News

$1.25 Million Gift from Lori Kanter Tritsch to School of Design for Student Prize and Professional Medal

  • December 19, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 17
  • News
  • print

caption:Lori Kanter Tritsch

University of Pennsylvania School of Design alumna Lori Kanter Tritsch, MArch’85, has pledged $1.25 million to establish a $50,000 fellowship for the most promising graduate architecture student at PennDesign and an international medal of excellence for a practicing architect. It is the largest single gift made to the School for fellowships in its 149-year history.

“PennDesign has been home to so many visionary architects,” said Ms. Kanter Tritsch. “We want to celebrate today’s visionaries and encourage the next generation to follow their lead.”

Ms. Kanter Tritsch has served on the PennDesign Board of Overseers since 2015. She made the pledge with her partner and fellow alum William P. Lauder, W’83, who holds a bachelor of science in economics from the Wharton School and is a Penn Trustee.

The Kanter Tritsch Prize in Energy and Architectural Innovation will be awarded annually beginning in the fall of 2018 to a second-year student pursuing a Master of Architecture degree at PennDesign who demonstrates transformational thinking on the built environment and innovation in his or her approach to energy, ecology and/or social equity.

“The complex issues of today’s world call on designers to be more forward-thinking than ever before,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “We appreciate how Lori and William have embraced Penn’s culture and practice of innovation with the creation of this prize for graduate students at PennDesign who look at the world differently and are creative and collaborative in their approaches to addressing the built environment.”

“Architects have a critical role to play in responding to climate change and increasing equity in our societies,” said PennDesign Dean and Paley Professor Frederick Steiner. “We are tremendously grateful to Lori and William for their ongoing support.”

In addition, the Kanter Tritsch Medal for Excellence in Architecture and Environmental Design will be awarded annually beginning in the fall of 2018 to an under-recognized architect who has changed the course of design history, with a particular focus on the areas of energy conservation, environmental quality and/or diversity. Standing PennDesign faculty will not be eligible.

“The architecture profession can be slow to recognize young talent,” said Winka Dubbeldam, chair and Miller Professor in the department of architecture at PennDesign. “At the same time, many established architects never receive the public recognition they deserve.”

Led by Professor Dubbeldam, the juries will be announced this fall, and the recipients will be recognized at a public ceremony next fall.

Ms. Kanter Tritsch completed her master of architecture at Penn in 1985, having earned a bachelor of science in architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1983. She began her career at Eli Attia Architects, New York, focusing primarily on the design of high rises. In 1987, she joined Miller Construction Company in Jersey City, New Jersey, to work on commercial and industrial design projects. Currently she works in New York City designing commercial interiors and undertakes private commissions, largely in high-end residential development. 

First Snow of the Season

  • December 19, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 17
  • News
  • print

caption: A winter wonderland: Blanche Levy Park and College Hall on December 9

Earlier this month, the University of Pennsylvania, along with the rest of the Philadelphia area, was blanketed with more than three inches—the first snow of the season and the snowiest December 9 on record for this area. Since it was a Saturday it did not have as much impact as a weekday storm like last Friday. The University rarely has had to close for snow unless there is a record-breaking snowfall like there was in February 2010 when 16 inches fell (Almanac February 16, 2010).

 

The following are some resources to keep in mind before the next snowstorm hits this winter. 

See Suspension of Normal Operations or call (215) 898-MELT.

See Snow Day Child Care

See Snow Removal & Ice Control

See Parking Permits, Snow Emergencies or call Parking Operations for instructions at (215) 898-8667.

Deaths

Carole Marcus, Pediatrics

  • December 19, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 17
  • Deaths
  • print

caption: Carole Marcus

Carole Marcus, a pioneering sleep researcher, professor at CHOP and associate director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Translational Research, died on November 19. She was 57.

After she earned her medical degree, a MBBCh,  from University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa in 1982, she completed a residency at SUNY Brooklyn.

She worked at Johns Hopkins University from 1991-2003 in the pediatrics faculty and as medical director of the Pediatric Sleep Laboratory and then Pediatric Sleep Center before joining CHOP and Penn Medicine in 2003. 

At the time of her death she was professor of pediatrics at CHOP and at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; director of the Sleep Center at CHOP; co-director of the Clinical and Translational Science Award at Penn; pediatric associate director of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics; and the R. Anderson Pew Distinguished Chair in Pediatrics at CHOP. In 2015, she received the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Mentor Award. 

Dr. Marcus studied the pathophysiology of childhood obstructive sleep apnea, developmental aspects of ventilatory and upper airway control, upper airway collapsibility and arousal mechanisms during sleep and sleep-disordered breathing. She was the first author of a large, randomized multicenter study on OSAS published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2013. 

According to a notice from CHOP, Dr. Marcus “held virtually every leadership position in pediatric sleep medicine at some point in her abbreviated career and received numerous awards, including the William C. Dement Academic Achievement Award in Sleep Medicine.”

She is survived by her brothers, Neil (Miriam) and Anthony. 

Contributions in her memory may be made to Doctors Without Borders, PO Box 5030, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5030.

A memorial service for Dr. Marcus will be held at CHOP in January.

Ricardo Teles, Dental Medicine

  • December 19, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 17
  • Deaths
  • print

caption: Ricardo Teles

Ricardo Teles, professor and chair of periodontics at Penn Dental Medicine, died on December 11. He was 50 years old. Dr. Teles had joined the Penn faculty earlier this year with his wife, Flavia Teles, associate professor in the department of microbiology  at Penn Dental (Almanac September 5, 2017).

