Print This Issue

Honors & Other Things

April 24, 2012, Volume 58, No. 31

American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellows: Five Penn Professors

Five professors from the University of Pennsylvania are among the 220 elected to the 2012 class of members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

One of the nation's most prestigious honorary societies, the Academy is also a leading center for independent policy research. The current membership includes some of the world's most accomplished leaders from academia, business, public affairs, the humanities and the arts.

Joining the Academy this year will be:

Dr. Thomas Curran is professor of pathology and laboratory medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine, an investigator at the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute and deputy scientific director at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. His studies of the molecular basis of brain cell growth have informed new strategies to treat pediatric brain tumors. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and of the Royal Society.

Dr. Michael Kearns is professor and National Center Chair in Resource Management and Technology in the computer and information science department in the School of Engineering and Applied Science and is founding director of Penn's new Market and Social Systems Engineering Program. Working on machine learning, algorithmic game theory, social networks, computational finance and artificial intelligence, he has contributed to technological applications related to finance, spoken dialogue systems and interactions in social networks. He also serves as an advisor to a number of technology companies.

Dr. Gary A. Koretzky is vice chair for research, chief scientific officer and Francis C. Wood Professor in the department of medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine. Through investigations of the regulation of blood cell formation and movement, he has made inroads into understanding the complexities of immune system function.

Dr. George J. Mailath is the Walter H. Annenberg Professor in the Social Sciences and a professor of economics in the School of Arts & Sciences. His research on game theory, cooperation and reputations has led to numerous publications, including a graduate textbook, Repeated Games and Reputations: Long Run Relationships. He is a fellow of the Econometric Society and has served as an editor for several journals.

Dr. Robert M. Seyfarth, professor of psychology in the School of Arts & Sciences, is a specialist in animal behavior and communication. His field studies of nonhuman primates, specifically a troop of baboons in Botswana, have illuminated how primate relationships may reflect the evolutionary origins of social relationships, intelligence and language in humans.

American Brain Tumor Association: Dr. Brem
Dr. Steven Brem, professor of neurosurgery, chief of the division of neurosurgical oncology in the Perelman School of Medicine, has received the 2012 Joel A. Gingras, Jr. Award from the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA).

Dr. Brem was selected in recognition of his career-long effort to optimize outcomes for brain tumor patients worldwide. He has performed more than 3,600 brain tumor surgeries, participated in over 100 clinical trials and has conducted extensive research in discovery and translation of novel inhibitors of angiogenesis and glioma progression.

The Award acknowledges exceptional organizations or individuals making a noteworthy impact on furthering the ABTA's mission to advance the understanding and treatment of brain tumors. It is in memory of Joel A. Gingras, Jr., who was treated at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in 1988 after the diagnosis of a malignant brain tumor. Since 1989, the Gingras family has supported the ABTA through the Memorial Fund.

AIMBE Fellow: Dr. Burdick
Dr. Jason Burdick, associate professor of bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, was one of 94 inducted as an American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) Fellow. The College of Fellows comprises the top two percent of medical and biological engineers in the country. Dr. Burdick was praised "for seminal contributions in understanding the formation and structure of biodegradable materials towards tissue regeneration therapies and drug delivery applications."

Society for Critical Care Medicine: Dr. Deutschman
Dr. Clifford S. Deutschman, professor of anesthesiology and critical care and director of the Sepsis Research Program at the Perelman School of Medicine has been named president of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM).

The Society of Critical Care Medicine is the largest multiprofessional organization dedicated to ensuring excellence and consistency in the practice of critical care. With members in more than 100 countries, SCCM is the only organization that represents all professional components of the critical care team. In his role as SCCM president, Dr. Deutschman will serve as the Society's primary spokesperson while helping the organization carry out its mission to secure the highest quality care for all critically ill and injured patients.

Penn-made President: Dr. Giles-Gee
Dr. Helen F. Giles-Gee, CW'72 GEd'73 Gr'83, currently president of Keene State College in New Hampshire, was named president of the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. She will begin July 16, becoming their first president of color and the first woman to lead the 191 year-old institution. For additional Penn-made presidents, see www.upenn.edu/almanac/pennpres.html

Honorary Degree: Dr. Gutmann
Columbia University will confer an honorary doctor of laws degree to Penn President Amy Gutmann at their commencement exercises on May 16. Dr. Gutmann was noted as "a national leader in facilitating greater access to higher education. She developed a no-loan guarantee that has become a national model, significantly expanded opportunities for low-income students, and is a champion of civic engagement and the interdisciplinary spirit. She has published widely on the value of education and deliberation in democracy, on identity politics, and on the essential role of ethics in public affairs."

