George Demiris: Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professor
Penn President Amy Gutmann and Provost Wendell Pritchett are pleased to announce the appointment of George Demiris as the University of Pennsylvania’s 22nd Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professor (PIK), effective January 1, 2018.
Dr. Demiris, a leader in new technologies for e-health and home-based health care, will be PIK University Professor, with joint faculty appointments in the department of biobehavioral health sciences in the School of Nursing and the department of biostatistics, epidemiology and informatics in the Perelman School of Medicine.
“Biomedical informatics brings together big data, precision technology, behavioral science and medical care. This booming field has enormous potential for saving and improving lives,” said President Gutmann. “Standing at the forefront of this field is the brilliant and internationally renowned researcher and teacher, George Demiris. His innovative work has significantly advanced our understanding and application of biomedical informatics, from e-health to home-based patient-centered technologies, and his prolific and influential publication track record bridges several important fields. With dual appointments in Penn Nursing and the Perelman School, George will bring impressive leadership and groundbreaking insight to some of Penn’s most important life-saving and life-improving efforts.”
Dr. Demiris’ work uses data and informatics to improve health care delivery and education, especially in advancing home-based technologies for older adults and patients with chronic conditions and disabilities—for example, smart homes, ambient assisted living systems and telehealth for home and hospice care. A Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and the American College of Medical Informatics, he is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and 20 book chapters, as well as a co-editor of three major books about e-health and smart homes. His work has been widely funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and others, including most recently an NIH R01 grant to conduct a randomized clinical trial of a technology-based intervention for hospice caregivers.
Dr. Demiris is currently Alumni Endowed Professor in Nursing, director of the Biomedical and Health Informatics Graduate Program and director of the Clinical Informatics and Patient Centered Technologies Program at the University of Washington, where he has taught since 2006. A native of Greece, he earned a PhD in health informatics from the University of Minnesota following undergraduate and graduate degrees in medical informatics from Heidelberg University.
“George Demiris’ pathbreaking and life-saving work,” said Provost Pritchett, “has enormous potential to bring together students and faculty in the increasingly essential area of biomedical informatics. His work exemplifies one of our core values: the use of innovative research to make a tangible impact on peoples’ lives. He will be a great catalyst for educational programs and research initiatives in data science across our campus and at our world-leading Institute for Biomedical Informatics.”
The Penn Integrates Knowledge program was launched by President Gutmann in 2005 as a University-wide initiative to recruit exceptional faculty members whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge across disciplines and who are appointed in at least two Schools at Penn.
Daniel Kelly: Director of Cardiovascular Institute
Daniel P. Kelly, a renowned cardiac metabolism expert, joined Penn Medicine in August as the director of the Penn Cardiovascular Institute (CVI), a multi-disciplinary group of researchers and physicians dedicated to scientific discoveries and medical breakthroughs in heart and vascular care. He will lead a cross-disciplinary team of basic, translational and clinical researchers, leveraging laboratory research to develop the next generation of therapies for cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Kelly joined Penn from Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) at Lake Nona near Orlando, where he began as the Institute’s founding scientific director in 2008. Under his leadership, the SBP-Lake Nona’s research program grew significantly, the organization established collaborative partnerships with academic institutions, industry and health systems, and became a transformational driver in the development and expansion of science and medicine in Florida.
As a physician-scientist, Dr. Kelly has spent the majority of his career focusing on the metabolic origins of heart muscle diseases, specifically looking at the connection between gene regulatory circuits and complex acquired cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. In an effort to discover new therapeutic targets and biomarkers, the Kelly laboratory has focused on the use of genomic, proteomic, lipidomic and metabolomic profiling of animal disease models and in human disease phenotypes to examine the pathways that regulate heart and skeletal muscle energy metabolism in search of new therapeutic targets.
“We are thrilled to recruit a leader of Dr. Kelly’s caliber to Penn, and we are confident that under his leadership, Penn will become recognized as the nation’s leading cardiovascular research center,” said Michael S. Parmacek, the Frank Wister Thomas Chair of Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine. “We are especially excited for the role Dr. Kelly’s particular expertise will play in catalyzing programs bridging the Penn CVI and Penn’s Institute of Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.”
In addition to his research and academic work, Dr. Kelly has been involved with a number of professional organizations, including the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, the International Society for Heart Research and the Association of University Cardiologists. He serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Clinical Investigation and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Basic to Translational Science, and is on the editorial board for Nuclear Receptor Signaling.