Dr. Teles, a native of Brazil, earned a doctor of dental surgery from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in 1988, as well as a doctor of medical science and a certificate in periodontology from Harvard School of Dental Medicine in 1996. 

Prior to joining Penn, Dr. Teles was the OraPharma Distinguished Professor in the department of periodontology from 2014-2017 and vice chair of the department at University of North Carolina School of Dentistry, from 2015-2017. He was also senior research investigator in the department of applied oral sciences within the Center for Periodontology at The Forsyth Institute from 2014-2017 and director of the Center from 2009-2010.

His research focused on the cause and treatment of periodontal diseases, and he was the principal investigator and co-investigator on many NIH-funded clinical trials focusing on the etiology and pathogenesis of periodontal diseases and the clinical and biological effects of periodontal therapies.

“Dr. Teles was an exceptional individual—a highly loved and respected colleague and educator, whose loss impacts so many,” said Denis Kinane, Morton Amsterdam Dean of the School of Dental Medicine.

“Dr. Teles had a passion for clinical research and for educating dental students and residents,” said Dr. Dana Graves, Vice Dean for Research and Scholarship.

He is survived by his wife, Flavia, a son, Victor, a daughter, Isabella, his mother, Olga and siblings, Claudio, Gustavo and Luciana.

 

To Report A Death

Almanac appreciates being informed of the deaths of current and former faculty and staff members, students and other members of the University community. Call (215) 898-5274 or email almanac@upenn.edu

However, notices of alumni deaths should be directed to the Alumni Records Office at Room 517, Franklin Building, (215) 898-8136 or email record@ben.dev.upenn.edu

Governance

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Agenda

  • December 19, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 17
  • Governance
  • print

The following agenda is published in accordance with the Faculty Senate Rules. Any member of the standing faculty may attend SEC meetings and observe. Questions may be directed to Patrick Walsh, executive assistant to the Senate Office, either by telephone at (215) 898-6943 or by email at senate@pobox.upenn.edu

 

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Agenda

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

3-5 p.m.

Meyerson Conference Room (2nd floor, Van Pelt Library)

 

1. Approval of the Minutes of November 29, 2017 SEC meeting (1 minute)

2. Chair’s Report (5 minutes)

3. Past-Chair’s Report (3 minutes)

    C4C applications are being accepted now.

4. Proposal to Extend the Senior Lecturer Term in the Graduate School of Education (5 minutes)

5. Discussion with Provost Wendell Pritchett (45 minutes)

6. Update on the Teach-In to be held March 18-22, 2018 (30 minutes)

7. Moderated Discussion (30 minutes)

8. New Business (1 minute)

Five Tax Changes that will hurt U.S. Higher Education

  • December 19, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 17
  • Governance
  • print

To the Members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives:

We write to express our strong opposition to problematic potential changes in Federal tax law. During the reconciliation process, we urge you to recognize the profound negative implications of these proposed changes for students, colleges and universities, and our nation, and not include these changes in the final law.

Do not count tuition benefits to graduate students as taxable income: Graduate students are critical to the production of the knowledge and research that our nation needs to be internationally competitive. This change will make graduate education unaffordable to all but those from the wealthiest families. Instead, federal policymakers should be encouraging the best and brightest to obtain graduate education, regardless of their family income and personal wealth.

Do not increase the standard deduction on charitable contributions: Charitable contributions reflect decisions by private individuals about how to invest personal resources. Increasing the standard deduction will likely reduce these contributions. Charitable contributions are vital to our nation’s public and private colleges and universities. Diversifying revenue sources has become more important to both public and private colleges and universities over time, especially as per student funding from state governments has declined.

Do not tax investment earnings on endowments of private colleges and universities: Endowments represent the accumulation of funds donated to colleges and universities from private sources. Private contributors dedicate these funds to colleges and universities for particular uses and purposes. This proposed tax will reduce not only the real value of these contributions, but also the resources available for supporting need-based financial aid and also advancing research and educational programs.

Do not repeal tax deductions for federal student loans: Eliminating deductions for student loans will increase the cost of higher education to the many students who borrow to pay college costs, add to the challenges that many borrowers experience when trying to repay their loans, and may discourage college graduates with student loan debt from taking on other consumer debt.

Do not include as taxable income tuition benefits to dependents of employees of colleges and universities or employer-provided education assistance: These programs encourage employers to allocate resources that increase the human capital of their employees. As such, these programs increase the education and skills of our nation’s population.

Do recognize the many public benefits of higher education: Individuals who participate in higher education benefit from higher earnings and in many other ways. But, our nation and communities also benefit greatly from higher education. Higher education is critical to ensuring that our workforce has the skills and training needed for today’s and tomorrow’s jobs, promoting economic development, and advancing research, development, and technological change. Higher education is essential to our nation’s economic competitiveness and to our democracy.

We urge you to recognize the importance of higher education to our society. If enacted, these changes will hurt our students, increase the cost of higher education, and threaten the quality and contributions of our colleges and universities to the long-term detriment of our nation.

