Print This Issue

Honors and Other Things
December 22, 2009, Volume 56, No. 16

  • TIME’s Top Ten Medical Breakthroughs of 2009: Penn Medicine & CHOP
  • DPS No. 1 in Safety
  • Neuroscience of Brain Disorders Award
  • Book Prize: Dr. Cnaan
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr. Beck
  • AIMBE Fellow: Dr. Chen
  • Taylor Prize: Dr. FitzGerald
  • Wilhem Award: Dr. Gorte
  • Pioneer America Society Award: Dr. Greene
  • US Ambassador to Germany: Mr. Murphy
  • Public Service Award: Dr. Rodin
  • Service Award: Dr. Rubenstein
  • Communication Award: ISC’s PennConnect DVD
  • PA Superintendent of the Year: Dr. Sichel
  • Pathology Case Editorial Boards: Dr. Tomaszewski
  • Bray Founders Award: Dr. Wadden
  • Joseph Wharton Awards Dinner 2009
  • TIME’s Top Ten Medical Breakthroughs of 2009: Penn Medicine & CHOP
    TIME magazine included research from a team of Penn Medicine and CHOP autism genetics experts among its Top Ten Medical Breakthroughs of 2009. The team first reported that multiple gene variants, both common and rare, may raise the risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in the journal Nature in April. In June, Penn Medicine autism genetic experts announced that they had identified an additional 27 genetic variations where missing or extra copies of DNA segments were found in children with ASD.

    The research teams include Dr. Gerard Schellenberg, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine; Dr. Maja Bucan, professor of genetics; as well as Dr. Hakon Hakonarson, director of the Center for Applied Genomics at CHOP and associate professor of pediatrics at Penn, among others.

    View the TIME magazine article online at http://bit.ly/8IS5eW

    DPS No. 1 in Safety
    For the third year in a row, Penn’s Division of Public Safety was recognized as the number one institution for safety in the University & College category among the top security organizations, as ranked in Security Magazine survey. Maureen Rush, vice president of public safety said, “Campus safety is a shared responsibility. We offer many resources to our campus community, including walking escorts and informational programs to educate everyone on campus about staying safe.”

    Neuroscience of Brain Disorders Award

    Balice Gordon

    Dr. Rita Balice-Gordon, professor of neuroscience, and Dr. Josep Dalmau, professor of neurology, both of the School of Medicine, have been awarded the McKnight Neuroscience of Brain Disorders Award for 2010. Drs. Balice-Gordon and Dalmau discovered that some diseases, which patients have been told have no cure, can be attributed to disorders of the immune system. They were recognized for their research project, “Cellular, Synaptic and Circuit Mechanisms of Autoimmune anti-Glutamate Receptor Disorders of Memory and Cognition.” The McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience provides grants to projects exploring the biology of neurological and psychiatric diseases.





    Book Prize: Dr. Cnaan
    Handbook of Community Movements and Local Organizations by the School of Social Policy & Practice’s Ram A. Cnaan and Carl Milofsky of Bucknell University, is the winner of the 2009 Virginia Hodgkinson Research Prize Award. The prize is given annually in recognition of a book that informs nonprofit policy and practice. Dr. Cnaan is the associate dean for research at SP2.

    Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr. Beck
    Dr. Aaron T. Beck, emeritus professor in the department of psychiatry, has been presented with the Anna-Monika Prize by the Anna-Monika Foundation. The prize, awarded every two years, is presented for advancing knowledge of the biological structure and functional disturbances of depression. Dr. Beck, also known as the father of Cognitive Therapy, was honored for his lifetime achievement in defining the cognitive biases and distorted interpretations of events, which represent the core psychological problem in depression and contribute to its symptoms, and using this knowledge to develop cognitive therapy. He also serves as director of the Psychopathology Research Unit (PRU).

    AIMBE Fellow: Dr. Chen


    Dr. Christopher Chen, a professor in the department of bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, has been named a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). The organization is the leading advocacy group for medical and biological engineering, comprised of the field’s 1,000 top practitioners in academia, industry and government. Members work daily throughout the technical and management spheres of medicine, academia, industry and government—leading the way in technological advancement, advocating for public policies that facilitate further progress and preparing young scientists and engineers to build on that progress in the decades to come.






    Taylor Prize: Dr. FitzGerald
    Dr. Garret FitzGerald, McNeil Professor in Translational Medicine and Therapeutics at the School of Medicine; chair of the department of pharmacology; and director of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, received the J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine last month. Supported by the Robarts Research Institute at the University of Western Ontario, the award annually recognizes the world’s leading medical researcher. Dr. FitzGerald was recognized for his contributions to the development of low-dose aspirin for the prevention of heart disease and being one of the first investigators to predict and explain the cardiovascular hazard from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

    Wilhem Award: Dr. Gorte
    Dr. Raymond J. Gorte, the Russell P. and Elizabeth C. Heuer Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and professor of materials science and engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, was presented with the R.H. Wilhelm Award in Chemical Reaction Engineering.  The award is sponsored by ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Company and presented by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). The award is presented to leaders and innovators in the chemical engineering field.