After earning his bachelor’s in biology from the University of Illinois, Dr. Kelly earned his medical degree at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. In St. Louis, he did his residency at Barnes Hospital and a postdoctoral research fellowship and a clinical cardiology fellowship at the Washington University School of Medicine. He spent the majority of his career in the Midwest, before moving to Florida to lead the evolution of the SBP-Lake Nona site.
Timothy Rommen: Davidson Kennedy Professor
Timothy Rommen, professor of music, has been named Davidson Kennedy Professor in the College of Arts & Sciences. An ethnomusicologist who specializes in the music of the Caribbean, Dr. Rommen is the author of two books, including ‘Mek Some Noise’: Gospel Music and the Ethics of Style in Trinidad, which was awarded the Alan P. Merriam Prize by the Society for Ethnomusicology.
Dr. Rommen’s research has been supported by numerous grants and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and a Rockefeller Resident Fellowship from the Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College Chicago. At Penn, he is currently interim chair of the department of Africana studies and has served as undergraduate chair and graduate director for the department of music, faculty director of the Undergraduate Humanities Forum and a member of the SAS Personnel Committee and the Faculty Senate Subcommittee on Research. He received his PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of Chicago.
The Davidson Kennedy chair was established in 1994 through the bequest of the late Josephine Rankin Kennedy and is named in memory of her husband. The chair supports a distinguished faculty member who displays excellence in teaching, innovation in curriculum development, service to students and first-rate scholarship.
$1.5 Million Support from the Mellon Foundation for Penn Program in the Environmental Humanities
The University of Pennsylvania has been awarded a grant of $1.5 million over four years from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the Penn Program in the Environmental Humanities (PPEH). PPEH is a Penn Arts and Sciences initiative that combines scientific and humanistic inquiry to better address issues surrounding energy, sustainability and the environment. The grant will allow Penn to train undergraduate and graduate students in the environmental humanities, as well as to expand public engagement with diverse local, national and global partners.
“This award recognizes the imagination and innovation of the Penn students, staff and faculty who have piloted PPEH since its launch in the summer of 2014,” said Bethany Wiggin, associate professor of Germanic languages and literatures and PPEH founding director. “Mellon’s generosity will allow us to solidify and build ongoing collaborations—on campus, in Philadelphia, in our watershed and still further afield.”
“The environmental humanities are an exciting, collaborative movement and Penn is at the forefront,” said Penn Arts and Sciences Dean Steven J. Fluharty. “For too long, serious environmental inquiry was confined to the sciences. PPEH adds vital voices to the conversation. The Mellon grant will ensure that environmental dialogue across the disciplines has a permanent home at Penn.”
The Mellon grant will support PPEH as it moves out of its transition phase and makes sustainable investments in four priorities: interdisciplinary research, the collection and maintenance of vulnerable data, the unique environmental challenges of global cities and public engagement via arts and cultural institutions.
Dr. Wiggin said that the funding will help to develop communities of scholars, artists, cultural institutions and interested citizens who are “capable of addressing today’s environmental legacies and imagining alternative futures.”
PPEH will use the funds to develop deeper and more integrated training and research opportunities for students and faculty, including an undergraduate minor and graduate certificate.
The program plans to expand community outreach activities with the creation of additional artists’ residencies, public workshops and lectures, digital resources and both mobile and stationary art installations.
