New Penn Program: Supporting Interdisciplinary Research on Sex and Gender Differences

  • December 15, 2015
  • vol 62 issue 17
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caption:Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have received a $1.9 million award from the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health to establish the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) program at Penn.

BIRCWH will provide salary, research support and mentorship for two junior faculty researchers interested in pursuing research involving women’s health and sex differences.

The program’s two principal investigators are C. Neill Epperson, director of the Penn Center for Women’s Behavioral Wellness and a professor of psychiatry and obstetrics & gynecology in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, and Tracy Bale, a professor of neuroscience in the department of biomedical sciences at Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine and in the department of psychiatry at Penn Medicine.

The award will also fund University initiatives that broadly promote the acknowledgement of sex and gender difference in all health-related research studies.

“If our researchers increase their focus on the sex of the individual, organism or cells being studied,” said Dr. Epperson, “Penn will be a major player in the advancement of women’s health.”

Women have been largely left out of clinical trials due to concerns about causing reproductive problems and exposing women who could become pregnant to experimental medications and procedures. Yet in recent years it has become clear that certain medications may affect men and women differently, just as certain diseases affect them at different rates and to varying degrees.

Certain autoimmune diseases and neuropsychiatric disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, depression and anxiety, for example, occur more often in females than in males. Other disorders, such as substance abuse and schizophrenia, are generally more common in men. Research in cardiovascular disease, too, has revealed that women tend to experience different symptoms of heart attacks.

caption:Though the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 required the inclusion of women and minorities in clinical trials, the NIH has since faced challenges enforcing the guidelines. A number of major clinical studies still do not recruit in such a way that researchers can evaluate differences in outcome between men and women.

The BIRCWH program aims to help change this. Drs. Bale and Epperson will convene a group of faculty to review applications from investigators who are early in their careers. The awarded BIRCWH grants will provide researchers with two years of funding, including resources to help launch a pilot study into their area of interest.

BIRCWH is a University-wide program, with support from the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and from the Office of the Vice Dean for Diversity & Inclusion at the Perelman School of Medicine. For that reason, Drs. Epperson and Bale stress that at least one scholar will come from outside the medical school.

“The BIRCWH program will lay a foundation for a cross-school initiative,” Dr. Bale said, noting that schools across campus are engaged in health research, from the Annenberg School for Communication and the School of Dental Medicine to the School of Nursing and the School of Arts & Sciences. To further engage the campus community in its mission, the BIRCWH program will hold seminars and retreats to share information about ongoing research.

“Receiving the BIRCWH Award is clear recognition of Penn’s commitment to promote sex and gender differences research across all of its schools, institutes and centers,” Dr. Epperson said. “We are honored to take the helm of the BIRCWH Scholars Program as it will build the foundation for advancing sex and gender differences research at Penn.”

Interested applicants can contact BIRCWH Program Manager Claudia Iannelli at

Penn Undergrad Benjamin Oh: Nationally Ranked Speed Skater

  • December 15, 2015
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Penn's Benjamin Oh competing in the 2015 Winter Universiade (Winter University Games)

For Benjamin Oh, there wasn’t a single moment when he realized that speed skating was something he wanted to pursue seriously. But, as he started improving, he loved the adrenaline rush that came with achieving faster and faster speeds.

The University of Pennsylvania sophomore grew up ice skating and playing ice hockey. He always thought that speed skating was a cool sport, and after watching the 2010 Winter Olympics, he decided to try it.

Now he is a nationally ranked competitive short-track speed skater. There are two forms of speed skating, short track and long track. Short track takes place on an Olympic-sized hockey rink with a 111-meter track. Long track is on a special 400-meter track. He chose short track for its accessibility and fast pace.

Improving in speed skating is a combination of working on technique on the ice and getting stronger off the ice, he said, and form comes with practice. He said it is a lot about figuring out what technique works best for the individual skater. He also said that it takes a while to get used to the speed and skating on blades the width of toothpicks.

After high school, according to Mr. Oh, who hails from Burtonsville, Maryland, most high- level short-track skaters move to Salt Lake City, the headquarters of US Speedskating, to train full time. For him, that was never an option since he wanted to pursue higher education, and Penn was his dream school.

At Penn, he plays for the men’s club ice hockey team. As a student-athlete, he said that it can be difficult to keep a balance between speed skating, academics and extracurricular activities. Although currently undeclared, he is planning on majoring in philosophy, politics and economics (PPE).

He is also involved in cultural groups, including the Penn Taiwanese Society and Korean Students Association and in community service groups focusing on college access and readiness, as well as in the Robert F. Kennedy Young Leaders program.

As an athlete outside of the Penn varsity system, he sets his own workout schedule and decides what he does, and he says that his professors have been very supportive.

The official short-track speed skating season begins in August and ends in March, but he trains year-round. For on-ice practice, he uses rinks near his hometown. For off-ice conditioning, he works out twice a day, for two-and-a-half to three hours per workout, making it a time commitment comparable to that of a varsity athlete.

Mr. Oh has had a successful speed skating career thus far. Earlier this year, he was selected by US Speedskating to represent the United States at the 27th Winter Universiade, a multi-sport event in Granada, Spain that took place in February. There were 12 skaters on the US team and he was the only one who was selected from outside the national training facility in Salt Lake City and the only full-time college student.

He also placed seventh out of 30 at the US Short Track Junior Championships in Salt Lake City in January. He is now focusing his efforts on preparing for the Junior Nationals competition in Midland, Michigan, which will take place December 18-20. It will be his last year in the Junior division, which is for skaters younger than 19. As the reigning National Champion in his age group, he hopes to go out with a strong ending and make the US team again.

He says he hopes more people become involved in the sport.

“I would love to see it get more national recognition. If we could get collegiate speed skating that would be amazing,” Mr. Oh said, although he acknowledges that it might be a while before the sport officially makes its way onto college campuses.

He says speed skating has taught him the value of hard work and perseverance.

“Seeing the progression of where I started to where I am now is really motivating.”

He says he wouldn’t be here without the support of his parents and his coach.

Mr. Oh said, “A lot of my success is thanks to other people.”

On days when he is tired and loses motivation, he remembers his dream.

“My goal ultimately is to make the Olympic team,” he says, and it’s something that he keeps in the back of his mind when training. 

Ad Hoc Committee on Divestment

  • December 15, 2015
  • vol 62 issue 17
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Self-nominations from the University community are being sought for individuals to serve on an Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on Divestment. University policy provides that an Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on Divestment be established when a proposal to divest from the Penn endowment has been received by the Steering Committee of University Council, and found to be sufficiently substantive for further review. This Committee will consider whether a proposal submitted by Fossil Free Penn in October 2015 asking the University to divest from fossil fuel holdings meets the high standards of the Trustee guidelines for divestment. Please see


Penn’s Trustees have sole responsibility for making investment decisions for the University.

Committee members must be able and willing to conduct a careful analysis of all sides of the issue, remain impartial and reach a decision only after completion of deliberations on the proposal. Committee members must be prepared to attend and participate in meetings for up to 12 months, beginning in March 2016. The Committee will be expected to submit its report, in writing, to the Trustees.

Faculty, students, staff and alumni may submit self-nominations for membership consideration. Please see  for more information on the Committee and to access the nomination form. Only self-nominations submitted via the online nomination form will be accepted. If you wish to be nominated as a representative of your constituency, please contact the Faculty Senate, Undergraduate Assembly or Graduate and Professional Student Assembly leadership directly.

The deadline for submission of nominations is January 22 at 5 p.m. The Chair of the Trustees will make the final determination on Committee membership, which will be comprised of 16 voting members. The Chair will also name the Committee’s chair. The Committee membership will be announced on February 26.

The Office of the University Secretary will provide administrative support to the Committee. If you have any questions, please email

Penn Faculty Master Title: Changing to Faculty Director

  • December 15, 2015
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Dennis DeTurck, Stephen A. Levin Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, announced last week that the faculty and staff of the College Houses and Academic Services (CHAS) have been “mindful of ongoing developments on campuses across the country. These include concerns about the historical connotations of the title of ‘Faculty Master.’ We have now requested, and the Provost has approved, changing the title at Penn to ‘Faculty Director’ of the College House. This small but important step will be taken immediately, and over the next few weeks all references in College House literature and on CHAS websites will be amended to reflect it.”