 

The Tri-Chairs of the Faculty Senate of the University of Pennsylvania

—Laura W. Perna, James S. Riepe Professor, Graduate School of Education, 

Immediate Past Chair of the Faculty Senate

—Santosh S. Venkatesh, Professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering, 

Chair of the Faculty Senate

—Jennifer A. Pinto-Martin, Viola MacInnes/Independence Professor of Nursing and 

Professor of Epidemiology, Perelman School of Medicine, Chair Elect of the Faculty Senate

Trustees Meeting Coverage

  • December 19, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 17
  • Governance
  • print

At the Stated Meeting of the Executive Committee of the University of Pennsylvania’s Board of Trustees on December 14, Penn President Amy Gutmann thanked those who went to the Campus Conversation at the end of October. She said that the capacity of the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) has been expanded to accommodate more students, more quickly. She also said that Penn will be launching a Campaign for Wellness in response to the feedback. President Gutmann said that Christopher D’Urso and Adnan Zikri Jaafa— the two students who were recently named Rhodes Scholars (Almanac December 5, 2017); “are working to make a profound difference in the world.”

Provost Wendell Pritchett announced that the Vice Provost and Director of the Libraries Carton Rogers will be retiring at the end of the academic year after a 43-year career at Penn. The Provost noted that there have been many enhancements that Mr. Rogers has spearheaded during the past 13 years at the helm, including the Information Commons at Franklin Field and the renovations in Van Pelt-Dietrich Center and expanded community outreach programs to public schools. 

In the Penn Medicine report, Dr. Larry Jameson said that the new Hospital Pavilion being built next to the Penn Museum is on schedule with the steel having gone up (Almanac May 9, 2017).

Mr. Osagie Imasogie, chair of the Budget & Finance Committee, presented two resolutions that were approved. The first involves the strategic alliance of Penn Medicine and Virtua developing a new single site proton therapy joint venture for a facility to be located in Voorhees, New Jersey. At a prior Trustees meeting in 2015, a resolution was approved to create the new limited liability corporation. Penn Medicine will hold 51% equity interest and Virtua will hold 49%. The facility is expected to be completed by January 2020. 

The second one approved the consolidation of taxable business operations: the merger of Penn Tower Hotel, Inc. and certain taxable corporations of the Chester County Hospital.

Government Affairs Update

  • December 19, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 17
  • Governance
  • print

State Appropriations

In July 2017, Governor Tom Wolf allowed the General Fund Appropriations Bill (House Bill 218) to become law without his signature as he awaited a revenue plan to pay for the budget. The Governor received and signed the related revenue measures to pay for the General Fund Appropriations Bill on October 30, 2017. 

Items of significance to Penn in the final budget package include funding from the Physician Practice Plan line in the Department of Human Services budget and funds from the Commonwealth Universal Research and Education Fund (CURE) funded through the Master Tobacco Settlement Agreement. Funds from the Physician Practice Plan are appropriated to regional managed care organizations that redistribute those funds to Academic Medical Centers. The School of Dental Medicine and the Perelman School of Medicine receive funding through the program. Penn receives $3 to $7 million annually from CURE funding.

On October 27, 2017, the Governor signed into law Senate Bill 325, the School of Veterinary Medicine non-preferred appropriation. Senate Bill 325 appropriates $30,416,000 for the School of Veterinary Medicine, the same amount received in the prior year. In February, Governor Wolf had proposed the elimination of funding for the School of Veterinary Medicine.

—Hugh Allen, Senior Director of 

Commonwealth Relations, 

Office of Government and Community Affairs

 

University Statement Regarding the Commonwealth’s Funding Approval for Penn Vet

The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has restored funding to the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, and Governor Wolf has signed it into law. This outcome was aided by the support and advocacy of many, particularly by long-standing partners at the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and Penn Ag Industries.

Penn Vet has a long history of working with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, enabling the School to protect the food supply for 12 million Pennsylvanians, contribute to the success of the statewide agriculture community and support public health through infectious disease control programs.

State support for Penn Vet has provided a tremendous return on investment for taxpayers, ensuring their food supply is among the safest in the world.

—Joan Hendricks, 

Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of the 

School of Veterinary Medicine

Features

Medical ‘Miracles on 34th Street’

  • December 19, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 17
  • Features
  • print

Brain Remaps Itself in Child with Double Hand Transplant

The first child to undergo a successful hand transplant is also the first child in whom scientists have detected massive changes in how sensations from the hands are represented in the brain. The brain reorganization is thought to have begun six years before the transplant, when the child had both hands amputated because of a severe infection during infancy. After he received transplanted hands, his brain reverted toward a more typical pattern.

Each area of the body that receives nerve sensations sends signals to a corresponding site in the brain. The spatial pattern in which those signals activate the brain’s neurons is called somatosensory representation—particular parts of the brain reflect specific parts of the body.

“We know from research in nonhuman primates and from brain imaging studies in adult patients that, following amputation, the brain remaps itself when it no longer receives input from the hands,” said first author William Gaetz, a radiology researcher in the Biomagnetic Imaging Laboratory at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). “The brain area representing sensations from the lips shifts as much as two centimeters to the area formerly representing the hands.”

This brain remapping that occurs after upper limb amputation is called massive cortical reorganization (MCR). “We had hoped to see MCR in our patient, and indeed, we were the first to observe MCR in a child,” said Dr. Gaetz. “We were even more excited to observe what happened next—when the patient’s new hands started to recover function. For our patient, we found that the process is reversible.” 

Researchers from CHOP and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania published their findings in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology. Their case report described Zion Harvey, now 10 years old, who received worldwide media coverage two years ago as the first child to undergo a successful hand transplant (Almanac December 15, 2015).

A 40-member team led by L. Scott Levin, chairman of orthopaedic surgery and a professor of plastic surgery at Penn Medicine, and director of the Hand Transplantation Program at CHOP, performed that milestone surgery in July, 2015 at CHOP. “Zion has been a child of many firsts here at Penn Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and across the world,” said Dr. Levin, senior author of the paper. He added, “With the changes observed in his brain, which our collaborative team has been closely evaluating since his transplant two years ago, Zion is now the first child to exhibit brain mapping reorientation. This is a tremendous milestone not only for our team and our research, but for Zion himself. It is yet another marker of his amazing progress, and continued advancement with his new limbs.”