From the President and Provost: Consultative Committee for the Selection of a Dean of The School of Veterinary Medicine
We are pleased to announce the formation of an ad hoc Consultative Committee to advise us on the selection of the next Dean for the School of Veterinary Medicine. The members of the Consultative Committees are listed below. The Committee welcomes—and will keep in the strictest confidence—nominations and input from all members of the University community. For fullest consideration, communications should be received, preferably in electronic form, no later than October 31, 2017, and may be sent to Adam Michaels at email@example.com
—Amy Gutmann, President
—Wendell Pritchett, Provost
Steven J. Fluharty, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Thomas S. Gates, Jr. Professor of Psychology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience (SAS)
Marisa S. Bartolomei, Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology (PSOM)
De’Broski R. Herbert, Associate Professor of Pathobiology (Vet)
Olena Jacenko, Professor of Biochemistry and Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Diversity (Vet)
Christopher J. Lengner, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences (Vet)
Phillip Scott, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Vice Dean for Research and Academic Resources (Vet)
Deborah C. Silverstein, Associate Professor of Clinical Studies Philadelphia (Vet)
Louise Southwood, Associate Professor of Clinical Studies New Bolton Center (Vet)
Mindy Heyer, C’79, W’79, WG’80 (Chair of Penn Vet Board of Overseers)
Juan Luis Ferrer Perez, C’78, V’82
Joann Mitchell, Senior Vice President for Institutional Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer
Staff to the Committee
Adam P. Michaels, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the President
Consultants to the Committee
Philip Jaeger, Isaacson, Miller
Greg Esposito, Isaacson, Miller
Sherlene Parsons, Isaacson, Miller
Award for Excellence in One Health Initiatives and Education: October 6
The Deans of the health schools of the University of Pennsylvania (Perelman School of Medicine, School of Nursing, School of Dental Medicine, and School of Veterinary Medicine) announce an Award for Excellence in promoting One Health initiatives and education.
The One Health concept is a worldwide strategy to expand interdisciplinary collaboration and communication in all aspects of healthcare. Interdisciplinary One Health efforts arose with the goal of sharing knowledge of health care and preventive measures to attain optimal health for people, animals and the environment. Government, professional and academic institutions around the world have committed to promoting these important One Health efforts to improve global health.
For more information, visit Penn Vet One Health.
The four-school One Health Committee invites nominations for candidates who are full-time staff or faculty members engaged in professional education that bridges two or more of the schools with outreach/innovation in training and service in clinics or to the community. Collaborative research focused on healthcare education, clinical outcomes, or real-world impact will receive more favorable consideration than strictly laboratory collaborations. The winner(s) will be awarded the prize at a reception on Wednesday, November 8, 2017.
- Developing a multi-school clinical service/teaching program
- Providing training in communications/outreach to more than one school’s professional students and/or interns/residents
- Including more than one school’s students in a clinical experience
- Building bridges between healthcare specialties in animals and humans
- Creating multidisciplinary programs that improve healthcare or prevent famine or disease outbreaks
- Developing a research program or project that crosses schools to increase the impact of a promising line of discovery
To nominate a staff or faculty member from the Penn community, send a letter of recommendation, which describes the candidate’s contributions to: One Health, Cerie O’Toole at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, October 6, 2017.
University Research Foundation: October 20
The University Research Foundation (URF) is now accepting applications for the 5 p.m. October 20 deadline.
The URF is an intramural program that provides three funding mechanisms: Research and Conference Support, Impact Seminar Grants and Research Opportunity Development Grants. The program has moved to an online submission system. Complete details are available on the website.
URF Research Grants and Conference Support provides up to $50,000 in project support and up to $3,000 for conference support. Its objectives are to:
- help junior faculty undertake pilot projects that will enable them to successfully apply for extramural sources of funding and aid in establishing their careers as independent investigators;
- help established faculty perform novel, pioneering research to determine project feasibility and develop preliminary data to support extramural grant applications;
- provide support in disciplines where extramural support is difficult to obtain and where significant research can be facilitated with internal funding; and
- provide limited institutional matching funds that are required as part of a successful external peer-reviewed application.
URF Impact Seminar Grants will make awards up to $20,000 for support for a cross-school, cross-disciplinary large scale event to be held on Penn’s campus within a year of the award. Funding for this award can be used to augment an already scheduled University event. Priority will be given to new unscheduled events that are still in the planning stage. The event—which can be a symposium, forum or conference—should occur over one to two days and be open to the entire Penn community. It should highlight the scholarship of Penn faculty and bring eminent scholars to Penn’s campus, with a particular focus on the University’s distinguishing strength in integrating knowledge. Documented school/department or external sponsor matching funds are required.
URF Research Opportunity Development Grants (RODG)
The Research Opportunity Grant program (Phase 1 and Phase 2) is designed to facilitate the intersection of the forward trajectory of Penn’s research frontiers with the trajectory of the national and global research priorities. RODG applications should map on to emerging research areas with new opportunities for support. Awards from these programs should be used to develop preliminary information and data for new applications in emerging research areas where Penn can stake out a leadership position. The two programs are described below.