Penn Museum: Unpacking the Past Educators Take to the Road,
 Visit Schools in New Mummy Mobiles

  • December 15, 2015
  • vol 62 issue 17
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caption:Is that an ancient golden mummy mask on that new Honda?

Yes, it is. And a giant Sphinx. And Egyptian hieroglyphs. When Penn Museum’s Unpacking the Past educators visit Philadelphia schools to prepare students for their upcoming museum trip, they travel in style—in one of two specially designed and wrapped “mummy mobiles,” sporting images of ancient Egyptian artifacts in the collection.

“Learning about cultures of the past should be engaging, draw correlations between ancient and modern-day practices, and, most importantly, be fun,” said Ellen Owens, Merle-Smith Director of the Learning Programs department that runs the Unpacking the Past program. “We hope the arrival of the mummy mobiles incites students’ natural curiosity—who is visiting us?  What will they bring to our school? And we don’t mind the publicity for the Museum as our mummy mobiles make their way around Philadelphia’s neighborhoods!”

Unpacking the Past: Year One Report Card

Penn Museum’s Unpacking the Past program employs an inquiry-based approach that invites students to delve deeper into the rich material culture and traditions of ancient Egypt and the ancient Roman Empire. Developed in close collaboration with teachers and curriculum advisors to teach and reinforce the ‘Common Core’ curriculum standards, the free program, which kicked off in the fall of 2014 (Almanac October 28, 2014), is open to all Philadelphia public and Title 1 charter school 7th graders. Beyond developing students’ critical thinking skills, the program trains participants about how to learn within a traditional museum setting, such as how to look closely at objects and read the adjoining texts to learn about them.

The statistics are in from the first year: 4,318 students and 576 teachers and parents participated in the new program, often for multiple experiences (the program features in-museum and outreach components); an additional 467 students, teachers and parents participated in school-based events, such as career days and family nights. Overall, Unpacking the Past reached 5,361 individuals and made nearly 10,000 program “touch points” in the public school community. Students from 183 classrooms in 65 schools participated—more than half of the seventh grade students in the district, including 19 autistic support and life skills support classes.

Along with collecting statistics, the Museum collected teacher feedback, much of it overwhelmingly positive, like this comment from a Mastery Clymer School teacher:

A participating teacher said, “Being a part of the Unpacking the Past program allowed all of my students to participate... In my class, I have students that for years have been labeled special education, intellectually disabled, below grade level readers. However, at the museum, none of those labels mattered and students were allowed to be historians. I had students who cringe when the textbooks come out, but were raising their hands and participating in the Mummy Makers Workshop. I heard students make incredible connections when viewing artifacts and get the “look” when they realized they are smart and they are capable and they have something to offer the community. I would absolutely recommend this experience to other 7th grade classes. Thank you so much!”

Teacher professional development days in 2014-2015 served 71 educators with ancient cultures programs at the Museum, and over the summer of 2015, an additional 107 teachers participated in Museum professional development.

About the Innovative Program

An ambitious, three-year, $2.2 million project, Unpacking the Past is made possible through a generous $1 million lead grant from GRoW Annenberg, a program of the Annenberg Foundation. Over $860,000 in matching funds has been committed to date from donors including Diane v.S. and Robert M. Levy, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the Penn Museum Women’s Committee, the National Endowment for the Arts and PECO. Additional matching funds for the educational program continue to be raised.

Teacher professional development training, in-school pre-visits in a “mummy mobile,” interactive museum field trips (gallery tour and workshop experiences), pre/post visit classroom projects, and—for each and every student who attends—one-year family memberships to the Penn Museum, are all part of the program. Everything from teacher training, to transportation to and from the Museum, to online resources for follow up, to the Museum membership that can extend the experience is grant-funded and free to the participants.

Seventh grade teachers in Philadelphia can set up training for themselves and programs for their students by emailing or calling the Museum’s Learning Programs Department at (215) 898-4033.

ISC Networking $ Telecommunications Services

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ISC is proud to announce that we are holding rates steady for both the Central Service Fee and for networking and telecommunications services. We made this decision to simplify activities as we restructure our department.

For help determining the services you need, please visit the ISC Client Care website at or call (215) 898-1000. All ISC networking and telecommunications rates for FY’17 are available at:

—Tom Murphy, Vice President for Information Technology and University Chief Information Officer

Highlights of FY’17 Rates

ISC has identified upgrades and additions to network services, as well as to the Central Infrastructure Bundle through which ISC provides numerous core networking, security and identity management services to the University community. A series of strategic efforts is allowing ISC to keep FY’17 rates steady, while greatly enhancing network capacity, security and services. We are also excited to launch PennO365, the University’s cloud-based email and calendaring service that is available to every School and Center on an opt-in basis. For more information please visit:

Infrastructure & Ports

Our Next Generation PennNet project continues to augment network capacity and to address the big data and collaboration needs of University researchers. Additionally, with funding from the National Science Foundation, ISC will continue to implement a 100 Gbps-capable “Science DMZ,” a high-speed sub-network that is distinct from the general purpose campus network and engineered for research applications.

Data Rates (Monthly)FY'17
IP Address Fee (CSF)$1.56
Port Fees 
10000Base-T 10GbE*$80.00

Activation fees apply to all port activations. See:

*Limited availability. Ongoing monthly connectivity charges include a bandwidth surcharge to support increased costs associated with the campus backbone and external Internet. Additional installation fees may include fiber, additional optical components and contractor charges. Please contact ISC Client Care at to discuss associated costs for specific network environments.

Wireless NetworksFY'17
Access Point INstallation$800.00*
Acces Point Support & Port Fee$30.50

*This is an estimate for budgeting purposes. Monthly support costs include equipment capitalization, hardware and software maintenance, and staff support.


Rates for PennNet Phone will remain the same for FY’17.

For a complete description of telephony services and rates, see:

Call Center Services (ACD)

Rates for ACD will remain the same for FY’17.

For a complete description of Call Center Services (ACD) and rates, see:

Email Services

Rates for legacy email services will remain the same for FY’17.

For a complete description of legacy email services and rates, see:

ISC recently launched PennO365, the University’s cloud-based email and calendaring service that is available to every School and Center on an opt-in basis. For more information please visit:

Penn Video Network (PVN)

PVN operates the campus cable television network and the Penn Video Productions group, which offers full Coursera production, as well as a range of other professional video services for the Penn community. PVN can also broadcast course-related content to academic buildings and student residences. For additional information about PVN, see:

Video Rates (Monthly)FY'17
PVN OUtlet$21.50

For a complete description of Penn Video Productions rates and available services, see:


A. Leo Levin, Law School

  • December 15, 2015
  • vol 62 issue 17
  • Deaths
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caption:A. Leo Levin, L’42, Leon Meltzer Professor Emeritus at Penn, died on November 24. He was 96 years old.

Mr. Levin received his BA from Yeshiva University in 1939 and his JD from Penn Law in 1942. He began his career at Penn Law as an assistant professor of law in 1949, and he became a full professor in 1953. In 1957, he introduced the course Trial of an Issue of Fact and held class seminars in his home (Almanac November 14, 2000).

Mr. Levin served as chair of the University Senate and vice-chair of the University Council, then was named vice provost for student affairs in 1965 (Almanac September 1965). In 1968, he resigned as vice provost to teach full-time in the Law School (Almanac April 1968). He was vice president for academic affairs at Yeshiva University from 1969 to 1970. From 1974 to 1975, he served as executive director of the Commission on Revision of the Federal Appellate System (Almanac September 17, 1974).

In 1977, Mr. Levin was appointed director of the Federal Judicial Center in Washington. He was the first non-judge to hold this post in the Center’s history (Almanac April 12, 1977). In 1983, he served as the judicial inquiry officer (JIO) for the court-ordered rehearing of the case for the withdrawal of recognition for Penn’s chapter of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity (Almanac December 20, 1983); he decided the chapter would be suspended for six months and that no person who was a member or officer at the time of the incident would serve as an officer going forward (Almanac February 14, 1984). In 1987, Mr. Levin left the directorship of the Federal Judicial Center to return to Penn full-time as the first incumbent of the newly established Leon Meltzer Chair in the Law School (Almanac June 2, 1987).