The researchers used magnetoencephalography (MEG), which measures magnetic activity in the brain, to detect the location, signal strength and timing of the patient’s responses to sensory stimuli applied lightly to his lips and fingers. They performed MEG four times in the year following the bilateral hand transplant, performing similar tests on five healthy children who served as age-matched controls.

At the first two visits, Zion’s fingertips did not respond to tactile stimulation—being touched with a thin filament. When experimenters touched the patient’s lips, the MEG signal registered in the hand area of the brain’s cortex, but with a delay of 20 milliseconds compared to controls. At the two later visits, MEG signals from lip stimulation had returned to the lip region of the brain, with a normal response time—an indication that brain remapping was reverting to a more normal pattern.

When experimenters touched Zion’s fingertips in the two later visits, the MEG signals appeared in the hand region of the brain, with a shorter delay in response time from visit 3 to visit 4, but with higher-than-normal signal strength. “The sensory signals are arriving in the correct location in the brain, but may not yet be getting fully integrated into the somatosensory network,” said Dr. Gaetz. “We expect that over time, these sensory responses will become more age-typical.”

Dr. Gaetz added, “These results have raised many new questions and generated excitement about brain plasticity, particularly in children. Some of those new questions include, what is the best age to get a hand transplant? Does MCR always occur after amputation? How does brain mapping look in people born without hands? Would we see MCR reverse in an adult, as we did in this patient? We are planning new research to investigate some of these questions.”

Zion’s progress provides encouraging details on his functional abilities. “Our follow-up studies 18 months after this transplant showed that he is able to write, dress and feed himself more independently than before his operation—important considerations in improving his quality of life,” said Dr. Levin.

 

A Transplant and a Cure: Penn Team Eradicates Hepatitis C in 10 Patients Following Lifesaving Transplants from Infected Donors

Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing the supply of organs for the nation’s more than 97,000 patients who are awaiting kidney transplants—often for as many as five or more years.

In 2016, Penn Medicine launched an innovative clinical trial to test the effect of transplanting kidneys from donors with HCV into patients currently on the kidney transplant waitlist who do not have the virus, and who opt in to receive these otherwise unused organs. Recipients were then treated with an antiviral therapy in an effort to cure the virus. Early data from the study were presented by David S. Goldberg, an assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology in the Perelman School of Medicine at Penn, at the 2017 American Transplant Congress in Chicago, and were simultaneously published in the New England Journal of Medicine.  

“We started this trial in the hopes that, if successful, we could open up an entirely new pool of donor organs, and effectively transplant hundreds, if not thousands, more patients who are awaiting a lifesaving organ,” Dr. Goldberg said. “Historically, Hepatitis C-infected kidneys were often discarded, and were thought to be damaged or too ‘high-risk.’ Our pilot data demonstrate the ability to cure the contracted virus following transplantation in this patient population. If future studies are successful, this may be a viable option for patients who may otherwise never see a transplant.”

Dr. Goldberg, who co-led the study with Peter Reese, an assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at Penn Medicine and chair of the Ethics Committee for the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS), approached and enrolled participants who relied on dialysis treatments to stand in for their damaged kidneys. Participants were between 40 and 65 years of age and had been waiting for a transplant for at least a year and a half. A three-step process of education and consent was used during pre-enrollment to ensure patients, and their loved ones were provided with a comprehensive understanding of the risks. Once enrolled, and as organs became available, the team performed HCV donor genotyping during the allocation process, selecting only kidneys that were considered “high quality.”

In the first phase of the study, to date, 10 patients have received transplants using the protocol. On average, patients received a transplant 58 days after enrolling in the trial—some in as quickly as 11 days, while others waited for more than 100 days. At three days after surgery, patients were tested for HCV, and all 10 tested positive for the disease. Next, the participants were treated with the standard 12-week course of elbasvir/grazoprevir, commonly known as Zepatier, a recently-approved and highly effective oral medication prescribed to eradicate HCV. All 10 patients have been cured of their contracted HCV.

“For so long, HCV was a virus with a very negative stigma associated with it, especially among physicians. So it was interesting to see that patients were quick to jump at the chance to get this transplant, despite the possibility that they could get Hepatitis C permanently,” Dr. Reese said. “Going into the study, we knew it was a possibility that some or all of the patients would contract HCV, and that they could have the disease for the rest of their lives if we were unsuccessful. But for these patients, getting off of dialysis and getting back to their normal lives was very much worth the risk.”

Following the early positive results, the research team was granted an extension of their study, which will allow them to transplant and treat an additional 10 patients—20 patients in total.

The research team is designing a new clinical trial that will study this same approach in patients who are heart-transplant recipients, and in the future they hope to examine the efficacy of this approach in liver and lung transplants. Researchers note there is a need for longer and larger trials to continue evaluating the effectiveness of HCV-positive to HCV-negative transplantation followed by antiviral therapy in a broader population.