AMA Grant Award: Dr. Jain
Dr. Rajan Jain, cardiovascular fellow at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, has been honored with an American Medical Association (AMA) 2012 Seed Grant Research Program Award for his promising research into congenital heart disease.

Dr. Jain, working under the guidance of Dr. Jonathan A. Epstein, scientific director of the Penn Cardiovascular Institute and chair of the department of cell and developmental biology, William Wikoff Smith Professor of Cardiovascular Research, Perelman School of Medicine, is interested specifically in how the aortic valve and aorta are formed and how this process goes wrong in patients with congenital heart disease.

Dr. Jain is one of 43 junior investigators nationwide awarded a grant by this initiative for basic science or clinical research projects in the areas of cardiovascular/pulmonary diseases, HIV/AIDS, neoplastic diseases and pancreatic cancer.

Best Paper: Dr. Lazar
Authored by Dr. Mitchell Lazar, the paper, "Diet-induced Lethality Due to Deletion of the Hdac3 Gene in Heart and Skeletal Muscle," has been designated as one of the best papers published by the Journal of Biological Chemistry in 2011. The journal's editors selected only 20 papers—out of the more than 4,000 that were published last year—to receive this special designation. One paper was chosen for each of their affinity groups, and this paper represents the Metabolism affinity group. Dr. Lazar is the Sylvan Eisman Professor of Medicine and director of the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism at the Perelman School of Medicine.

Women of the Year: Ms. McManus
McManusThe Legal Intelligencer has named Elizabeth McManus, associate director for professional development of career planning and professionalism at Penn Law, among its list for "Women of the Year," which highlights the achievements of top female attorneys across the state of Pennsylvania who have made positive contributions to the legal community.

Ms. McManus, L'04, also teaches a seminar with Dean Frattone entitled Client Leverage and Law Firm Management, which introduces students to the skills needed to successfully navigate their careers in law firms. She is a volunteer with Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly.



Army Veterinary Corps. Honor: Dr. Otto
Dr. Cynthia Otto, associate professor of critical care in the School of Veterinary Medicine and director of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center, was honored by the US Army Veterinary Corps. with an American flag and a certificate, recognizing her and her colleagues for their dedication "to medicine, research and promotion of the health of working dogs." The declaration noted that the flag had been "proudly" flown in Afghanistan on January 1, 2012, by US troops "in support of missions utilizing military working dogs, in honor of you and your colleagues."

Dr. Otto served at Ground Zero, providing veterinary care for the dogs enlisted to search for human remains.
The Working Dog Center studies health, behavior and genetics in an effort to discover what makes certain dogs more suited to working tasks than others. Dr. Otto plans to display the flag in the center, which will have offices opening in the fall.

Educator Prize: Dr. Shuda
Dr. Jamie Shuda, director of life science outreach at the University of Pennsylvania's Institute for Regenerative Medicine (IRM) and coordinator of life science education at Penn's Netter Center for Community Partnerships, along with Dr. Steve Farber, Carnegie Institution for Science, have been awarded the Hamburger Outstanding Educator Prize from the Society for Developmental Biology.

Dr. Shuda and Dr. Farber run Project BioEYES, a K-12 science education program that provides classroom-based, hands-on learning using live zebrafish to teach about how cells and animals develop. The program is located within the Perelman School of Medicine; the Carnegie Institution; Notre Dame; and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, among others, and reaches over 9,000 students per year.

Exhibition Award: Penn Libraries
The Association of College and Research Libraries Rare Books and Manuscripts Section selected the Rare Book and Manuscript Library for their brochure entitled "Wharton Esherick and the Birth of the American Modern" as one of five winners for the 2012 Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab American Book Prices Current Exhibition Awards. They won in the brochure category.

The awards recognize outstanding exhibition catalogs issued by American or Canadian institutions in conjunction with library exhibitions, as well as electronic exhibition catalogs of outstanding merit issued within the digital/web environment. Certificates will be presented to each winner in June at the American Library Association conference.

Penn Recognized for Social Media Use
According to Mashable.com, Penn ranks second on the list of the 25 highest-ranked universities in both the US and UK at using social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The results are determined by how each school attracted attention to its social media page—based on site traffic, followers, comments, etc. Penn was the second Ivy School on the list, along with Harvard University, which ranked first.

To follow related University social media accounts, see www.upenn.edu/about/social-media/

Preservation Award: Weiss Pavilion
The Preservation Alliance for greater Philadelphia has selected George A. Weiss Pavilion at Franklin Field as one of the recipients of the Grand Jury Award. The awards recognize individuals, organizations, businesses and projects that exemplify outstanding achievement in the field of historic preservation throughout the region. Dedicated in 2010, the Weiss Pavilion contains the Robert A. Fox Fitness Center (Almanac November 9, 2010) and the recently opened Education Commons (Almanac April 3, 2012).