Research Opportunity Development Grants: Phase 1
With an identified new research area in mind, Phase 1 grants enable a team to articulate the research focus, map Penn’s intellectual assets in the new area, coalesce the appropriate group of scholars, identify Penn’s potential contributions in the area in the context of national and international research initiatives and identify a funding target. Typically a Phase 1 proposal would lead to a Phase 2 application. Applications up to $10,000 will be considered.
Research Opportunity Development Grants: Phase 2
Phase II grants offer extensive support for up to two years to enable specific outcomes in support of a multi-investigator proposal in an emerging research topic in the context of national or international research initiatives or grand challenges from external sponsors in which Penn can stake out a leadership position. Activities include research workshops, preliminary studies, networking in the relevant research community, etc. Specific outcomes are expected. Documented matching department and/or school funds will be considered positively. Applications with requests from $50,000 to $200,000 will be considered.
Note that Phase II grants are not intended to support the development of proposals that respond to regular solicitations such as those for NIH RO1 grants or NSF Division programs.
Disciplines for all award programs: Biomedical Sciences, Humanities, Natural Sciences and Engineering, Social Science and Management.
Undergraduate Participation: As part of the University’s commitment to providing research opportunities to scholars across our campus community, URF applicants are encouraged to include undergraduate student participants within the framework of their proposals.
Eligibility for all award programs: Eligibility is limited to Penn assistant, associate and full professors, in any track. Instructors and research associates must provide a letter from their department chair establishing that the applicant will receive an appointment as an assistant professor by the time of the award. Emeritus and adjunct faculty are not eligible to apply. Awards must be expended on University of Pennsylvania facilities, equipment and/or associated University technical staff and undergraduate students.
Detailed information including application materials can be found at University Research Foundation.
Spring 2017 University Research Foundation Awards
In the recent Spring 2017 cycle of Penn’s internally-funded University Research Foundation, the Office of the Vice Provost for Research has announced awards (Conference and Seminar Support noted with *) to the following members of the faculty for the projects listed below.
Montserrat Anguera, School of Veterinary Medicine, Biomedical Sciences; Penn Vet Next-generation Sequencing Resource
Zoltan Arany, Perelman School of Medicine, Cardiology; Does Exercise Promote Cancer Progression?
Greg Bashaw, Perelman School of Medicine, Neuroscience; Regulation of axon guidance in the mammalian spinal cord
*Eugenie Birch, Penn Institute for Urban Research; Penn IUR Symposium, Linking the 2016-2017 Penn Theme Year Innovation and the City
Wendy Chan, Graduate School of Education; Human Development and Quantitative Methods, Assessing the Role of Administrative Data in Improving Generalizations from Experimental Studies
Jean-Christophe Cloutier, School of Arts and Sciences, English; Archival Vagabonds: the Peripatetic Lives of Literary Papers
Mirjam Cvetic, School of Arts of Sciences, Physics and Astronomy; Quantum field entanglement and Subtracted Black Hole Geometry
*Frederick Dickinson, School of Arts and Sciences, History; America’s World City: Philadelphia through the Prism of Meiji Japan
Ivan Dmochowski, School of Arts and Sciences, Chemistry; Proposed Zetasizer Will Support Faculty Research and Enrich Undergraduate Research Experiences in Biological and Materials Chemistry
William Doyon, Perelman School of Medicine, Neuroscience; Stress exposure promotes alcohol self-administration via circuit specific changes in the mesolimbic dopamine system
Malitta Engstrom, SP2, Drug-Involved Pregnant Women Exiting Jail: Strengths, Needs & Service Preferences
Antonio Garcia, SP2, Social Work; Bridging Evidence to Child Welfare
*Paul Goldin, School of Arts and Sciences, EALC; Body and Cosmos: An Interdisciplinary Symposium in Honor of Nathan Sivin
Wei Guo, School of Arts and Sciences, Biology; Matching funds for acquisition of the Nanosight NS00 particle tracking system
*Michael Hanchard, School of Arts and Sciences, Africana Studies; Under the Gun: State Violence and Black Populations
Onoso Imoagene, School of Arts and Sciences, Sociology; Searching for Greener Pastures: African Diversity Visa Lottery Winners in the United States and their Families Back Home
Michael Jones-Correa, School of Arts and Sciences, Political Science; Latino Immigrant National Electoral Study, Wave 3
*Michael Kahana, School of Arts and Sciences, Psychology; Context and Episodic Memory
*Suvir Kaul, School of Arts and Sciences, English; Swift in the 21st Century
Peter Klein, Perelman School of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology; Expansion of Hematopoietic Stem Cells