Additional Penn Medicine experts involved in this study span disciplines including infectious diseases, transplantation surgery, gastroenterology, hepatology, and pathology and laboratory medicine, including Deirdre Sawinski, Roy Bloom, Raj Reddy, Emily Blumberg, Jennifer Trofe-Clark, Vivianna Van Deerlin, Midhat Farooqi, Peter Abt, Matthew Levine, Paige Porrett, Susanna Nazarian, Ali Naji, Maureen McCauley and Anna Sicilia. The study is supported by a research grant from the Merck Investigator Initiated Studies Program, and Merck supplied the antiviral drugs used in the study.

and, at Penn Veterinary Medicine

  • December 19, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 17
  • Features
  • print

Note: These stories are abbreviated versions of articles from Penn Vet Extra. View the full stories.   —Eds.

Comprehensive Cancer Care at Ryan Hospital

Dingus is undergoing Comprehensive Cancer Care, a cross-disciplinary approach to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in pets

Dingus, a 17-year-old cat, was already being treated at Ryan Hospital for small cell gastrointestinal (GI) lymphoma. Diagnosed in November 2016, he had responded well to medication, but through the following summer he was slowly losing weight. He came back to Ryan for an examination where an abdominal ultrasound showed his intestinal tract was normal, but revealed something else. He had a mass in one of his lung lobes.

Dingus is a remarkable cat with an extensive medical history and two very loving owners, Christopher Lengner and Heather Steinman. Not only is Dr. Lengner Dingus’ owner, he is an associate professor of biomedical sciences at Penn Vet, and a cancer researcher. “On one hand,” said Dr. Lengner, “I’m the owner of a cat with cancer; on the other, I’m a cancer researcher.”

Dingus’ other owner, Dr. Steinman, is a former cancer researcher, and is now a vice president at the Wistar Institute where she continues to focus on bringing new cancer therapies, including tumor vaccines and immunotherapies, to patients.

In 2011, Ryan clinicians removed Dingus’ left eye due to uveitus and glaucoma caused by an infection. Then in 2014, he developed a benign tumor in his right ear, which necessitated the removal of the ear canal. In addition to lymphoma, he also has heart disease and chronic lower airway disease.

Dingus’s owners discussed surgery for Dingus and agreed to proceed, as his quality of life was still very good.

Beth Callan, professor of internal medicine and Dingus’ primary vet, spoke with James Perry, assistant professor of surgical oncology, the newest member of the Comprehensive Cancer Care team, and he agreed to take Dingus’ case. Comprehensive Cancer Care is a cross-disciplinary approach to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in pets. Ryan clinicians provide a comprehensive assessment of each patient’s cancer care needs within one appointment. They work with clients through the diagnosis and subsequent treatment plan for their pets, be it chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, or supportive care.

There is the notion that cancer can be treated by differentiating the cells and not killing them. If the cancer is a stem cell that divides uncontrollably and the cell can be driven to differentiate, it will exit the cell cycle and stop dividing, alleviating the disease.

“In normal tissue, stem cells are resistant to injury and repopulate the tissue in the face of injury, which is a good thing,” said Dr. Lengner. “When you irradiate a colorectal tumor, by all measures it’s gone, but five or ten years later it comes back, and it comes back in the exact same place. Those cells need to be identified, purified, and studied, so that’s really what we’re interested in.”

Dr. Perry led the surgery, assisted by Dr. Ludwig and Intern Julie Pfeifer. Instead of cutting through the sternum, Perry was able to remove the affected lung lobe through the muscle between Dingus’ ribs. This approach reduced his pain, healing time, and hospital stay.

The Penn Vet Cancer Center is a new initiative that will bring together basic cancer research, clinical trials, and patient care into one centralized location at Ryan Hospital. In this state-of-the-art facility, scientists and clinicians will be able to bring research breakthroughs directly to patients. Dr. Lengner hopes there will be a push to bring molecular diagnostics into a clinical setting with the intent of identifying genetic mutations within companion animals, particularly as it relates to cancer.

“If we knew the genetic basis of a lot of these cancers that occur in companion animals, we could easily start testing these next generation drugs under development for human cancer, including many coming out of Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center,” he said. “Hopefully Penn Vet’s new Cancer Center will embrace all the knowledge from the human side and try to translate it into companion animals. This is a personal thing for me.”

 

Prosthetic for Pete the Parrot

Benjamin Spalding was working late when he heard the screams.

He ran outside to investigate and saw that a fox had startled Pete, his 34-year-old Mealy Amazon parrot. As Pete climbed up the side of the backyard aviary, the fox grabbed his foot and tore it off.

Mr. Spalding and his wife, Stacey Gehringer, immediately put Pete into his carry cage, got in the car, and headed to an emergency veterinary clinic nearby. Ms. Gehringer called the clinic to let them know they were on the way, but the clinic said they couldn’t take Pete as a patient. There are few veterinary hospitals close to the Lehigh Valley with experienced Exotics vets on staff. Fortunately, Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital is one of them. When Ms. Gehringer called Ryan’s Emergency Service, she was told to bring Pete in.

La’Toya Latney, service head and attending clinician of the Exotic Companion Animal Medicine service, was on call when she received the 2 a.m. phone call. When she arrived at the hospital, Pete seemed alert, despite having lost a lot of blood. Dr. Latney’s primary goal was to stop the bleeding and provide fluid therapy.

Despite the blood loss, Pete’s odds of survival were promising, as birds have a unique ability to reproduce red blood cells much faster than humans. It’s been shown that birds can lose 30% of their total blood volume without showing signs of shock. Birds would have to sustain about a 60% loss of blood before there would be a notable change in blood pressure or signs of decompensation.

“Dr. Latney’s demeanor with her patients is amazing,” said Mr. Spalding. “I’ve been to several different vets and they all treated Pete with fear. He’s never seen anything short of a kiss at Ryan Exotics!”