In 1960, he received an honorary LLD degree from Yeshiva University. He was national president of the Order of the Coif, an honorary legal society, from 1967 to 1979. In 1979, he was named a Fellow of the Academy of Arts and Sciences (Almanac June 14, 1979).

He received emeritus status in 1989. On the occasion of his retirement, Mr. Levin drew praise from the highest precincts of the law. In recognition of his service to the federal courts, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist wrote of his commitment to the judiciary, noting that he “made the FJC prosper during a period in which budgetary cutbacks were combined with the expansion of the judicial system.”

He later served on the Planning Committee of the Claims Commission charged with making recommendations concerning the proper disposition of hundreds of millions of dollars being paid, both as restitution and reparations, to survivors of the Holocaust. The A. Leo Levin Award for Excellence in an Introductory Course was established in 2002 and is presented annually to a faculty member at Penn Law.

Mr. Levin was a mentor to many. One of his esteemed colleagues at Penn Law, Stephen B. Burbank, captured his essence when he wrote: “…the greatest gift Leo bestows on those fortunate enough to know him: friendship. The life of the scholar can be a lonely life, and young scholars in particular sometimes need the support of a friend more than they do the criticism, even the constructive criticism, of a master. In providing such support, Leo has shown himself a master in life as he is in teaching and scholarship. His is a fountain of love as it is of new ideas, and in his well of old ideas reposes the wisdom of the ages.”

Mr. Levin is survived by his wife, Doris; his sons, Allan and Jay, and their wives; three grandchildren and three great-grandsons.

Donations in his memory may be made to the University of Pennsylvania Law School, 3501 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, or the Lower Merion Synagogue, 123 Old Lancaster Road, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004.

Robert Glascott, Recreation

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caption:Robert “Bob” Glascott, a retired director of recreation at Penn, died on December 7. He was 81 years old.

Mr. Glascott attended the University of Pennsylvania before transferring to the University of Tennessee, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in education in 1958 and his master’s degree in 1959. At Tennessee, he was a lead blocker, playing in the Sugar Bowl in 1957 and the Gator Bowl in 1958.

From 1959 to 1961, Mr. Glascott served in the U.S. Army, where he became assistant football coach and head track & field coach. Upon his return, he taught special education at Kenderton School in Philadelphia (1961-1967). He was assistant football coach and head indoor track coach at Monsignor Bonner High School in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania (1962-1964), then held the same positions at Bishop Kennedy High School in Norristown, Pennsylvania (1966-1971).

He returned to Penn in 1967 as an associate director of the department of physical education at Penn’s Gimbel Gym. He served for almost 30 years and rose to the position of director of recreation before retiring in 1996. He remained active with Penn Relays for a total of 41 years. He also served as a site manager for Camp Tecumseh in New Hampshire after his retirement.

Mr. Glascott is survived by his wife, Patsy; his children, Elizabeth (Thomas Macy), Robert, Jr. (Sami) and Margaret Glascott-Birch (Matthew); his grandchildren, Alex, Louisa, Luke, Ben and Kalima; his great-grandson, Jack; and his brother, Peter.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Mr. Glascott’s memory may be made to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, 230 East Ohio Street, Suite 304, Chicago, IL 60611 or


Faculty Senate Executive Committee Actions

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Chair’s Report. In the absence of Faculty Senate Chair Reed Pyeritz, the meeting was conducted by Past Chair Claire Finkelstein, acting as Chair. She reported that the Faculty Senate Symposium is scheduled for April 6, 2016 in Houston Hall’s Hall of Flags. Faculty Senate Chair-elect Laura Perna reported on the ongoing work of the Senate Committees.

Past-Chair’s Report. Faculty Senate Past Chair Claire Finkelstein reported that the Academic Planning and Budget Committee held its fourth meeting on December 8 and the Capital Council had its most recent meeting on November 19. She gave an update on the Campaign for Community, informing SEC members that applications for grants are being accepted now through March 15, 2016 for spring 2016 events and that the Campaign is developing a number of major events for the next year. The first major event, a conversation on race between students and faculty, will take place in late January. All members of the Penn community are invited.

Discussion of Protocol for Sexual Assault Complaints against Faculty. General Counsel Wendy White and Vice Provost for Faculty Anita Allen discussed the draft procedures for resolving complaints of sexual violence, relationship violence and stalking involving faculty respondents.  The procedures were developed as a parallel to the procedures involving student-on-student sexual violence and involve only minor adjustments based on the faculty status of the respondent. All complaints will be handled by the Office of the Sexual Violence Investigative Officer. An important difference between this policy and the policy involving student respondents is that those judged responsible will be referred back to the individual school deans for sanctioning. Faculty members retain the right to challenge sanctions using the Just Cause process, as described in the Faculty Handbook. SEC members were asked to provide feedback on the draft, which has already been reviewed by the Council of Deans.

Discussion of the 2015-2016 Economic Status of the Faculty (SCESF) Report Draft. SCESF co-Chairs Susan Margulies and Andrea Troxel summarized the contents of the committee’s 2015-2016 report. Merit raise recommendations are set annually as a salary parameter by the Budget Steering Committee, with a target to be in the 75th percentile of comparable peer institutions, though each school must implement its own processes individually. The target annual salary increases for FY2015 of 3% matched the median actual increases at all ranks, though some salary compression was found at the Associate Professor level. Using publicly available Federal Form 990 Schedule J data, SCESF identified a gap between faculty and senior administrator rates of salary increases. SCESF also reviewed faculty retirement and tuition benefits. Though Penn makes available a contribution based on a certain percentage of base salary, faculty must “opt in” to receive this contribution, and only 75-78% of Penn faculty currently participate. Discussion was held over whether this should be changed to an “opt out” procedure. A gender gap in pay still persists at Penn, and contributing factors to this gap include fewer women in higher paid ranks, greater time in rank for women than men, and fewer women in higher paid disciplines. The final report will be published in Almanac, along with administrator responses, during spring 2016.

Update from the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty. Vice Provost for Faculty Anita Allen stated that tenure-track faculty members may use probationary period extensions for new children in home, caregiving, illness or research-related catastrophe and that these extensions should have no effect on tenure determinations. All schools are now mandating six- and nine-year mandatory reviews for faculty members. A recent change was made to the Faculty Handbook to indicate that Penn faculty who are primary caregivers are entitled to take a full reduction in duties; if both caregivers are Penn faculty members, both may take the full reduction. Her office regularly reviews salary data and recommends adjustments; a new software tool facilitates identification of salary gaps based on gender and other equity concerns. She reported that the Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence has yielded positive results, including an increase in the number and percentage of minority faculty. The percentage of new hires who are underrepresented minorities and women has increased.  A final report of action plan will be completed during 2016-2017. The Provost launched an Advisory Arts Council to foster active-, object- and performance-based education, and to promote the integration of knowledge among Penn’s arts institutions, schools, faculties and student groups.  The Faculty Climate Survey will remain open through the holidays and all faculty members are strongly encouraged to complete the 20-minute survey (accessed through email accounts). During the spring semester, all faculty members will receive a guide via Intramural Mail that describes their obligations as Mandatory Reporters of sexual violence. The guide details how, when, to whom and where a faculty member should report incidents of sexual violence of which they become aware. These reporting procedures are obligated by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

Selection of Chair for the 2016 Senate Nominating Committee. SEC members selected Harvey Rubin (PSOM/Medicine) as Chair of the 2016 Senate Nominating Committee.

Selection of Final Slate of Nominees for Membership Consideration on the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on Divestment. By acclamation, SEC members adopted a slate of nine names that will be submitted to the Chair of the Trustees for consideration as members on the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on Divestment.


John Tellis: Reaxys PhD Prize

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caption:John Tellis, a doctoral candidate in chemistry at Penn, was one of three winners of the 2015 Reaxys PhD Prize, given at an annual symposium held at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Sponsored by Elsevier, the Reaxys PhD Prize recognizes innovative and original research in chemistry, with an emphasis on synthesis. The prize is the world’s most prestigious award for young chemists; the 2015 winners were chosen from a field of almost 450 entrants.