Hyun Koo, School of Dental Medicine, and Kathleen Stebe, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Orthodontics; Engineering Precision Dental Medicine for Oral Health
Lisa Lewis, School of Nursing, Family and Community Health; Feasibility of an mHealth Self-Management Program for Hypertensive Black Men
*Mark Liberman, School of Arts and Sciences, Linguistics; Planning Workshop for Data Intensive Research on The Language of the Americas
Michelle Lopez, School of Design, Fine Arts; Joplin Project: Interactive Video Art Installation that employs weather data and the phenomenon of a tornado to examine the silent violence of terror
Jennifer Lukes, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics; Multiscale Measurements of Dropwise Condensation on Micro/Nanopatterned Surfaces
*Ramah McKay, School of Arts and Sciences, History and Sociology of Science; Histories and Futures of Global Health
Irina Marinov, School of Arts and Sciences, Earth and Environmental Science; The Critical Role of the Southern Ocean in Regulating Global Climate
Barbara Medoff-Cooper, School of Nursing, Family and Community Health; Testing a Mindful Meditation Mobile Application Intervention to decrease maternal stress
Michael Povelones, School of Veterinary Medicine, Pathobiology; Identification of mosquito genes required for resistance to heartworm infection
James Primosch, School of Arts and Sciences, Music; CD Recording of Music for Piano and Voice
*Ellen Puré, School of Veterinary Medicine, Biomedical Sciences; Penn Vet Cancer Center Inaugural Symposium
David Roalf, Perelman School of Medicine, Psychiatry; Using GluCEST to monitor glutamate during antipsychotic use in psychosis
*Daniel Singer, School of Arts and Sciences, Philosophy; Testimony and Epistemology in the Age of Fake News
*Rogers Smith, School of Arts and Sciences, Political Science; Teacher Research and Knowledge: A Celebration of Writing and Literacy
Cynthia Sung, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics; Reconfiguring Origami Robots for Low-Energy Deployment in Fluid Flows
*John Tresch, School of Arts and Sciences, History and Sociology of Science; History of Anthropology Newsletter Conference
Penn’s Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy Project: Launching New Training Program
Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy (AISP), a joint effort between the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) and Graduate School of Education (GSE), will launch a training and technical assistance program for state and local governments interested in developing integrated data systems, or IDS.
These systems enable governments to harness data across multiple agencies to improve policy analysis and establish more effective programs. Since its inception in 2009, AISP has fostered the development, use and innovation of IDS for policy analysis and program reform. AISP coordinates an existing network of 16 states and counties with IDS capacity.
The new training program will involve an inaugural stand-alone IDS learning community of eight states and two counties. This community will be guided through a newly-developed curriculum based on the expertise of AISP researchers and network practitioners.
“With this new initiative, more than half of the United States’ population will be in a jurisdiction with an integrated data system, bringing smarter, better and faster government policy making, as well as a vast set of opportunities for social science research and program evaluation,” said Dennis Culhane, a professor and Dana and Andrew Stone Chair in Social Policy in SP2 and AISP co-principal investigator.
The 10 jurisdictions to be part of the inaugural IDS learning community are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island and Utah and Broward County, Florida, and King County, Washington.
The learning community initiative will assist jurisdictions with developing a governance process, preparing a legal framework and creating a data and technology plan. Five more jurisdictions will be chosen later this year to form a second learning community that will launch in 2018.
Over the last year, AISP convened experts in key areas of IDS development. They produced four reports which are being used to create the learning community curriculum. Experts who wrote and prepared the reports include faculty from five schools at Penn: AISP co-principal investigators Dr. Culhane and John Fantuzzo, the Albert M. Greenfield Professor of Human Relation at GSE; Penn Provost Wendell Pritchett, a professor in Penn Law; Jeffrey Vagle, an associate professor of computer and information science in the School of Arts & Sciences and lecturer in Penn Law; Andreas Haeberlen from the department of computer and information science in the School of Engineering & Applied Science; and Ken Steif, a lecturer in the School of Design.
The expert panel reports were funded through The Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Curriculum development was further supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The Learning Community will be funded through the Annie E. Casey Foundation.