Having addressed the relatively short-term goal of closing the wound on Pete’s stump, there were some long-term complications to take into consideration.

“Given that Pete is a larger-bodied bird, he could experience long-term pain if we don’t provide some type of comparative support,” said Dr. Latney.

Never one to back away from a challenge, Dr. Latney reached out to Jonathan Wood, staff veterinarian in neurology and neurosurgery, with the task of designing a prosthetic leg for Pete.

Dr. Wood met with Stephen Smeltzer, digital fabrication manager at PennDesign’s Fabrication Lab, to examine the CT scan and formulate a plan. Mr. Smeltzer asked questions about birds and bird bones, the weight and stiffness of the prosthetic, and how they might attach it. He then drew sketches.

“One of the things we love about working with Penn Vet is seeing our technology have an immediate impact in the world,” said Mr. Smeltzer.

The team tried two different prototypes for Pete, but neither were secure enough to support his weight. A third design is currently being printed at the Fabrication Lab and should be ready for Pete to try out soon. 

La'Toya Latney is working with Pete to find the perfect prosthetic leg.

La'Toya Latney is working with Pete to find the perfect prosthetic leg.

Drs. Wood and Latney are currently working on an attachment system that is safe and comfortable for Pete. They estimate two to three months before the final fitted model is ready.

“In the meantime, we’ve encouraged Pete’s owners to do physical therapy on the remaining limb,” said Dr. Latney.

Even one-legged, Pete is enjoying a full range of activity at home, including climbing. Everyone involved is eager to finalize the prosthetic attachment system to give Pete an even better quality of life at home.

Almanac’s New Website

  • December 19, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 17
  • Features
  • print

AT PENN

Events

January 2018 Human Resources: Upcoming Programs

  • December 19, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 17
  • Events
  • print

Professional & Personal Development Programs 

Open to faculty and staff. Register at http://knowledgelink.upenn.edu/

Learning with Lynda: Building Accountability into Your Culture; January 9; 12:30-1:30 p.m.; free. Learning with Lynda classes use the University’s enterprise-wide license of Lynda.com to provide a blended learning solution to the Penn campus. In this session, leadership consultant and executive coach Mike Figliuolo reveals how to create a culture of accountability by developing accountability at the individual level, team level and brand level.

STEP UP Intoduction: First Steps to Excellence; January 10; 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; $150 for entire course. First Steps to Excellence is part one of STEP UP, Penn’s self-paced seven-part leadership development program. By the end of the First Steps to Excellence, you’ll have a deeper understanding of your five signature strengths and discover additional ways to take charge of your career at Penn. Other STEP UP sessions focus on developing skills to manage oneself, such as communications, getting work done, dealing with change and managing up.

Tools for Career Assessment and Development; January 17; 12:30-1:30 p.m.; free. A career plan is essentially a map you can use as you drive your career. In this program we will examine questions for assessing and developing your career. You will compare your career options using a variety of tools. By the end of the session you will have the resources needed to develop a plan for career success.

Project Management; January 18; 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.

TED Talk Tuesday: Yves Morieux—How too many rules at work keep you from getting things done; January 23; 12:30–1:30 p.m.; free. Modern work—from waiting tables to crunching numbers to designing products—is about solving brand-new problems every day, flexibly and collaboratively. But as Yves Morieux shows in this insightful talk, too often, an overload of rules, processes and metrics keeps us from doing our best work together. Meet the new frontier of productivity: cooperation.

Leading Productive One-on-One Meetings; January 31; 12:30–1:30 p.m.; free. Regular one-on-one meetings provide managers with an opportunity to head off problems and efficiently answer the many small, quick questions that arise during the workweek. This course, featuring a video by Dave Crenshaw, shows you how to establish a one-on-one meeting schedule and agenda, assign and review action items and assess the results of the meeting and follow up on promises. The course also explains how to effectively listen to employees’ needs and when to offer training and development.

Quality of Worklife Wokshops

Open to faculty and staff. Register at www.hr.upenn.edu/myhr/registration

Admissions Brown Bag: Navigating the High School Curricular Waters; January 10; noon-1 p.m; free. Faculty and staff with college- age dependents are invited to join Penn’s undergraduate admissions office to discuss the role of the high school transcript and course selection in the holistic admission review. This may be particularly timely for parents of high school freshman, sophomores and juniors as course selection will be happening in the New Year.

Mindfulness Monday: From Mind Full to Mindful; January 22; 12:30-1:30 p.m.; free. Mindfulness practice develops awareness of your present thoughts and feelings to help you manage different situations. In this once-a-month experiential workshop, you’ll see how mindfulness can help you become more engaged and effective both at home and in the workplace. No prior meditation experience necessary.

Guided Meditation: Take a Breath and Relax; January 26; noon-1 p.m.; free. 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.

Healthy Living Workshops

Open to faculty and staff. Register at www.hr.upenn.edu/myhr/registration 

Gentle Yoga; January 16; noon-1 p.m.; free. Let your body reward itself with movement! Join us for this Gentle Yoga session and explore the natural movements of the spine with slow and fluid moving bends and soft twists. During this session, you will flow into modified sun salutations that loosen those tightened muscles and joints of the lower back, neck, shoulders and wrists. And as an added bonus, you’ll get a workout in the process. Mats and props will be provided.

Indoor Wellness Walk; January 19; noon-1 p.m; free. This month’s New Year’s Resolution-themed walk, held in the Palestra, will occur rain or shine—no excuses not to come! Whether you wish to lose weight, have more energy, or just be healthier, it is important to remember to reach your goals one step at a time. We hope you will be able to join us for this event co-sponsored by Human Resources and the Center for Public Health Initiatives.

