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Honors & Other Things
October 9, 2007, Volume 54, No. 7

MS Society’s Hope Award: Mr. Cohen

Penn Term Trustee David L. Cohen, Law ’81, was recently awarded the Hope Award, the National MS Society’s highest honor for service and community involvement. Mr. Cohen was honored at the MS Dinner of Champions in September. “David always finds time to give back to others. He is truly a role model,” said Ira Lubert, of Independence Capital Partners. Mr. Cohen is the Executive Vice President of Comcast Corp.

Hirschmann Award: Dr. DeGrado


Dr. William DeGrado, George W. Raiziss Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, received the American Chemical Society’s 2008 Ralph F. Hirschmann Award in Peptide Chemistry, sponsored by Merck Research Laboratories. The award recognizes and encourages “outstanding achievements in the chemistry, biochemistry, and biophysics of peptides.”

Best Performing Schools: Penn Alexander School

The Penn Alexander School (PAS), Penn’s partnership school, was recently ranked #1 in reading and #9 in math for K-8 schools in the School District of Philadelphia. The District made their announcement based on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA). In each grade and in each subject tested, PAS students outperformed the school district, and outperformed the entire Commonwealth in reading.

2007 Sober Lecturer: Dr. Englander


Dr. Walter Englander, Jacob Gershon-Cohen Professor of Medical Science, has been named the 2007 Herbert C. Sober Lecturer of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Dr. Englander is being recognized for his outstanding contributions to biochemistry through his development and application of hydrogen exchange methods.

Measey Basic Science Fellowships: Drs. Banerjee and Wang

Dr. Arnob Banerjee, post-doctoral fellow in the division of hematology/oncology, and Dr. Gary Wang, NRSApost-doctoral fellow in the division of infectious diseases, both in the School of Medicine, have been awarded the first Department of Medicine Measey Basic Science Fellowship Awards. The highly competitive award is aimed at physician-scientist fellows, and is designed to provide institutional support to senior fellows as they transition from research fellow to faculty member. Dr. Banerjee studies the function of microRNA in T-cells, and Dr. Wang studies Hepatitis C virus diversity and resistance through DNA bar coding and pyrosequencing.

Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania: Dr. Jemmott


Dr. Loretta Sweet Jemmott, van Ameringen Professor in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing and one of the nation’s foremost researchers in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention among African American adolescents, has been named as a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania by Governor Edward Rendell. Dr. Jemmott is one of seven women who have been selected for this honor in 2007. On October 18, Governor Edward Rendell and First Lady Judge Marjorie Rendell—who is also a Distinguished Daughter—will host the Annual Awards Luncheon at the Governor’s residence in Harrisburg.

New Innovator Award: Dr. Shorter


Dr. Jim Shorter, assistant professor of biochemistry and biophysics, is the recipient of the 2007 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award for his research in developing biochemical methods to combat diseases caused by nerve degeneration, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s Diseases.

School of Nursing Grants and Awards

Dr. Marilyn Sawyer Sommers, Lillian S. Brunner Professor of Medical-Surgical Nursing, is the recipient of a four-year $2.5 million grant jointly funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) and National Institute of Mental Health. She will further explore her work “Injury from Sexual Assault: Addressing Health Disparity.”


Dr. Barbara Riegel, associate professor of nursing,has been awarded a grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of National Institutes of Health (NIH)  for her proposal, “Impact of Sleepiness on Heart Failure Self-Care.” This three-year award, in excess of $700,000, will examine excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) as a potential contributor to refractory problems with self-care in persons with heart failure, poor health-related quality of life, and unplanned hospitalizations.

Also, Dr. Riegel is the recipient of the 2008 University of Pennsylvania Institute on Aging pilot research grant for her project, “Symptom Recognition in Elders with Heart Failure.”

The School of Nursing has received funding from the NIH National Institute of Nursing Research for an institutional training grant. The grant will be used for a project, “Individualized Care for At-Risk Older Adults.” The grant will support pre- and post-doctoral training dedicated to aging research focused on at-risk chronically ill elders, and expanding the capacity for collaborative and inter-disciplinary research in aging. Dr. Neville E. Strumpf, Edith Clemmer Steinbright Professor in Gerontology, is the director of the project; and Dr. Mary Naylor, Marian S. Ware Professor in Gerontology and Dr. Kathryn Bowles, associate professor of nursing are the co-directors.

Dr. Norma Cuellar, assistant professor of nursing, has received a NINR Mentored Research Scientist Development Award from the NIH for her project, “The Use of Valerian on Sleep in Persons with Restless Legs Syndrome.” Dr. Cuellar’s research focuses on sleep and complementary and alternative medicine.

Dr. Anne Teitelman, assistant professor of nursing, is the recipient of funding from the Developmental Core of the Penn Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) for her pilot study, “HIV/STI Risk Reduction for African-American Adolescent Girls: Addressing the Context of Abusive Relationships.”

Dr. Eun-Hi Kong, visiting scholar, and Dr. Lois Evans, van Ameringen Professor in Nursing Excellence, have received a Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence Frank Morgan Jones Pilot Program Award for their project, “How Do Family Caregivers’ Beliefs About Dementia Differ Among Caucasian Americans, Korean Americans, and Koreans?”

Dr. Stella Volpe, Miriam Stirl Term Associate Professor of Nutrition, is the recipient of a $50,000 award from the School of Nursing LIFE Research Initiative for her project, “Short-term Exercise on Body Weight in Overweight Elderly African American Women.” Dr. Volpe’s project will focus on weight loss in urban-dwelling, overweight and obese African American women of low-income who attend LIFE.

The following two strategic research plans have received awards from the American College of Radiology Health Research Formula Fund under the Tobacco Settlement Act:

“Identifying Interventions For Cancer Patients At High Risk For Poor Outcomes,” documents the combined influence of gender, marital/partner status, and race in identifying patients with cancer at risk for poor outcomes in a pooled analysis of patients with cancers treated with radiotherapy on large, national clinical trials. PI is Dr. Ben Movsas, Henry Ford Health System; Dr. Deb Bruner, Independence Professor in Nursing Education, is co-investigator as is Dr. James Coyne, professor of psychiatry; Charlene Bryan, nursing postdoctoral fellow, is project manager.

“Factors Associated with Attrition in Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Clinical Trials” assesses key variables associated with attrition in all RTOG treatment studies that were opened to accrual as of January 1, 1985 and have completed accrual and had the primary endpoint published by January 1, 2005. PI is Dr. Connie M. Ulrich, assistant professor of bioethics and nursing.



Almanac - October 9, 2007 , Volume 54, No. 7