    Pioneer America Society Award: Dr. Greene
    Dr. Ann N. Greene, undergraduate coordinator and lecturer in the department of the history and sociology of science, won the 2009 Fred B. Kniffen Book Award from the Pioneer America Society (PAS) for her book Horses at Work: Harnessing Power in Industrial America (Harvard University Press, 2008). According to the PAS, “The award recognizes the best-authored book in the field of North American material culture.”

    US Ambassador to Germany: Mr. Murphy
    Philip D. Murphy, a former member of the advisory board for the Huntsman Program, was confirmed by the US Senate as US Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany in August and presented his credentials in September. Mr. Murphy is also a Penn graduate, earning his MBA from Wharton in 1983.

    Public Service Award: Dr. Rodin


    The Aspen Institute presented President Emerita Judith Rodin with their Public Service Award at the 26th Annual Awards Dinner in November. The Aspen Institute’s mission is to foster values-based leadership, encourage individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. Dr. Rodin is president of the Rockefeller Foundation.







    Service Award: Dr. Rubenstein


    Dr. Arthur H. Rubenstein, executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System, and dean of the School of Medicine, received the Abraham Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in November, during the association’s annual meeting.

    The Flexner Award recognizes extraordinary individual contributions to medical schools and to the medical education community as a whole. According to the AAMC, “Dr. Rubenstein’s career epitomizes what Abraham Flexner envisioned for the future of US medical education, with a greater emphasis on research, an integrated, institutional focus on learning, and a joy for the university environment and academic medicine as a profession.”





    Communication Award: ISC’s PennConnect DVD
    Information Systems & Computing announced that the PennConnect Spring 2009 DVD has been awarded the 2009 ACM SIGUCCS (Special Interest Group on University & College Computing Services) Communication Award, which recognizes excellence in developing useful and attractive publications.  Each summer, fall, and spring, ISC releases the PennConnect DVD, which contains recommended networking and antivirus software for students, staff, and faculty.  The PennConnect DVD was judged to be “very impressive . . . lego blocks throughout and use of color changes . . . with information extremely well-thought-out, effective and cohesive . . . for new users, it was very easy to follow the instruction and go back if necessary . . .”   This is the fourth year ISC’s team has won this award.

    PA Superintendent of the Year: Dr. Sichel


    Dr. Amy Sichel (GrEd’81), who leads Montgomery County’s Abington School District and is an adjunct associate professor in Penn’s Graduate School of Education, has been named Pennsylvania Superintendent of the Year by the Commonwealth’s association of school administrators. She was praised for her role in closing the achievement gap between white and minority students in the district while maintaining a high level of achievement for all students. She was also recognized for her ability to balance fiscal responsibility while maintaining quality education. Accepting the honor, Dr. Sichel said, “This award gives proof that our teachers, parents, faculty and school directors are truly amazing. This is not my award, but our award.”






    Pathology Case Editorial Boards: Dr. Tomaszewski
    Dr. John E. Tomaszewski, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine in the School of Medicine, has become a member of the newly established PathXchange.org’s Case Editorial Boards (CEB). PathXchange.org is a global online pathology community for over 20 pathology subspecialties to promote online participation and to ensure quality content in the portal. The PathXchange CEB will be responsible for reviewing individual case submissions, selecting a “Case of the Week” to spotlight on the website and promoting the portal in their respective communities.

    Bray Founders Award: Dr. Wadden


    Dr. Thomas A. Wadden, professor of psychology in psychiatry at the School of Medicine and the director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders, was presented with the George A. Bray Founders Award at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Obesity Society in October. The award recognizes an individual for significant contributions that advance the scientific or clinical basis for understanding or treating obesity and for extensive involvement with The Obesity Society. Recipients receive a $1,000 cash prize.






    Joseph Wharton Awards Dinner 2009

    Jeffrey Fluhr (W’96, EN’96) was awarded the Joseph Wharton Award for Young Leadership for demonstrating the “greatest potential for leadership and lasting impact.” Mr. Fluhr was the co-founder of StubHub, the online ticket marketplace, and served as CEO until the company’s sale to eBay for $310 million in January 2007.

    George A. Weiss (W’65) was presented with the Joseph Wharton Award for Social Impact, given to the Wharton alumnus who has had the greatest impact in public service, social enterprise, and philanthropy. Mr. Weiss is the founder of Say Yes to Education, an organization committed to providing support to at-risk children and their families. Mr. Weiss serves as University Charter Trustee of Penn and chairs the Committee on Undergraduate Financial Aid. 

    Robert S. Kapito (W’79), president and director of leading investment management firm Blackrock, was awarded the Joseph Wharton Award for Leadership. This award is presented to the Wharton alumnus who embodies the highest standards of leadership in both business and society. Mr. Kapito serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Penn and serves on the boards of many other non-profit organizations.

    Ralph J. Roberts (W’41, Hon’05) received the Joseph Wharton Award for Lifetime Achievement, given to a Wharton alumnus who has tremendous positive and sustained impact on business and society over the course of their career. Mr. Roberts is the founder and chairman emeritus of Comcast Corporation. He serves on the Penn Medicine Board of Trustees and the Board of the University of Pennsylvania Health System.



    Almanac - December 22, 2009, Volume 56, No. 16