Mr. Tellis works with Gary Molander, the Hirschmann-Makineni Professor of Chemistry and chair of the department of chemistry. According to Dr. Molander, “John has redefined the direction of research in the group by developing a new paradigm for cross-coupling reactions, a class of transformations that drives the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries worldwide. His seminal Science paper on the subject has already garnered over 55 citations.”

Mr. Tellis won the prize for his presentation, “Single-Electron Transmetalation: Enabling C(sp3) Cross-Coupling via Photoredox/Nickel Dual Catalysis.”

AppItUP Finalists

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The Penn Center for Innovation held its 2015 AppItUP competition in November. Now in its third year, AppItUP received 313 submissions. Ten semifinalists were invited to pitch their ideas to a panel of investors and developers for a chance to win pro bono prototyping by a local web development firm and possible future business support from the investors. The finalists are:

AerO2Max: Basically FitBit, if FitBit worked. AerO2Max will piggyback on existing wearables to measure an exerciser’s oxygen intake and how efficiently the body is using it, in order to track longer-term health improvements. Hansell H. Stedman, faculty physician; Hansell C. Stedman, undergraduate student; Ben Kozyak, alumnus. Development partner: PromptWorks.

Animotion: This app helps patients, doctors and physical therapists track joint function easily and in real time, to better guide rehabilitative efforts. Sylvia Qu and Peter Gebhard, graduate students. Development partners: CloudMine and Excellis Interactives.

BeyondBars: An “alternative to brick-and-mortar prisons” for nonviolent offenders. Its creator, Alan Holden, says it offers a “gamified system…a point system. See your progress as you complete prosocial tasks. When you get 100 points, maybe you get your zone of movement or your curfew extended.” Alan Holden, graduate student. Development partner: WhiteLake Interactive.

CME Recording: This app allows physicians to more easily maintain their continuing medical education (CME) credits by monitoring their consumption of educational materials. This proved to be the most popular app, with two different studios fighting over development rights. Brian Jenssen, faculty physician. Development partner: Offshorent.

Nap Sats: Now you can track your sleep quality without having to stay overnight in dedicated facilities. Milind Patel, resident physician. Development partner: BrickSimple.

Park It: Make your driveway earn its keep by renting it out. This is basically Airbnb for event parking, with eyes to more general parking in the future. Taylor Mills and John Jimenez, graduate students. Development partner: Valex.

Phillip Cohen and Carla Winter: George J. Mitchell Scholars

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Two Penn students, Phillip Cohen and Carla Winter, are among the 12 Americans selected to receive 2017 George J. Mitchell Scholarships for graduate studies in Ireland or Northern Ireland. Sponsored by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance, the scholarship covers tuition, accommodations, a living expense stipend and an international travel stipend. The national competition attracted nearly 300 applicants.

Mr. Cohen, a third-year medical student at the Perelman School of Medicine who works in pediatric oncology, will graduate in May 2017. He plans to pursue a master’s in global health at Trinity College in Dublin. In 2014, he served as executive director of the Penn Human Rights Clinic. Time spent volunteering at the only pediatric oncology facility in Tanzania in 2011 inspired him to pursue a medical career.

Ms. Winter, a senior majoring in bioengineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science whose research focuses on finding a cure for paralysis, will graduate in May 2016. She intends to pursue a master’s in regenerative medicine at the National University of Ireland in Galway. She works as an undergraduate researcher in D. Kacy Cullen’s Laboratory within the Center for Brain Injury and Repair in the School of Medicine.

Steve Dolan and Ray Priore: Coaches of the Year

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Two Penn coaches received Coach of the Year awards: Steve Dolan, director of Track & Field and Cross Country, and Ray Priore, the George A. Munger Head Coach of Football.

caption:Mr. Dolan was named the Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). He earned this prestigious recognition on the heels of leading the Quakers to a second-place finish at the Mid-Atlantic Regional and the program’s first NCAA Championship berth since 1975. In addition, Mr. Dolan piloted the Red and Blue to their best Ivy Heps showing since 1973 (2nd place) last month, and the program’s first national ranking since the establishment of the USTF-CCCA Poll in 1995.




caption:In his first year at the helm of Penn Football and his 29th year overall with the Quakers, Mr. Priore was named Ivy League Coach of the Year. To receive the honor, he beat out seven other coaches— most notably his former boss, Columbia’s Al Bagnoli. Mr. Priore led his team back from an inconsistent 1-3 start and is one of only two coaches in Penn history to bring home an Ivy title in his first year as head coach.

Gary Dorshimer: Dick Vermeil Award

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caption:Gary Dorshimer, section chief of General Internal Medicine at Pennsylvania Hospital; assistant program director, Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship Program at the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania; and clinical associate professor of medicine at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, received the Otho Davis Scholarship Foundation’s Dick Vermeil Award in November. The Dick Vermeil Award honors a lifetime of achievement in the field of sports medicine.

Dr. Dorshimer has been the Philadelphia Eagles team internist and the general physician for the Philadelphia Flyers for nearly 20 years. A native of Allentown, Pennsylvania, he received his bachelor’s degree in natural science from Muhlenberg College in 1977 and his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1981.

Nader Engheta and Robert Ghrist: National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellows

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caption:The Department of Defense (DoD) has named Nader Engheta, the H. Nedwill Ramsey Professor in Penn Engineering, and Robert Ghrist, a Penn Integrates Knowledge professor and the Andrea Mitchell University Professor in Mathematics and Electrical & Systems Engineering, as National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellows (NSSEFF). The NSSEFF

program awards grants to top-tier researchers from US universities to conduct long-term, unclassified, basic research of strategic importance to the DoD. Only seven scientists across the country were honored with this five-year fellowship in 2015.

Dr. Engheta will receive $3 million over five years to further his decades of foundational work on the science of metamaterials. These compound materials are engineered with nanoscale patterns that give rise to properties not found in naturally occurring substances.

caption:Dr. Ghrist will receive $2.2 million over five years to continue his research in algebraic topology, a branch of mathematics that provides tools to visualize abstract spaces, such as finding gaps in a security network or automating robotic movement across a factory floor. His project is titled “LOCAL-to-GLOBAL: Algebraic Topology for Data, Networks and Systems” and will target “dimensionality reduction.”

Naimah Hares and Fariha I. Khan: Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs

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caption:Naimah Hares, C’16, a senior in the South Asia studies program at Penn, and Fariha I. Khan, associate director of the Asian American studies program at Penn, have been named by Governor Tom Wolf as two of the 30 new members of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs. The commissioners were sworn in by Secretary of State Pedro Cortés prior to convening the first meeting of the Commission, which was held at the Governor’s Residence.




caption:The Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, which was created by Executive Order and consists of volunteer members, advises the Governor on policies and legislation that impact the diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities; serves as a liaison to federal, state and local agencies to ensure that programs affecting AAPIs are effectively utilized and promoted; serves as a resource for community groups and provides forums for developing strategies and programs that will expand and enhance the civic, social, educational, cultural and economic status of the AAPI communities; and identifies programs, scholarships, mentoring programs and resources for the benefit and advancement of AAPIs. The Commission also acts as an advocate for policies and legislation it feels serve the best interest of APAs in Pennsylvania.

Bhuvnesh Jain and Mark Trodden: Fellows, American Physical Society

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Bhuvnesh Jain, the Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Chair in the Natural Sciences and co-director of Penn’s Center for Particle Cosmology, and Mark Trodden, the Fay R. and Eugene L. Langberg Professor of Physics, chair of the department of physics & astronomy and co-director of the Center for Particle Cosmology, have been elected to fellowships in the American Physical Society (APS).

Dr. Jain’s election honored his “groundbreaking work in astrophysics and cosmology, including the areas of theoretical modeling of cosmological phenomena, measurement and interpretation of cosmological weak lensing, and the interface of gravity theories and experimental tests.” His work in weak lensing—the small distortions in the shapes of distant galaxies—is helping to map the mass distribution of galaxy clusters and the large-scale structure of the universe.

Dr. Trodden was honored “for pioneering work in theoretical cosmology and astroparticle physics, including explorations of theoretical explanations for the acceleration of the universe.” He is constructing and investigating models that may shed light on the fundamental physics origin of currently unsolved problems, including cosmic acceleration, the nature of dark matter and the fundamental origin of inflation.