Zumba; January 23; noon–1 p.m.; free. Perfect for everybody and every body! Each Zumba class is designed to bring people together to sweat it on. We take the “work” out of workout, by mixing low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval-style, calorie-burning dance fitness party. Once the Latin and World rhythms take over, you’ll see why Zumba Fitness classes are often called exercise in disguise.

Chair Yoga; January 24; noon-1 p.m.; free. 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. 

Gentle Yoga; January 30; noon-1 p.m.; free. See January 16 program description for details.

—Division of Human Resources

Crimes

Weekly Crime Reports

  • December 19, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 17
  • Crimes
  • print

The University of Pennsylvania Police Department Community Crime Report

About the Crime Report: Below are the Crimes Against Persons, Crimes Against Society and Crimes Against Property from the campus report for December 4-10, 2017. Also reported were 12 crimes against property (12 thefts) with 3 arrests. View prior weeks' reports. —Ed.

12/5/17           8:22 AM          3400 Spruce St            Male exposed himself

12/5/17           1:51 PM           407 S 40th St              Packages taken from front porch/Arrest

12/6/17           11:43 AM        51 N 39th St                 Sunglasses and currency taken from vehicle

12/6/17           12:08 PM         3400 Ludlow St           Various items taken from vehicle

12/6/17           7:03 PM           4052 Chestnut St        Package containing laptop taken

12/7/17           12:56 PM         110 S 36th St              Merchandise taken without payment by unknown male

12/7/17           6:37 PM           3800 Locust Walk       Complainant robbed by males with gun/3 Arrests

12/7/17           7:17 PM           3900 Spruce St           Complainant robbed by males with gun/3 Arrests

12/8/17           9:19 AM          1 S 40th St                   Male shot four times

12/8/17           12:38 PM         3400 Spruce St           Gun taken from vehicle

12/8/17           5:12 PM           3300 Chestnut St        Confidential sex offense

12/8/17           5:39 PM           110 S 36th St              Merchandise taken without payment

12/8/17           6:03 PM           3925 Walnut St           Merchandise taken without payment

12/8/17           7:40 PM           3800 Walnut St           Confidential sex offense

12/8/17           8:30 PM           4001 Walnut St           Merchandise taken without payment/2 Arrests

12/9/17           12:51 PM         3300 Market St           Unsecured backpack taken from vehicle

12/9/17           4:26 PM           3417 Spruce St           Unsecured backpacks taken

12/9/17           7:04 PM           3600 Sansom St         Unsecured wallet taken from room

12/10/17         8:07 PM           3900 Walnut St           Currency snatched from complainant’s hand

18th District

Below are the Crimes Against Persons from the 18th District: 10 incidents (1 aggravated assault, 1 assault, 1 indecent assault, 2 rapes, 5 robberies) with 4 arrests were reported between December 4-10, 2017 by the 18th District covering the Schuylkill River to 49th Street & Market Street to Woodland Avenue.

12/4/17      1:21 PM    48th & Spruce Sts       Robbery

12/04/17   10:50 PM    240 S 40th St             Assault/Arrest

12/05/17     8:25 AM    3400 Spruce St          Indecent Assault

12/06/17   10:24 PM    200 S Farragut           Robbery/Arrest

12/07/17    6:36 PM    3900 Spruce St           Robbery/Arrest

12/07/17    8:07 PM    14 S 40th St                Aggravated Assault

12/08/17    7:57 PM    3800 Locust Walk       Robbery/Arrest

12/08/17    8:00 AM    3300 Woodland Walk  Rape

12/09/17    7:40 PM    3800 Walnut St           Rape

12/10/17    8:52 PM    3900 Walnut St           Robbery

Bulletins

Human Resources Special Winter Vacation Holiday Hours

  • December 19, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 17
  • Bulletins
  • print

As we near the end of the 2017 calendar year, the Division of Human Resources would like to remind you of our schedule during the upcoming winter break.

Human Resources will be closed Monday, December 25, 2017 through Monday, January 1, 2018 for Penn’s Special Winter Vacation. During the break, some of our resources will still be available to faculty and staff as shown below. Have a safe and wonderful winter break!

—­Division of Human Resources


 

Resource  Contact InformationServicesHoliday Schedule
Penn Benefits Center1-888-PENNBEN (1-888-736-6236)
www.hr.upenn.edu/benefits
Penn’s health and welfare benefitsDecember 25: closed
January 1: closed
Retirement Call Center1-877-PENN-RET (1-877-736-6738)
www.hr.upenn.edu/retirement 
Penn’s retirement plansDecember 22: open 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
December 25: closed
January 1: closed
Staff and Labor Relations1-215-898-6093
www.hr.upenn.edu/workplace-issues
Emergency employee relations issuesDecember 25: closed
January 1: closed
(Voicemails checked daily December 26–29)
Employee Assistance Program1-888-321-4433
http://www.hr.upenn.edu/eap
Personal and professional life issuesAvailable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Care.com Backup Care1-855-781-1303
http://penn.care.com
Temporary in-home dependent child and adult care services to help you manage your professional responsibilitiesPlease register and schedule care in advance. Care services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
StayWell1-855-428-6324
http://penn.staywell.com
Penn’s wellness portal and Be in the Know helplineDecember 25: helpline closed
January 1: helpline closed

                                                                                                                                 

Calling All FGLI Faculty

  • December 19, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 17
  • Bulletins
  • print

