Honors & Other Things
January 14, 2014, Volume 60, No. 18
Thyroid Association Award: Dr. Cappola
The American Thyroid Association (ATA) presented the Van Meter Award to Dr. Anne R. Cappola, associate professor of medicine in the division of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine.
Dr. Cappola is an internationally recognized clinical investigator whose NIH-funded research on the hormonal changes associated with aging is impacting how clinicians evaluate and treat thyroid dysfunction in older people. The Van Meter Award was established in 1930 to recognize outstanding contributions by a young clinical scientist to research on the thyroid gland.
Dr. Cappola accepted the honor during the award lecture in October at the ATA’s 83rd Annual Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The Van Meter Award receives support from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers of the journal Thyroid.
Emerging Woman Leader: Dr. Lewis
Dr. Lisa M. Lewis, associate professor of nursing, has been named a 2013 recipient of The Forum Award for Emerging Women Leaders.
Dr. Lewis was honored for her work focusing on reducing racial disparities in blood pressure control among underserved African Americans who are living with high blood pressure. Using mostly community based research methods, she studies determinants of medication adherence in Blacks living with high blood pressure with an emphasis on psychosocial factors such as self-efficacy, social support, depression, spirituality and perceived discrimination.
Dr. Lewis teaches primarily in the undergraduate curriculum with a focus on the psychological and social diversity in health and wellness and community health nursing.
Penn Medicine Names Inaugural Class to ‘Academy of Master Clinicians’
Penn Medicine has elected an inaugural class of 22 physicians to the newly established Academy of Master Clinicians, which recognizes Penn Medicine clinicians who exemplify the highest standards of clinical excellence, humanism and professionalism.
“Penn Medicine clinicians are innovators and leaders in their fields. This major initiative recognizes and celebrates their contributions while at the same time strengthening our commitment to leadership in patient care for the future,” said Dr. John Glick, president, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, vice president, UPHS and associate dean for resource development. “We are delighted to announce the first class of Academy of Master Clinicians, an exceptional group of clinicians who represent the fullest spectrum of clinical care expertise Penn Medicine has to offer.”
During their 5-year term, the Master Clinicians will support the missions of Penn Medicine by serving as ambassadors for Penn Medicine; providing a forum for feedback to leadership on strategies to improve the culture of clinical excellence and to promote the ideal patient experience; and volunteering as a mentor and consultant as well as participating in professional development and training programs for faculty, residents, students or staff.
“Clinical excellence in and of itself is a value that Penn Medicine recognizes and wishes to promote,” said Dr. Glick, who helped create the Master Clinician program. “What we do for our patients is of critical importance to our missions of research, clinical care and education.”
As mentors, Master Clinicians will lead faculty workshops through Advance, the Perelman School of Medicine’s faculty professional development program and other Penn Medicine educational programs, and provide feedback to leadership to improve the patient and educational experiences. By attending extramural courses, Master Clinicians will enhance their own career skills and bring new knowledge to Penn Medicine. Master Clinicians will receive a one-time financial award of $10,000 and more time to dedicate to educational and training pursuits. The Academy of Master Clinicians will be supported by a major philanthropic gift and institutional funding.
Penn Medicine is proud to announce the inaugural membership of The Academy of Master Clinicians:
Dr. Louis Bell, professor of pediatrics and chief, Division of General Pediatrics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Dr. Susan Brozena, associate professor of medicine and medical director of Penn Cardiac Care Radnor
Dr. E. Cabrina Campbell, associate professor of psychiatry at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center
Dr. Emily Conant, professor of radiology and chief of Breast Imaging
Dr. Edward Dickinson, associate professor of emergency medicine and director of EMS Field Operations
Dr. Jack Ende, Adele and Harold Schaeffer Professor in Medicine and assistant vice president, UPHS, and assistant dean in the Perelman School of Medicine
Dr. Jody Foster, clinical associate professor of psychiatry and chair of psychiatry at Pennsylvania Hospital
Dr. Gary Freedman, associate professor of radiation oncology
Dr. Ellen Kim, Sandra J. Lazarus Associate Professor in Dermatology
Dr. Najjia Mahmoud, associate professor of surgery and chief of the Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery
Dr. Natasha Mirza, professor of otorhinolaryngology: head & neck surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center and director of the Penn Center for Voice and Swallowing
Dr. Mark Morgan, John J. Mikuta, MD Professor of Gynecologic Oncology; chief of gynecology oncology; director of the Center for Advanced Gynecologic Surgery; director of the Gynecology Oncology at Pennsylvania Hospital
Dr. Amy Pruitt, professor of neurology
Dr. Patrick Reilly, professor of surgery and chief of the Division of Traumatology, Surgical Critical Care and Emergency Surgery
Dr. Anthony Rostain, professor of psychiatry and pediatrics, and medical director of Adult Developmental Disorders
Dr. Joseph Savino, professor of anesthesiology and critical care
Dr. Brian Sennett, associate professor of orthopaedic surgery and chief of Sports Medicine
Dr. Donald Siegel, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and director of the Division of Transfusion Medicine and Therapeutic Pathology
Dr. John Stern, clinical professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Pennsylvania Hospital
Dr. Matthew Stern, Parker Family Professor of Neurology and director of the Penn Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center
Dr. Gregory Tino, associate professor of medicine and chief of medicine at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center
Dr. David Vaughn, professor of medicine in hematology oncology and director of the Clinical Research Unit at the Abramson Cancer Center
AACN Exemplary Academic-Practice Partnership: Penn Nursing
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has awarded its Exemplary Academic-Practice Partnership Award to the School of Nursing and Penn Medicine.