Barbara Riegel: AHA 2015 Distinguished Scientist

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caption:The American Heart Association (AHA) named Barbara Riegel, professor of nursing, the Edith Clemmer Steinbright Chair of Gerontology and director of the Biobehavioral Research Center at Penn, a 2015 Distinguished Scientist. Dr. Riegel received this honor during the opening meeting of the AHA Scientific Sessions in November. The AHA’s Distinguished Scientists are a prominent group of scientists and clinicians whose work has importantly advanced the understanding of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

Dr. Riegel is an established nurse scientist studying adults with cardiovascular disease. Her primary research interest is self-care of older adults with chronic heart failure. Recently her interests have expanded to include multi-morbidity, a common phenomenon in adults with heart failure. She focuses her research on the self-care issues of medication adherence and decision-making in response to symptoms. Her findings have demonstrated that poor medication adherence is a primary contributor to hospitalization in heart failure, identified intentional and unintentional factors associated with poor medication adherence, and developed an approach to improving medication adherence in these patients.

Peggy Reeves Sanday: Gender Equity Award

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caption:Peggy Reeves Sanday, professor emerita of anthropology at Penn, received the annual award for work on gender equity from the Committee on Gender Equity in Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association. The award was presented in November at the Association’s annual meeting in Denver, Colorado.

Dr. Sanday is a pioneer in the study of gender inequality across cultures with articles including “Toward a Theory of the Status of Women” and “The Socio-Cultural Context of Rape.” Her books include Anthropology and the Public Interest: Fieldwork and Theory (ed.), Fraternity Gang Rape: Sex, Brotherhood and Privilege on Campus and A Woman Scorned: Acquaintance Rape on Trial.

Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Collaboration: 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

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The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Collaboration, which includes physicists from the University of Pennsylvania, shared the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. The Prize was presented by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation “for the fundamental discovery of neutrino oscillations, revealing a new frontier beyond, and possibly far beyond, the standard model of particle physics.” The $3 million prize is shared with four other international experimental collaborations studying neutrino oscillations.

The research at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO), two kilometers underground in the Vale Creighton mine near Sudbury, Ontario, demonstrated that neutrinos change their type, or “flavor,” on their way to Earth from the sun, a discovery that requires neutrinos to have a mass greater than zero. The results also confirmed the theories of energy generation in the sun with great accuracy, solving a decades-old question known as the Solar Neutrino Problem.

The Penn group, led by Eugene Beier, professor in the School of Arts & Sciences’ department of physics & astronomy, began working on the SNO project in 1987. The Penn contributions included constructing specialized electronic instrumentation for the detector’s 9,600 photo sensors and leading both the detector operations and the data analysis for the project. During the time that SNO made its measurements, the Penn group included 23 scientists and a large number of undergraduate students. The award was presented at a ceremony in November at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.

Antonia Villarruel: One of 50 Most Influential Latinos

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caption:Penn Nursing Dean Antonia Villarruel was named among the 2015 Delaware Valley Most Influential Latinos by Impacto Latin Newspaper, PHLDiversity

and the Most Influential Latinos Foundation. Dr. Villarruel accepted her award at a ceremony in Philadelphia last month.

Since becoming dean of Penn Nursing in 2014, Dr. Villarruel has spearheaded a campus-wide initiative, Penn in Latin America and the Caribbean, focused on elevating Penn’s impact in Latin America and addressing health equity, access and innovation in the region. Penn Nursing also hosted the inaugural Latino Nurses Network Symposium and a conference to teach Latina nurses about navigating the Affordable Care Act.

Dr. Villarruel also has an extensive program of research in health promotion and health disparities among diverse Latino and Mexican populations. One program, ¡Cuídate!, was part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Diffusion of Evidence Based Intervention Programs.” Another current research project of hers, based in Puerto Rico, involves teaching parents how to communicate with their adolescent children about the risks involved in sexual activity.


Medical ‘Miracles on 34th Street’

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Penn Medicine (the Perelman School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania Health System) has had a long history of discoveries, such as the Philadelphia Chromosome, the first gene linked to cancer, as well as ‘firsts’ including neonatal intensive care in 1963, the region’s first bilateral hand transplant in 2011 and the recent pediatric double hand transplant. Many medical miracles have taken place, providing exceptional care to patients such as these from the last few years.

Zion Harvey: World’s First Pediatric Double Hand Transplant

Scott Levin with Zion Harvey in late August 2015 on the day he was discharged from the hospital.

At the age of two, Zion Harvey of Baltimore, Maryland lost both his hands and his feet to sepsis, a life threatening complication of an infection. Two years later, Zion’s kidneys began to fail and at age four he received a kidney transplant from his mother. Having gone through more in his young life than most do in decades, Zion remained resilient and positive as ever.

Six years after the initial amputation, Zion came to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to become the world’s first pediatric bilateral hand transplant recipient. In July 2015, Zion was scheduled to receive a new pair of hands. His 40-person surgical team was led by L. Scott Levin, chair of the department of orthopaedic surgery at Penn Medicine and director of the hand transplant program at CHOP; N. Scott Adzick, surgeon-in-chief of CHOP, Abraham Shaked, director of the Penn Transplant Institute, and Benjamin Chang, co-director of CHOP’s Hand Transplant Program and associate chief of the division of Plastic Surgery at Penn Medicine. The team spent months planning and preparing for the procedure and more than 11 hours in the operating room on the day of surgery. In the days and weeks following the transplant, Zion was participating in an extensive rehabilitation program and was already learning to hold—and play with—his action figures.

Now, a little over four months later, Zion is back in Baltimore and is continuing his physical and occupational therapy sessions. Zion said in the hospital he was most looking forward to using his hands to hold and hug his baby sister, something he is now home and able to do.

Penn Neurosurgery’s ‘Titanium Woman’

Candace Gantt in 2010 at he completion of the Eagleman Half Ironman competition, five years after her accident

Candace Gantt was becoming an avid athlete in 2005, when on a bike ride through Chester County, Pennsylvania, the young mother of two was struck by a construction truck and thrown from her bike into a telephone pole and fence. Ms. Gantt was airlifted to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) via PennSTAR with extensive and life-threatening injuries, just two weeks after completing her first Half Ironman Triathlon competition. The pressure in Ms. Gantt’s brain spiked and M. Sean Grady, chair of neurosurgery, performed an emergency craniotomy, removing the left side of her skull to relieve the pressure. She spent two weeks in a coma after the surgery; doctors weren’t sure she’d ever walk or talk again. Against all odds, Ms. Gantt woke up and started her long road to recovery, encouraged by her husband and daughters, then four and ten years old. She started taking walks, then runs, a quarter of a mile at a time, two times a week, with her physical therapist at her side.

More than three years after her injury, Ms. Gantt walked back into the unit to visit the Neuro-ICU team for inspiration before her big comeback race. In September 2008, Ms. Gantt competed in her second Half Ironman competition in Bear, Delaware. No longer just an Ironman, she called herself a “titanium woman.” Starting with the 2008 Half Ironman comeback race, Ms. Gantt has raised funds through her races that have been dedicated to the Penn Center for Brain Injury and Repair. “Candace Gantt has won much more than a medal in a Half Iron competition,” said Douglas Smith, director of Penn’s Center for Brain Injury and Repair. “Her comeback story has truly energized our efforts to advance the treatment of traumatic brain injury.”

On April 18, 2011, Ms. Gantt completed the Boston Marathon in an official time of 4:11:10, wearing a shirt that said “Made Possible by Penn Neurosurgery.”

In June, she took to the triathlon course again, completing 70.3 miles of swimming, biking and running in the Eagleman Half Ironman competition in Columbia, Maryland. She is also the engine behind Penn’s “Mind Your Brain” conference. The first annual conference was a rousing success last spring, drawing traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors and their supporters to connect with services available to TBI survivors and learn about new research, insights and therapies from Penn Medicine clinicians and brain injury thought leaders. This year’s conference is scheduled for March 4, 2016. Ms. Gantt is one of the lucky patients who was able to recover to normal functioning. For many other TBI survivors, life is never the same again. 

“This all would not be possible without Penn Medicine,” she has said. Traumatic brain injury is a silent epidemic and the leading cause of death and disability among people under 45. Every 15 seconds, a TBI occurs, resulting in 100,000 deaths and 500,000 disabilities each year.

