by the Immediate Past President of the Society and shall adjudicate all nominations.


The members of the Award Selection Committee will verify whether the nominated candidates fulfill the eligibility criteria

  • If so, they will rank the candidates according to what they consider to be the relative merit of the candidates (lowest number is best), taking into account the significance of the research, whether it is focused or not and how closely it is related to lipids and fatty acids. The chairman of the selection committee will average the scores. The winner will be the person with the lowest average. When two or more candidates obtain the same score, the winner will be the person with the lowest average when the highest and lowest marks are omitted (and so on if necessary). If there is no candidate who fulfills the criteria, the prize will not be awarded.
  • The chairperson of the Award Selection Committee will notify the Secretary/Treasurer of the Society whether there is an award winner and if so give him/her the name of the winner and turn over the nominations, seconding letters and other related documents for safe-guarding. A written confirmation of the winners name and details shall be sent by the Awards Committee Chair to the Secretary/Treasurer of the Society.


The winner and his or her nominator will be notified by the President of the Society. The President of the Society will secure acceptance from the awardee and determine whether he/she can meet the other requirements for receiving the award.

  • The award winner will be announced in the ISSFAL Newsletter and on the ISSFAL website.
  • The nominator of the top two unselected nominees is to be advised by the Chairperson of the Award Selection Committee that his/her candidate was not selected, but that he/she could be reconsidered in future years (provided eligibility remains), and that the nominator and the nomination seconders should be given the opportunity to up-date the file.

Past Recipients

The first winner of the ISSFAL Early Career Award was Dr Richard Bazinet, from the University if Toronto,Canada. He was presented with his award at the 2008 Congress of the Society held at Kansas City,USA in May 2008. 

In 2010 in Maastricht, John Paul SanGiovanni from the Clinical Trials Branch of the U.S. National Eye Institute, Bethesda, United States of America was the recipient of the Early Career Award.

In 2012, in Vancouver, Dr. S. Raza Shaikh was the recipient of the Early Career Award.  Dr. Shaikh presented, N-3 Fatty Acids and Membrane Microdomains: From Model Membranes to Lymphocyte Function

In 2014, in Stockholm, Dr. Alexander Bartelt was the recipient of the Early Career Award. Dr. Bartlelt is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, MA, USA.






2014 Early Career Award: Dr. Alexander Bartlelt


2014 Early Career Award Recipient
Brown Fat in the Center of Metabolic Health

Short Bio

Dr. Alexander Bartelt is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, MA, USA. His research is dedicated to understanding the molecular basics of lipid and lipoprotein metabolism and related pathologies such as obesity, atherosclerosis and osteoporosis. He received his Diploma in Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology from University of Hamburg, Germany in 2007 with honors. During his PhD at University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf he pioneered brown adipose tissue metabolic research with Prof. Joerg Heeren. Dr. Bartelt is also interested in the relationship of lipid and bone metabolism. In his postdoctoral studies he investigates metabolic adaptations of adipose tissue in extreme conditions such as cold or obesity. Dr. Bartelt’s contributions to the general understanding of systemic nutrient homeostasis have been recognized by national and international awards, fellowships and honors. His work has been funded by the Schering Foundation, the European Atherosclerosis Society and the German Research Foundation DFG.




Whereas white adipose tissue (WAT) serves mainly as an energy reservoir and endocrine organ, brown adipose tissue (BAT) is able to dissipate high-caloric nutrients such as carbohydrates and fatty acids to produce heat in order to defend the body against cold. Until 2011, the mechanistic details of fatty acid delivery as fuels for BAT thermogenesis were insufficiently understood. Moreover, the detailed contribution of BAT to systemic metabolism in terms of lipid and glucose homeostasis was not known. In a series of in vivo experiments, combining classical radioactive fatty acid tracer studies with state-of-the-art nanocrystal-based lipoprotein imaging techniques, we were able to demonstrate that BAT in quantitative terms controls plasma triglyceride and glucose metabolism. Activating BAT by overnight cold exposure reduced plasma triglyceride levels drastically, even in postprandial conditions. Furthermore, we identified a novel lipoprotein pathway involving lipolysis by lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and fatty acid uptake by CD36 into brown adipocytes. BAT consumed nearly as much as 50% of a meal in obese and lean animals, ameliorating glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. Beyond dissipating nutrients, BAT activation and also stimulating adipose tissue “browning” has a profound impact on systemic fatty acid fluxes and cholesterol homeostasis. BAT possesses high capacity for de novo lipogenesis, producing significant amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids. We were able to show that BAT-derived fatty acids can be used as markers of HDL turnover along with the discovery that BAT modulates HDL metabolism to facilitate cholesterol excretion. Our studies place BAT in the center of metabolic health, carrying great therapeutic potential for fighting obesity, insulin resistance and atherosclerosis.