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Honors & Other Things

May 1, 2012, Volume 58, No. 32


Exceptional Commitment to Graduate and Professional Student Life

The President and Provost’s Citation for Exceptional Commitment to Graduate and Professional Student Life is presented to graduate or professional students, upon their graduation from Penn, who have been catalysts for transformative and lasting new developments that have enhanced graduate and professional student life at Penn.

The spring 2012 recipients are:

Allyson Davis (Fels/SAS)
Joseph Friedman (Law)
Linda Meiberg (AAMW/SAS)
Maher Zamel (Education)

A reception to honor these student leaders will be held on Wednesday, May 9 from 4:30-6 p.m. in the Graduate Student Center Common Room, 3615 Locust Walk. All members of the University community are invited to attend. More information and registration can be found at www.gsc.upenn.edu/activities/graduation.php


President of Photobiology Society: Dr. Cengel
Dr. Keith Cengel, assistant professor of radiation oncology at the Perelman School of Medicine, was elected as the upcoming president of the American Society for Photobiology (ASP), one of the nation’s premier societies for photobiology and phototherapy. The ASP promotes research in photobiology, integration of different photobiology disciplines, dissemination of photobiology knowledge and provides information on photobiological aspects of national and international issues. 

Dr. Cengel’s areas of interest include treatment of patients with intra-peritoneal spread of gastrointestinal and ovarian cancers with intraoperative photodynamic therapy as well as treating patients with sarcoma with radiation therapy.


Pasarow Medical Research Award
Dr. Virginia M.Y. Lee and Dr. John Q. Trojanowski, both professors of pathology and laboratory medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine, have been named recipients of the 24th annual Medical Research Award in Neuropsychiatric Disorders by the Robert J. and Claire Pasarow Foundation.

The award recognizes exceptional basic, clinical, or translational research accomplishment in cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neuropsychiatry to promote awareness for these fields.

Drs. Lee and Trojanowski are co-directors of the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research (CNDR). Their work with the tau protein has profoundly advanced the field of knowledge on Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Against the popular theory in Alzheimer’s disease research that says plaques formed by a sticky protein—amyloid-beta—cause the damage found in an Alzheimer’s inflicted brain, the duo argued that brain degeneration and cognitive impairments in Alzheimer’s disease are instead caused by tangles formed by the brain protein tau. By explaining tau’s biology, the two created a new set of targets for drugs to fight the disease.

Among other roles, Dr. Lee is the John H. Ware 3rd Professor in Alzheimer’s Research and co-director of the Marian S. Ware Center for Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Program. Dr. Trojanowski is also director of the Institute on Aging and the William Maul Measey-Truman G. Schnabel, Jr. MD Professor of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology.


National Academy of ScienceCommission: Dr. Gottschalk
Dr. Marie Gottschalk, professor of political science in the School of Arts & Sciences, has been named to a National Academy of Science 18-member panel of leading scholars and experts on corrections to study the causes and consequences of high rates of incarceration in the United States. Jeremy Travis, president of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, will chair the panel. The two-year, $1.5 million project is sponsored by the National Institute of Justice and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.   

The panelists will study why incarceration rates in the country have skyrocketed since the 1970s, examine costs and benefits of the nation’s current sentencing and incarceration policies and look into whether alternative punishments might net similar public safety benefits at lower financial and social costs.  

More information about the National Academy of Science project is available at www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/projectview.aspx?key=49441


OAH Book Award: Dr. Mayeri
MayeriDr. Serena Mayeri, professor of law and history at Penn Law, has won the Organization of American Historians 2012 Darlene Clark Hine Award for her book Reasoning from Race: Feminism, Law, and the Civil Rights Revolution (Harvard University Press, 2011). The award is given annually for the best book in African-American women’s and gender history.

The OAH selection committee hailed the book as “a brilliant excavation of the role that analogies between sexual and racial discrimination have played in legal battles over women’s rights. Mayeri recasts the story of 1970s legal feminism by uncovering a largely forgotten history of black and white women’s activism, which pursued much more expansive conceptions of equality than those that ultimately became law.  In doing so, Mayeri also moves the field of African-American women’s history forward by demonstrating how black women’s activism and insights from their work in civil rights shaped women’s rights struggles.”

Almanac - May 1, 2012, Volume 58, No. 32