Ms. Gantt currently runs, bikes and swims with fellow TBI survivors and was a finalist in the 2015 Philadelphia Magazine Health Heroes competition.

Man Survives Cancer and Heart Transplant, Trains for Ironman World Championships

Derek Fitzgerald after completing the Ironman Lake Placid.

In 2003, Derek Fitzgerald of Harleysville, Pennsylvania was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Chemotherapy saved his life, but severely damaged his heart, leaving him in need of a heart transplant at just 35 years old. His transplant, which he received in January 2011, and his rehabilitation were both performed at Penn Medicine. His cardiac care was provided by Mariell Jessup, a professor of medicine, associate chief of Clinical Affairs in the division of Cardiovascular Medicine, and medical director of the Penn Medicine Heart and Vascular Center.

Prior to his transplant, Mr. Fitzgerald, a tech company owner, was inactive and out of shape. But, through cardiac rehabilitation, he was able to run in his first 5K eight months after his transplant and hasn’t looked back.

He has now competed in over 70 endurance events and in July of 2013, he became the first cancer surviving, heart transplant recipient to complete the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run of the Ironman triathlon. 

In the summer of 2015, Mr. Fitzgerald completed a coast-to-coast bike ride—from Santa Monica, California to Avalon, New Jersey—to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, followed by yet another an Ironman in August. On October 10, he participated in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. He truly is a miracle patient and a survivor.

Meanwhile at Penn’s New Bolton Center

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caption: Anita in mid-July 2-15 during follow-up treatment at New Bolton CenterIn the first collaboration of its kind between Penn Vet and Penn Med, clinicians used a laser treatment for humans to treat cancerous tumors in the delicate area around both eyes of a horse.

Anita is a special type of Paint horse known as Medicine Hat, prized in many Native American cultures. Distinguished by their markings, Medicine Hats are mostly white with a brown “war bonnet” over the ears, a “shield” of brown on the chest, and blue eyes.

Unfortunately, Anita’s light pigmentation increased her risk for developing squamous cell carcinoma, a tumor more likely to develop in white horses due to UV light exposure.

Traditional treatment for large areas of eyelid squamous cell carcinoma is a surgical procedure to remove the masses, often transplanting skin from the face to close the wounds and regain eyelid function, according to Catherine Nunnery, large animal ophthalmologist at New Bolton Center.

In Anita’s case, that approach was impossible because the cancerous masses were too large, and using skin from her face was too risky, since nearby skin was likely to also contain cancer cells.

Omega Horse Rescue’s Kelly Smith rescued Anita from a kill pen. Usually the treatment in Anita’s case might require removal of her eyes. However, 10-year-old Anita is a rescue horse and removal of her eyes would make finding her a home nearly impossible. Saving her eyes, on the other hand, might just save her life.

“We were going to do whatever we could to try to help this horse,” said Ms. Smith, founder and director of Omega, a non-profit in Airville, Pennsylvania. Dr. Nunnery knew the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine pioneered the use of photodynamic therapy (PDT), a laser treatment to kill cancer cells on the margins of tumors, on horses. The treatment uses a drug, called a photosensitizer or photosensitizing agent, and a particular type of light, most often a laser. When photosensitizers are exposed to a specific wavelength of light, they produce a form of oxygen that kills nearby cells. Enter Keith Cengel, associate professor of radiation oncology and director of the Photodynamic Therapy Program at the Perelman School of Medicine. When Dr. Nunnery asked to borrow the equipment, he not only said yes, but that he would come to perform the procedure, along with laser specialist Carmen Rodriguez. “I am pleased that we are able and allowed to do it because this horse is in bad shape and we can fix it. How cool is that?” Dr. Cengel said while preparing for the surgery. “Besides, my kids will think I’m a hero.”

Dr. Cengel has collaborated with Penn Vet before, treating cats, dogs and birds, working with Lillian Duda, an adjunct associate professor of radiation oncology at Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital. Anita is the largest creature the team has treated. Anita’s procedure took place at New Bolton Center.

The pharmacy and ophthalmology teams worked together to procure the necessary drug. Dr. Cengel and Dr. Rodriguez provided the equipment and the know-how.

First, Dr. Nunnery and Nicole Scherrer, New Bolton Center ophthalmology resident, performed the nearly four-hour surgery to carefully remove part of each tumor from the eyelid. The photosensitizer was then injected to treat remaining tumor cells. Dr. Cengel and Dr. Rodriguez worked together to use the laser, first by fashioning a mount to hold the fiberoptic that delivers the laser beam, which made a red circle of light over the eye, for 15 minutes. The chemical in the solution reacts to that wavelength of light to kill tumor cells.

“When done correctly at the right dose, it won’t kill the collagen, so the substance and structure of the tissue won’t be fried,” Dr. Cengel said. “This will create much more pure oxidized damage to the cells, so when the tissue heals it is more normal and more functional.” The drug and the light penetrate less than an inch into the tissue. “It is self-limiting,” Dr. Cengel said. “The drug, the light and oxygen are required, and the light has a limited depth of penetration.”

The procedure doesn’t kill just the cancer cells. “The drug may have some preference for cancer cells, but that is not proven,” he said. The chemical reacts where it is injected. “I just make sure the light covers the whole area I want to treat.”

The beam of light doesn’t burn, Dr. Rodriguez said. It’s a photochemical reaction with the drug injected under the skin. People in the room wear dark glasses as a safety precaution, but the light is at a low dose that doesn’t hurt skin. The procedure was then repeated on the other side.

“This is much larger than usual, compared to what they do at Missouri,” Dr. Nunnery said during the procedure. “We are pushing the limits, but why not try?”

Dr. Cengel believes that human medicine can learn from equine medicine, since the skin of a horse is very similar to that of a human.“Half a centimeter of light penetration is similar to what we would use for a human,” he said.

“Life span and other characteristics of horses are similar to cancer in humans in many ways. We have a lot of our DNA in common with horses. A lot of diseases are very similar,” he continued.

This collaborative effort is one of many between Penn Vet and Penn Med that highlight the importance of One Health, the concept that human, animal and environmental health are inextricably linked.

Anita was discharged ten days later to recuperate at Nicky Manfredi’s farm, behind New Bolton Center.

Anita’s eyes fully healed from the cancer, with minimal scarring. The left eye responded particularly well, Dr. Nunnery said.

The tumor on the right eye was larger and more complex. Biopsy results after surgery showed that the right eye also had sarcoid cells.

“PDT seems to be a very good option for squamous cell carcinoma,” Dr. Nunnery said. “Early studies out of Missouri show sarcoid in horses is not as responsive to PDT, and is subject to recurrence.”

The best treatment for sarcoid is chemotherapy, which Anita started in September. The drug is the same used in human medicine.

“It is a small sarcoid, and we are very hopeful chemotherapy will cure the recurrent tumor,” Dr. Nunnery said. “Anita is a fighter.”

To prevent cancers in the future, Anita has to wear a mask to protect her eyes from the sun when outside.

Ms. Smith said Anita—which means grace— may become the “spokeshorse” for Omega.

“The day I saw her in the kill pen, she had given up,” Ms. Smith said. “You can’t help but feel a lot of sympathy and compassion.

“In Anita, I see such a willing patient, trying to get well. It speaks volumes about the animal she is inside.”

With the success of the laser treatment on Anita’s eyes, Dr. Nunnery hopes to see future collaboration between New Bolton Center and Penn Med to treat horses. “We can do the surgery and inject the photosensitizer, but we don’t have a light source to activate the drug. For this procedure to be successful, it will have to be a Penn Vet-Penn Med team effort,” she said, adding that her goal is to someday have the equipment on site at New Bolton Center. “This is a first step.”

Holiday Shopping at Penn

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caption:Morris Arboretum Shop Sale

The Shop sale, which starts today, December 15, will feature holiday and winter items, including soaps, candles and gorgeous flowering bulbs. Also included in the mix will be a variety of locally crafted and unique items—from handmade cutting boards to European jewelry. Penn faculty and staff get into the Arboretum free with a valid PennCard, so after shopping, pop down to check out the Arboretum’s Holiday Garden Rail display.