Valerie De Cruz, director of the Greenfield Intercultural Center (GIC), is partnering with the Center for Teaching and Learning to organize discussions for faculty members about the needs of first- generation low-income (FGLI) students. Faculty members who self-identify as having been a FGLI college student,  and who would like to participate in these discussions are asked to contact Ms. De Cruz at decruz@upenn.edu

One Step Ahead: Connecting to the Secure Hotspots Around the World

  • December 19, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 17
  • Bulletins
  • print

Another tip in a series provided by the Offices of Information Systems & Computing and Audit, Compliance & Privacy

Connecting to Secure Hotspots Around the World

Did you know that members of the Penn community can seamlessly and securely connect their laptops, tablets and phones to over 6,000 free wireless hotspots at universities, research centers and other research and education institutions in more than 85 countries around the world? 

Penn participates in eduroam (education roaming), a global initiative that allows users (faculty, staff, students, researchers, etc.) from participating institutions to securely access the Internet from any eduroam-supporting institution. 

No more scrambling for temporary or guest credentials when you visit other participating universities and institutions—in fact, enabling eduroam will allow you to skip typing passwords entirely. Your device will identify a valid eduroam access point and automatically log in, while never sharing your password with any access point or non-Penn organization.

To take advantage of eduroam, be sure to first enable eduroam on each of your computers or devices while you are still on Penn’s campus network. 

To begin your eduroam setup:

Visit http://eduroam.upenn.edu, or 

Contact your Local Support Provider at https://www.isc.upenn.edu/get-it-help

(Note that your eduroam identity must take the format “[your PennKey]@upenn.edu”, which may differ from your Penn email address. Use your PennKey password as you normally would.)

For more detailed information on how eduroam works, visit https://www.isc.upenn.edu/news/eduroam-penn or https://www.eduroam.org/about/connect-yourself/

For a map of participating eduroam networks, visit https://monitor.eduroam.org/map_service_loc.php

 

Bonus tip: If you are hosting visiting lecturers, researchers or Penn guests from other eduroam-supporting institutions, consider encouraging them to enable eduroam on their devices (per their institution’s instructions) before they arrive at Penn. They could enjoy seamless, immediate connectivity upon arrival here, and also in academic settings around the globe.

 

For additional tips, see the One Step Ahead link on the Information Security website: www.upenn.edu/computing/security/

Call for 2018 Summer Camps

  • December 19, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 17
  • Bulletins
  • print

Almanac will run the 2018 compilation of summer camps and programs at Penn in the January 30 issue. To list a camp or other summer program, send the dates, location and other details to almanac@upenn.edu 

Deadline for submission is Tuesday, January 16, 2018.

Keeping Pets Safe During Holidays

  • December 19, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 17
  • Bulletins
  • print

Poisonous Holiday Plants

Poinsettias: Toxicity from poinsettias is often exaggerated. The thick sap inside the stem is toxic, but a healthy dog or cat that eats part of the plant will only display symptoms such as vomiting, lack of appetite, and depression. If a pet ingests part of a poinsettia, owners should restrict food and water for a few hours. Symptoms should only last an hour or two. If they persist, pet owners should consult with their vet.

Mistletoe: Mistletoe berries are the most toxic part of the plant, but are fairly mild in toxicity. If ingested, an animal will display symptoms such as vomiting, lack of appetite and depression. The risk is dehydration. Pets that are very young or very old may require treatment.

Holly: Spines on holly leaves are sharp and can cause injury to the mouth, tongue and lips. Holly also has some chemical content that is toxic. Eating the leaves or berries can cause vomiting and diarrhea, which may be more severe than symptoms caused by ingesting other holiday plants (such as poinsettias and mistletoe). Animals may also drool or foam at the mouth. Pet owners should gently rinse the animal’s mouth with water or provide water or milk for the pet to drink in order to soothe the mouth.

Yew: Though yew is not typically brought into the house, it is important to know that if ingested, all parts of this bush are incredibly cardiotoxic, except for the red fleshy portion of the fruit.

Lilies: These plants can be toxic to cats, causing kidney injury with potentially devastating, fatal effects. The toxic component is water soluble and present in both the leaves and the flowers, though more potent in the flowers. Pet owners should seek veterinary attention immediately if their cat has ingested a lily.

Deck the Halls

Tinsel can cut the intestines and cause severe injuries when ingested.

Electric wires look especially appetizing to puppies and kittens. If they succeed in chewing them, they can suffer burns or shock that can cause seizures, loss of consciousness and fluid build-up in the lungs.

Glass ornaments and ornament hooks are hazardous because they break easily. A pet can ingest the splinters, cutting its mouth, esophagus, or intestines.

Dough ornaments, because of high salt content, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases, seizures.

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.

Chocolate and alcohol can be toxic to pets. Keep chocolate, nuts, and alcoholic beverages out-of-reach from pets, as they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or a condition called pancreatitis, which can be deadly. Yeast-containing bread dough can rapidly expand in the warm environment of the stomach and also produce alcohol as it ferments. Grapes, raisins and the sugar substitute xylitol can be toxic to dogs, as well.

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. They are staffed by a team of board-certified specialists. Call (215) 746-8911 or visit at 3900 Spruce Street.

Office of Affirmative Action: Moved to Franklin Building

  • December 19, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 17
  • Bulletins
  • print

The Office of Affirmative Action & Equal Opportunity Programs moved to the Franklin Building on December 18.

Their new address is:

421 Franklin Building
3451 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6205

(215) 898-6993