Intel Schools Distinction Award Finalist: Penn Alexander School
The Penn Alexander School (PAS) has been named a 2012 Intel Schools Distinction Award Finalist for excellence in middle grades science. The award program recognizes schools for their achievement in science, providing a rich curriculum incorporating hands-on investigative experiences that prepare students to be successful in the 21st century global economy.

PAS will compete against two other schools to be named an Intel School of Distinction and will compete amongst those schools to be named the Star Innovator. Winners will be announced at an award ceremony in September in Washington, DC. As a finalist, the school received a cash prize of $5,000 and is eligible for an additional $20,000 and a package of goods and services.

100 Top Hospitals: Penn Presbyterian Medical Center
Penn Presbyterian Medical Center has ranked among the nation's top 100 hospitals, according to the annual study by Thompson Reuters. The study evaluates performance in 10 areas: mortality; medical complications; patient safety; average patient stay; expenses; profitability; patient satisfaction; adherence to clinical standards of care; post-discharge mortality; and readmission rates for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia.

"This is an incredible honor for the faculty, staff and administration at Penn Presbyterian," said Michele Volpe, executive director and CEO, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. "This recognition is further acknowledgment of the culture of excellence that we are committed to delivering every day. I am so proud of all the extraordinary people in the Presbyterian family who strive to provide the best in patient care, education and research."

As a 100 Top Hospitals winner, Penn Presbyterian's overall composite score represents the positive impact that the organization provides to the community. According to the announcement by Thompson Reuters, winners are identified from nearly 3,000 US hospitals, and demonstrate that high-quality patient outcomes can be achieved while improving efficiency.

Inaugural Lipman Family Prize: iDE
The Wharton School announced the winner of its inaugural Barry & Marie Lipman Family Prize—iDE, a social enterprise that has pioneered innovative, market-based approaches to safe water and sanitation access. Chosen from hundreds of organizations worldwide devoted to social impact and building sustainable solutions for social and economic challenges, iDE received $100,000 and bragging rights at a gala marking the event's culmination earlier this month. iDE and the two other finalist organizations, KOMAZA, a pioneering forestry social enterprise, and MedShare, a distributor of surplus medical supplies, will all profit from unprecedented, synergistic opportunities with Penn and Wharton.

iDE is an international nonprofit organization helping poor rural households in the developing world to access the tools and knowledge they need to increase their income. iDE's productive water solutions create and increase both food production and incomes, and with innovative drinking water and sanitation technologies, iDE gives rural households the basis for healthier and more dignified livelihoods.

ECAC Champions: Penn Gymnastics
The Penn Gymnastics team won the ECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference) Championship by 25-thousandths of a point with a score of 194.400. This is the highest ECAC and highest home score in program history.

Other notable achievements from the meet include breaking their floor season record by nearly four-tenths and having the highest vault score in program history. Twelve gymnasts also set or tied career highs.

Penn Athletics Hall of Fame Class VIII
The University of Pennsylvania's Director of Athletics, Steven J. Bilsky, has announced the men and women who will represent Class VIII in the Penn Athletics Hall of Fame. The class will be inducted on May 5 at the Inn at Penn.

If you would like to attend this special black-tie occasion, please contact Athletics Development coordinator Molly Rand at (215) 746-5125 or randm@upenn.edu

Class VIII features 12 recipients—nine men, three women—who will join 168 former Penn athletes and coaches in immortality. The class features 10 athletes, a former coach, and one special award.

Plaques honoring all members of the Hall of Fame are located in the Donaldson Room, which is in Weightman Hall.

The inductees are:

  • Diana M. Caramanico, W'01, LPS'11—women's basketball
  • Debra Censits Donnally, N'81, GNu'83—field hockey/women's lacrosse
  • Timothy D. Chambers, C'85—football
  • Willis N. Cummings, D'19—men's cross country/track (1894-1991)
  • Melissa D. Ingalls, C'90—women's volleyball
  • Bruce A. Lefkowitz, C'87—men's basketball
  • Robert P. Levy, C'52—special award
  • Timothy D. Ortman, C'01—sprint football/wrestling
  • Joseph B. Sturgis, Sr., C'56, L'59—men's basketball
  • Paul A. Toomey, C'77—men's soccer
  • John J. Tori, C'54—men's fencing
  • Robert Weinhauer—former men's basketball coach

Almanac - April 24, 2012, Volume 58, No. 31