The Paper Menagerie: Kislak Center’s 2016 Calendar

caption:Human fascination with animals has always inspired us to recreate their form in a variety of media; from cave paintings of prehistoric creatures to plush teddy bears, we surround ourselves with them. They are loyal companions and bloodthirsty predators, and they intrigue us with their strength and beauty. Here, feathered friends, ferocious beasts and even a cute cat or two leap, slither and fly off the pages of our favorite books, manuscripts and archival materials. You’ll discover a dancing hippo, beautiful bugs, colorful birds and even a swinging horse. All these and more are corralled in this calendar for you to explore throughout the year. See the magnificent, beautiful and sometimes bizarre beasts inhabiting Penn’s special collections every month in The Paper Menagerie: Animals on the Page in the Kislak Center’s Special Collections.

The calendar, 12”x12”, is on sale for $12 (cash or check only) now through Friday, December 18 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m. in the Exhibits office, rm. 625, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library.

Penn A Cappella Albums

Six of Penn’s 14 a cappella groups have new albums out. Whether you enjoy streaming on Spotify, downloading on iTunes or listening to CDs, you can take some of Penn’s hottest music with you wherever you go.


caption:Atma, Penn’s all-female South Asian fusion a cappella group, released its latest album, Aetka, on May 15. Aetka is available on iTunes for $9.90; see



caption:Counterparts, Penn’s co-ed jazz and pop a cappella group, released a new album, Americano, on November 20. The album is available on iTunes for $9.90 It includes the group’s takes on classics such as “The Lady is a Tramp” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing.”


Off the Beat

caption:Off the Beat, Penn’s modern rock a cappella group, released a new EP, AudioEden, on December 4; The EP includes the group’s five best songs of the 2014-2015 school year, including “Crazy in Love,” performed at the 2015 International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA). They have won many Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards, and their songs appear almost annually on the Best of Collegiate A Cappella (BOCA) compilation disc produced by Varsity Vocals. Off the Beat has produced 15 albums since 1990, and has sold thousands of CDs.


Penny Loafers

caption:Penny Loafers, one of Penn’s premier co-ed pop and rock a cappella groups, released a new album, After the Rain, in November, featuring songs from indie artists, popular musicians and a few classics. It’s $9.99 and available on iTunes: and Spotify:


Penn Masala

caption:Penn’s Hindi a cappella group, fresh from their appearance in Pitch Perfect 2, released a new album, Resonance, on December 11. The album is available on the Penn Masala website, for $10.



caption:Shabbatones, Penn’s Jewish a cappella group, released its 8th album, 13, on April 23; it signifies the 13th anniversary of the group’s founding, which was in  2001. This is meaningful to them because they see it as their Bar Mitzvah year as a group. It is available on their website or on iTunes,, for $10. This album features a mix of English and Hebrew songs such as “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Feelin’ Good” and “Kama Od Efshar.”



From Bench to Bus Stop: Building HIV Research Collaborations

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Today, more than 175 investigators in Philadelphia are conducting HIV/AIDS related research. While research collaborations have always been valued, given the current funding environment, research collaborations may now be a necessity in achieving critical advances in behavioral, clinical and basic science.

On January 26, From Bench to Bus Stop: Building HIV Research Collaborations in Philadelphia will be held from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 19 South 22nd Street.

This conference, sponsored by the Penn Mental Health AIDS Research Center and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, will bring together local HIV/AIDS researchers to share information on current and planned HIV/AIDS research in Philadelphia and foster networking to produce a collaborative research agenda for future applications.

Speakers will present on HIV prevention, treatment and cure research from the perspectives of basic science, clinical and social and behavioral research. Poster presentations will facilitate interactions among researchers from different disciplines and institutions. For information, registration or abstract submission, please visit the conference website:

The abstract deadline is December 18 at midnight. If you have questions, please contact Julie Kraut-Becher or Tiffany Dominique at or (215) 746-7352.

Update: December at Penn

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21    Andrew Lamb Trio; Andrew Lamb, saxophone and flute; Tom Abbs, bass, tuba and didjeridoo; Warren Smith, drums and percussion; 8 p.m.; The Rotunda (The Rotunda).


16    2015 Vincent J. Cristofalo Memorial Lecture: Measuring Molecular Aging; Norman Sharpless, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill; 4 p.m.; The Wistar Institute (Wistar).

Human Resources: Upcoming January Programs

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Professional and Personal Development

Improve your skills and get ahead in your career by taking advantage of the many development opportunities provided by Human Resources. You can register for programs by visiting or contacting Learning and Education at (215) 898-3400.

Brown Bag Matinee—Accountability That Works; 1/13; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Take charge of your actions and efforts to become more effective and promote better relationships throughout Penn. Join us for an engaging video and discussion that focuses on three basic concepts that make up the accountability model: responsibility, empowerment and accountability.

Project Management; 1/20; 9 a.m.-noon; $75. Managing projects can feel daunting. It requires a focus on defining the initiative, planning for work, managing the initiative and monitoring results. Join us for a seminar to learn about tools and techniques that can help you manage your projects. Learn how to identify the key activities in the project life cycle and how to construct a project timeline. Understand the role of the “triple constraint” in project management and apply it in determining project scope. Learn how to keep projects on track by managing project risks and effectively using a communication plan. Capture valuable project lessons and use them to define and improve project management practices within your organization.

Quality of Worklife Workshops

Dealing with the demands of work and your personal life can be challenging. These free workshops, sponsored by Human Resources and led by experts from Penn’s Employee Assistance Program and Quality of Worklife Department, offer information and support for your personal and professional life challenges. For complete details and to register, visit or contact Human Resources at (215) 573-2471 or

Setting Goals for the New Year; 1/20; noon-1 p.m. Make short- and long-term sustainable resolutions that will stick. Participants in this workshop will learn tips and action steps for setting and achieving new personal and professional goals. Please feel free to bring your lunch.

Healthy Living Workshops

Get the tools you need to live well year-round. From expert nutrition and weight loss advice to exercise and disease prevention strategies, we can help you kick-start your body and embrace a healthy lifestyle. These free workshops are sponsored by Human Resources. For complete details and to register, visit or contact Human Resources at (215) 573-2471 or

Guided Meditation—Take a Breath and Relax; 1/12; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Practice mindful breathing that focuses your attention on the present moment with kindness, compassion and awareness. Self-massage and gentle mindful movements that promote relaxation and reduce stress may also be included in the workshop. No experience necessary. Sandra Herman, the instructor for the workshop, has 30 years of experience in the fields of social work and health education. She has a special interest and expertise in holistic approaches to stress reduction. Since 2007, she has conducted individual wellness sessions and workshops in stress reduction and smoking cessation for Penn students. These sessions incorporate not only educational and behavioral counseling techniques, but also mind/body awareness practices, including meditation, reiki, guided imagery, self-massage and qigong. Ms. Herman also maintains a private consulting practice with individuals and organizations, where she shares these varied methods for increasing calm and balance in facing life’s many challenges. Also 1/22.

Chair Yoga; 1/13; noon-1 p.m. Plenty of people turn to yoga for exercise, but striking a pose isn’t for everyone. If you’ve been tempted to try it but don’t know where to start, it’s time to try chair yoga. Chair yoga is a more moderate form of yoga that’s done while sitting in a chair or using a chair for support. You get the same benefits of a regular yoga workout (like increased strength, flexibility and balance) but don’t have to master complex poses. Chair yoga can even better your breathing and teach you how to relax your mind and improve your wellbeing. Ready to give it a try? Join us for a free Chair Yoga workshop. Don’t worry about your experience or flexibility—chair yoga can be modified for all levels. This workshop will be led by Sergeant John Wylie, Department of Public Safety at Penn. Also 1/27.

—Department of Human Resources


Weekly Crime Reports

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The University of Pennsylvania Police Department Community Crime Report

Below are the Crimes Against Persons, Crimes Against Society and Crimes Against Property from the campus report for November 30-December 6, 2015View prior weeks' reports. —Ed.

This summary is prepared by the Division of Public Safety and includes all criminal incidents reported and made known to the University Police Department between the dates of November 30-December 6, 2015. The University Police actively patrol from Market St to Baltimore and from the Schuylkill River to 43rd St in conjunction with the Philadelphia Police. In this effort to provide you with a thorough and accurate report on public safety concerns, we hope that your increased awareness will lessen the opportunity for crime. For any concerns or suggestions regarding this report, please call the Division of Public Safety at (215) 898-4482.