The award is given to a partnership that exhibits:
• An innovative and sustained relationship that extends beyond clinical placements.
• A commitment to the Guiding Principals for Academic-Practice Partnerships developed by AACN and the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE).
• Positive outcomes that are measureable.
Nursing Dean Afaf I. Meleis and the University of Pennsylvania Health System have been designated plaques for their partnership.
Their Toolkit and Evaluation matrix are available as exemplars on the AACN website under the Academic-Practice Partnership webpage.
The award noted that “faculty and administrators at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and Penn Medicine Health System have developed structures that weave together practice, education and research to advance nursing locally and globally. They have successfully developed innovative programs such as the Botswana-UPenn partnership, which allows Penn Medicine clinicians and students to travel to Botswana to provide clinical care, engage in educational exchanges and conduct research. In place for nearly 30 years, this model partnership demonstrates the structures, processes and determination of their nurses at every level to work collaboratively to benefit partners, students and clinicians. Penn earned one of the first three awards given this year.
This annual award recognizes AACN member schools and their practice partners who are involved in highly productive and model collaborations. The academic-practice partnership must demonstrate an innovative and sustained relationship that extends beyond clinical placements, be committed to the guiding principles for model partnerships, and show positive outcomes that are measurable and have been in place for at least a year.
James Dyson Award: Titan Arm
The James Dyson Foundation announced Titan Arm (at left), a senior design project from the department of mechanical engineering and applied mechanics (MEAM) in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, as the recipient of the 2013 international James Dyson Award.
Team members, all MEAM graduates, are Elizabeth Beattie, currently a MEAM doctoral student; Nick McGill, a master’s student in robotics; Nick Parrotta, a MEAM master’s student; and Niko Vladimirov, a master’s student in integrated product design. This is the first time a project from the US has received this award.
The Foundation’s website describes Titan Arm as, “a one arm exoskeleton designed to help users lift heavy objects.” The team of four young design engineers looked close to home for the inspiration for the project. In the US, thousands workers a year are affected by back problems, often caused by over exertion. “Existing exoskeletons are bulky, expensive, invasive and tethered. Our challenge was to build an exoskeletal system that was inexpensive, streamlined and wireless,” explained team member Elizabeth Beattie. Composed of five structural members, four moveable joints and an adjustable upper arm member, the exoskeleton is strapped on to the back and onto the user’s arm. It uses a braking system to hold a static load, and the motor is mounted in the backpack area of the device. The elbow joint is driven by a cable system.
For a video of the Titan Arm, see www.seas.upenn.edu/media/news/titan-dyson.php
Penn iGEM Team Winners of Regional Competition
For the second year in a row, Penn’s iGEM team is the winner of the North American Regional iGEM competition, which was held in October at the University of Toronto, Canada. Held by the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Foundation, the iGEM competition is the premiere undergraduate Synthetic Biology competition. Student teams from over 200 universities worldwide are given a kit of biological parts at the beginning of the summer, and working at their own schools through the summer, they use these parts and new parts of their own design to build biological circuits in living cells.
Team members for 2013 are Daniel Cabrera, EAS’14; Mahamad Charawi, EAS’16, W’16; Danielle Fields, EAS’15; Bradley Kaptur, EAS’16; and Josh Tycko, C’14.
The team’s project this year was directed at advancing the field of epigenetics. Epigenetic phenomena modify DNA and control gene expression. Disruptions in epigenetic processes have been implicated in many diseases such as cancer, in which certain genes have abnormally low DNA methylation levels (a type of DNA modification).
The 2013 Penn iGEM team set out last spring to find new ways to precisely target DNA methylation, but encountered two problems: there were no tools available to achieve targeted DNA methylation, and there were no easy ways to measure targeted methylation. Over the course of the summer, the team created a three component toolbox: an engineered enzyme which can precisely methylate a gene of interest, an easy-to-use measurement tool to analyze whether targeted methylation has occurred and a software package which can analyze the data (which made its debut at the Fall 2013 PennApps Hackathon).
“All together, our toolbox will enable faster and more cost-effective development of optimal targeted methylases for silencing genes and studying epigenetics,” said team member Josh Tycko. By providing researchers new ways to more precisely study DNA methylation, the team hopes their efforts will catalyze the development “targeted epigenetic therapies” for diseases.
Founded in 2011 by a group of undergraduates in bioengineering, Penn iGEM is a program devoted to undergraduate-led innovation in synthetic biology that is open to all students from all schools at Penn.