Recognizing extraordinary volunteers and physicians.

The Mast Cell Disease Society recognizes volunteers and physicians who exemplify the highest values of volunteerism, community engagement, leadership and dedication to the care of mast cell disease patients. Recipients are honored at an awards ceremony during the Biennial National Conference.

Available Awards
Volunteer of the Year

This award was created to recognize an individual who has made a significant impact on the mast cell disease community.

Norton J. Greenberger Award for Clinical Excellence

This award was created to recognize novel advances that will ultimately improve outcomes for patients with mast cell diseases. Thanks to the dedication of many scientists, much more is being discovered that gives insight into mechanisms underlying these diseases.

Innovation in Research

This award was created to recognize novel advances that will ultimately improve outcomes for patients with mast cell diseases. Thanks to the dedication of many scientists, much more is being discovered that gives insight into mechanisms underlying these diseases.

Lifetime Achievement in the field of Mast Cell Diseases Research and Treatment

This award was created to recognize an investigator who has dedicated his of her life to research into mast cell and/or other allergic diseases. Through the years, all of us at TMS have been fortunate to have fostered strong relationships with many of the physicians who treat patients with mast cell diseases as well as those who do research into finding better methods for diagnosis and treatment. 


2021 Honorees
Jan Hempstead, RN – Volunteer of the Year

This is such an honor and I am truly grateful to serve TMS not just as a Board Member but as an RN. Connecting with patients daily fulfills my purpose.

– Jan Hempstead, RN
Mariana Castells, MD, PhD – Norton J. Greenberger Award for Clinical Excellence

Dr. Castells wonderfully demonstrates these qualities as she, too, manages an enormous caseload of patients with mastocytosis, MCAS and HαT, and is always very responsive to TMS. It is noteworthy that Dr. Castells did part of her training under Dr. Greenberger. 

Mariana Castells, M.D., Ph.D. is a clinician, researcher and full Professor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. She is the Director of the Drug Hypersensitivity and Drug Desensitization Center and of the Mastocytosis Center and has served as the Allergy and Clinical Immunology Training Program Director for over 20 years. 

Dr Castells has spearheaded the evaluation and understanding of anaphylaxis and drug hypersensitivity and has developed desensitization protocols which are used as standards around the world. She treats patients with drug allergy, anaphylaxis, mast cell diseases, urticaria, immune deficiencies, regular food and environmental allergies and asthma.   

Her research has revealed mast cell inhibitory mechanisms related to desensitization and her laboratory continues to pursue further drug therapy to improve the safe outcomes for desensitizations. She has been a  pioneer in the diagnosis and treatment of mast cell activation syndromes and mastocytosis and is the  principal investigator of clinical trials with Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors.  

Congratulations, Dr. Castells for this award and thank you for your relentless dedication to patients with all forms of mast cell disease.  

Jonathan Lyons, MD – Innovation in Research

Dr. Lyons particularly stood out to us because of his unwavering drive to identify and characterize the relationship between a newly recognized genetic condition to our already defined mast cell diseases. The identification of hereditary alpha tryptasemia (HαT), which affects a considerable percentage of the general population, but may have implications for patients affected by mast cell diseases as a disease modifier, was outstanding research. 

Jonathan Lyons graduated with a B.A. in chemistry from Pomona College in 2003 and received an M.D. from the University of Southern California in 2007. Dr. Lyons did his residency in internal medicine at the University of California, San Diego, in 2010, and served as a chief medical resident in 2011. He is a clinical fellow in allergy and immunology at National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID). After his fellowship, he served as an assistant clinical investigator in the Laboratory of Allergic Diseases (LAD), NIAID Transition Program in Clinical Research until 2018. Dr. Lyons is now chief of the Translational Allergic Immunopathology Unit in LAD.  

In 2015 Dr. Lyons received the ARTrust/The Mastocytosis Society Research Award in Mastocytosis and/or Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, a grant offered by TMS in collaboration with the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Dr. Lyons received NIAID Merit Awards in 2016 and 2017 for his work related to the identification and characterization of hereditary alpha tryptasemia and was named a Lasker Scholar in 2018, which is an award offered by the NIH in partnership with the Lasker Foundation to support exceptional clinical researchers early in their careers. He has also done groundbreaking work in characterizing pathways leading to increased mast cell hyperactivity and anaphylaxis in individuals with hereditary alpha tryptasemia (HaT) – a common genetic trait resulting from increased numbers of the tryptase gene. 

Congratulations to Dr. Lyons! 


Dean Metcalfe, MD – Lifetime Achievement

TMS have come to rely on the wisdom, clarity and objectivity of Dr. Metcalfe in the field of mast cell disease. We can always count on this individual to listen to our concerns and to guide us toward solutions that are forward thinking and inclusive.  

 Dr. Metcalfe received his M.D. at the University of Tennessee and an M.S. in microbiology at the University of Michigan, where he also did a residency in internal medicine. Dr. Metcalfe then trained in allergy and immunology during a fellowship at NIAID, followed by training in rheumatology while a Fellow in Immunology at the Robert Brigham Hospital in Boston. In 1995, he was appointed as the first Chief of the new Laboratory of Allergic Diseases at NIAID, a position he continued for 22 years until stepping down as Chief in 2017. He is currently the Chief of the Mast Cell Biology Section. Dr. Metcalfe has received numerous awards both here and abroad. It was Dr. Metcalfe who first suggested to me that we should apply to become a lay organization supported by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. We thank him for his lifelong interest in mast cell diseases, and for his unwavering support of TMS. 

Congratulations, Dr. Metcalfe! 

Skip to content