12/01/15      10:12 AM       4200 Chestnut St       Robbery                    Complainant robbed by unknown person

12/01/15      7:45 PM         200 S 42nd St            Auto Theft                 Complainant reported vehicle taken

12/02/15      9:37 AM         4200 Chestnut St       Other Offense            Defendant wanted on warrant/Arrest

12/02/15      3:46 PM         3400 Spruce St          Theft                          Currency taken from dresser

12/02/15      4:21 PM         3400 Spruce St          Other Offense            Threatening statement made to complainant

12/03/15      7:58 PM         220 S 33rd St             Theft                          Secured bike taken

12/03/15      10:47 PM       3300 Market St           DUI                            Intoxicated driver arrested

12/04/15      2:10 AM         3400 Sansom St         Weapons                   Male in possession of firearm/Arrest

12/04/15      11:56 AM       51 N 39th St               Theft                          Wedding rings taken

12/04/15      2:01 PM         3409 Walnut St           Theft                          Merchandise taken without payment/Arrest

12/05/15      7:50 PM         4001 Walnut St           Robbery                     Merchandise taken without payment/Arrest

12/06/15      12:56 PM       3600 Locust Walk       Drunkenness             Intoxicated male/Arrest

12/06/15      4:04 PM         3929 Sansom St         Theft                          Male attempted to take items from vehicle/Arrest

18th District

Below are the Crimes Against Persons from the 18th District: 8 incidents with 3 arrests (5 robberies and 3 assaults) were reported between November 30-December 6, 2015 by the 18th District covering the Schuylkill River to 49th Street & Market Street to Woodland Avenue.

12/01/15      10:13 AM       4200 Chestnut St               Robbery

12/04/15      2:09 PM         4314 Locust St                   Robbery/Arrest

12/04/15      5:29 PM         47th & Chestnut St             Assault

12/04/15      5:44 PM         4636 Walnut St                    Assault/Arrest

12/04/15      11:39 PM       4820 Hazel Ave                   Assault

12/05/15      8:44 PM         4001 Walnut St                    Robbery/Arrest

12/06/15      12:30 AM       4657 Locust St                    Robbery

12/06/15      7:46 PM         4500 Larchwood Ave           Robbery


Happy Holidays, Healthy Pets

  • December 15, 2015
  • vol 62 issue 17
  • Bulletins
  • print

Lisa Murphy, Penn Vet’s associate professor of toxicology, and Kenneth Drobatz, chief of the Emergency Service at Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital, offer numerous tips to keep pets healthy and out of the ER during the holidays. Below are some of the topics they cover. For more details, see

Poisonous Holiday Plants: They describe the symptoms caused by eating poinsettias, mistletoe, holly, yew and lilies.

Deck the Halls: Tinsel, wires for decorations, and glass ornaments as well as dough ornaments all pose potential pet problems.

Good Gift Giving: Give toys that are too big to be swallowed or get caught in the animal’s throat. Do not give anything with a string attached. Be sure to remove bells or squeakers.

Festive Foods: Pet owners should maintain their pet’s regular diet. Treats of turkey, ham, gravy, cookies and other goodies can lead to gastrointestinal upsets such as diarrhea and vomiting. Dispose of all bones carefully so that pets cannot get to them. Poultry bones are particularly dangerous, as they can splinter and cut the intestines or get lodged in a pet’s esophagus.

Guilty pleasures for humans, like chocolate and alcohol, can be toxic to pets. Grapes, raisins and the sugar substitute xylitol can be toxic to dogs. Be sure that everyone in your family knows and understands what your pets can and cannot consume.

In Case of Emergency: As with any potential emergency, immediate attention from a veterinarian is imperative. Penn Vet’s Emergency Service is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital is the only institution in the country recognized as both a Level I Facility and a verified Veterinary Trauma Center. The Emergency Service is staffed by an integrated team of board-certified specialists who attend to each patient’s emergency and critical care needs. Call (215) 746-8911 or visit Ryan Hospital at 3900 Spruce Street.

Human Resources: Special Winter Vacation Hours

  • December 15, 2015
  • vol 62 issue 17
  • Bulletins
  • print

Human Resources: Special Winter Vacation Hours

As we near the end of the 2015 calendar year, the Division of Human Resources wants to remind you of our schedule during the holidays. Human Resources will be closed from Friday, December 25, 2015 through Friday, January 1, 2016 for the Special Winter Vacation. However, during the break, some of our resources will still be available to faculty and staff, as shown below:

ResourceContact InformationServicesHoliday Schedule
Penn Benefits Center

1-888-PENNBEN (1-888-736-6236)

Penn’s health and welfare benefits

December 25: closed

January 1: closed

Retirement Call Center

1-877-PENN-RET (1-877-736-6738)

Penn’s retirement plans

December 24: open
8 a.m.-3 p.m. EST

December 25: closed

January 1: closed

Staff and Labor Relations


Emergency employee relations issuesDecember 25-January 1: closed (voicemails checked daily)

Employee Assistance Program


Personal and professional life issuesAvailable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Backup Care


Temporary in-home dependent child and adult care services to help you manage your professional responsibilities

Care available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Call Center:
December 24 and 25: closed
December 31: open until 5 p.m. January 1: closed

Have a safe and wonderful winter!

-Department of Human Resources

The Inn At Penn: Special Penn Rate

  • December 15, 2015
  • vol 62 issue 17
  • Bulletins
  • print

The Hilton Inn at Penn would like to thank the University community for its continued patronage this year. Beginning January 1, 2016, the hotel’s special Penn rate, available for rooms booked using a Penn budget code, will be $252/night. This rate will be in effect until June 30, 2016. Visit the Inn at Penn website ( to learn more about this four-diamond property and the amenities offered to its guests.

—The Hilton Inn at Penn

2016 Summer Camps at Penn

  • December 15, 2015
  • vol 62 issue 17
  • Bulletins
  • print

caption:A listing of numerous summer camps and academic programs taking place on Penn’s campus will be published in a late January 2016 issue of Almanac. Those who are planning on holding camps at Penn next summer are encouraged to notify Almanac by Tuesday, January 5 to be included.

Email information to For more information, call (215) 898-5274.

Almanac Schedule

  • December 15, 2015
  • vol 62 issue 17
  • Bulletins
  • print

Today’s issue is the last of this semester. Almanac will resume publishing weekly starting with the Tuesday, January 12 issue. Submissions for that issue are due no later than Monday, January 4, space permitting.

Breaking news will be posted in the Almanac Between Issues section of the Almanac website and sent out to Express Almanac subscribers. To subscribe, see

Paperless W-2s for 2015

  • December 15, 2015
  • vol 62 issue 17
  • Bulletins
  • print

To reduce the risk of having your personal information go astray, you may elect to opt out of receiving paper copies of your W-2. To receive your 2015 W-2 electronically, you must elect to opt out of receiving a paper W-2 by December 31

To access your W-2 statement and to opt out of receiving a paper copy:     

• Go to U@Penn and click on “My Tax Info:”

• Log in to ADP W-2 services using your PennKey and password and enter the requested information.

• On the Tax Statements screen, click on “Click here for W-2 information for tax years 2013 and later.”

• Click on “Paperless Options” on the “Myself” tab.

• Check the “Access my W-2s and 1099s online only” box. Follow the remaining instructions to go paperless. 

• You will also need to enter/update your email address under “My Profile” on the “Myself” tab to ensure you receive notification when your W-2 is available. 

• Be sure to close all browser windows when you have finished making your updates.

Additional W-2 Services Available

• Upload payroll tax information directly into tax software such as TurboTax.

• Access your W-2 much earlier than mailings.

• Access your information from anywhere via a secure location.

• Online help and FAQ.

• Access to W-2 forms 24 hours per day, 7 days a week for both active and terminated individuals.

As a reminder, W-2 forms for tax year 2012 and prior will remain on the U@Penn portal under “My Tax Info:”

Tax forms from 2013 and later are or will be available on the ADP site.

For additional questions or concerns, please contact the Tax Helpdesk at or (215) 898-6291.

—Victor Adams, Tax & International Operations