Doris DeFord Speck and George Speck, MD Endowed Prize for Student Medical Research

Dr. George Speck, alumnus of SMHS Class of 1941, generously established an annual award in loving memory of his first wife, Doris DeFord Speck. Dr. David Speck, continuing in this tradition on behalf of his parents, will honor a medical student, who, in the words of his father will be: “a wonderful, caring doctor”, and who has demonstrated exceptional aptitude for a dedication to biomedical research. A faculty committee formed by the SMHS Office of Research chooses a 3rd or 4th year medical student who best embodies these characteristics following nominations from the faculty.

The 2024 recipient of the Speck student research award is Khashayar "Shayar" Mozaffari.  Shayar has a truly exceptional record of research accomplishment throughout his years at medical school.  Shayar’s research has included several comprehensive database analyses of factors that affect neurosurgical outcomes, as well as more basic studies related to targeting angiogenesis for the treatment of glioblastoma.  His record of research productivity while in medical school is documented by 10 first author peer-reviewed manuscripts, 17 co-authorships, with several other manuscripts under review, all predominantly related to neurosurgery and neuro-oncology.  Notably, Shayar’s research achievement has been recognized by multiple invited oral presentations at national meetings related to neurosurgery and neuro-oncology.  In addition, Shayer has been awarded nationally competitive research fellowships from the American Brain Tumor Association as well as the American Academy of Neurology.  In addition to research accomplishment, Shayar demonstrates outstanding scholarly achievement recognized by election to the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society as well as receipt of the Alpert Medical Scholarship and Paul Kravitz scholarships based on academic achievement.   Finally, it is notable that Shayar has assumed leadership roles as co-president of the GW Neurosurgery Interest Group, as well as with the GW Salud Organization where he helped to develop lesson plans to enhance Spanish language proficiency for student volunteers in the Hispanic community.