Ben Black, Ekaterina Grishchuk and Eric Joyce: Kaufman Foundation Grants
Three University of Pennsylvania faculty have received scientific research grants from the Charles E. Kaufman Foundation. Ben E. Black, associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics, and Ekaterina Grishchuk, associate professor of physiology, both at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM), were jointly awarded a New Initiatives grant totaling $300,000 for two years for research on “Reconstitution and Dissection of Chromosome Segregation.” Eric Joyce, assistant professor in the department of genetics at PSOM, was awarded a New Investigator grant of $150,000 for two years, for research on “Deconstructing the Molecular Basis of Condensin-mediated Chromatin Folding.”
New Investigators grants are typically awarded to scientists transitioning to independent appointments and those newly pursuing independent research. New Initiatives grants are awarded to teams reexamining questions beyond the capacity of any one individual researcher.
Mary Ersek: Norma M. Lang Award
Mary Ersek, the Killebrew-Censits Chair in Undergraduate Education and professor of palliative care in Penn Nursing’s department of biobehavioral health sciences, was chosen for the 2017 Norma M. Lang Award for Scholarly Practice and Policy.
The annual award recognizes a Penn Nursing faculty member or doctoral program graduate who has made a distinguished contribution to nursing through scholarly practice.
Dr. Ersek, who is also a professor of medicine in the division of general internal medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine, is a national and international expert on pain and palliative care for older adults, with an emphasis on the nursing home setting. She has served on the IOM Expert Panel on Advanced Dementia, as chair of the National Nursing Research Field Advisory Committee of the VHA and as an editorial board member of the Journal of Palliative Medicine. She is a Fellow in Palliative Care Nursing from the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.
Chantell Evans: Hanna Gray Fellow
Chantell Evans, postdoctoral fellow in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, was named a Hanna Gray Fellow by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). The inaugural fellowship was awarded to 15 early-career scientists.
As a Hanna Gray Fellow, Dr. Evans will receive up to $1.4 million in funding over eight years, as well as mentoring and active involvement within the HHMI medical community.
Dr. Evans works in the laboratory of Erika Holzbaur, the William Maul Measey Professor of Physiology, where she studies mitochondria in neurons. She will receive support from the program from her early postdoctoral training through several years of a tenure-track faculty position.
Linda Hatfield, Catherine McDonald and Mary K. Walton: Nursing Fellows
Three Penn Nursing faculty, along with 14 Penn Nursing alumni, have been inducted as 2017 Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN). The faculty fellows include Linda Hatfield, assistant professor of evidence-based practice; Catherine C. McDonald, assistant professor of nursing; and Mary K. Walton, director of patient & family centered care for HUP.
Selection criteria includes evidence of significant contributions to nursing and health care, sponsorship by two current AAN fellows and the extent of influence of the nominee’s nursing career on health policies and the health and wellbeing of all. The review panel includes elected and appointed fellows.
Matthew Kayser: Clinical Scientist Development Award
Matthew S. Kayser, assistant professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at Penn Medicine, was recognized with the 2017 Clinical Scientist Development Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF). Dr. Kayser, whose research focuses on issues at the intersection of sleep and mental illness, will receive a grant of $495,000 over three years to support the research project, “Identifying biomarkers of treatment response in insomnia and depression with a metabolomics platform.”
“I am honored to have been selected by the Doris Duke Foundation,” said Dr. Kayser. “Our hope is to use these resources to address important questions at the intersection of sleep disorders and psychiatric illness.”
Dr. Kayser’s research will focus on deciphering a molecular basis for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) in humans in an effort to open new treatment avenues, with critical implications for insomnia and mood disorders. Dr. Kayser will use a metabolomics platform to identify biomarkers of response to CBT-I in euthymic and depressed individuals, opening a path towards novel therapeutic targets.
“I see in my clinic every week that insomnia is a major obstacle towards remission from depression, emphasizing the need to find new targets for treating insomnia, as well as biomarkers to help predict treatment response to available therapies,” Dr. Kayser added.
Marion Leary: Geek of the Year
Marion Leary, director of innovation research at the Center for Resuscitation Science in the Perelman School of Medicine and the innovation specialist in Penn Nursing’s office of nursing research, recently was named Geek of the Year by Geekadelphia, Generocity and Technical.ly Philly.
Ms. Leary was chosen for her work as an educator, researcher, writer and advocate for science, technology, education, arts and math (STEAM) education. In April, Ms. Leary was the featured speaker at Philadelphia’s March for Science, which she helped lead.
Ms. Leary is a leader in the field of CPR quality and post-cardiac arrest, resuscitation care. She is an international Fellow of the American Heart Association (FAHA) and serves on the American Heart Association’s Cardiovascular Nursing subcommittee and also its Emergency Cardiovascular Care Science subcommittee.
Gina McCarthy: Carnot Prize
The Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design recently awarded the third annual Carnot Prize to the Honorable Gina McCarthy, former Administrator for the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
The award was presented to Ms. McCarthy at the Kleinman Center Energy Forum.
“It is our privilege to honor Gina McCarthy with our third Carnot Prize,” said Mark Alan Hughes, Kleinman Center faculty director. “Her career exemplifies the courage, creativity and commitment required to make great changes in energy policy. She is an inspiration to the rising generation of leaders at Penn and around the world.”
Ms. McCarthy served as the 13th administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama. Ms. McCarthy is an Institute of Politics Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and the Richard L. and Ronay A. Menschel Senior Leadership Fellow at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The Carnot Prize is named in memory of French scientist Sadi Carnot, who in 1824 published “Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire,” which is now recognized as the first statement of the second law of thermodynamics. Carnot recognized that the power of the steam engine would “produce a great revolution” in human development. The Carnot Prize is intended to honor those leading revolutions in energy policy to further progress and prosperity.
Diana Mutz: Doris Graber Award
Diana C. Mutz, the Samuel A. Stouffer Professor of Political Science and Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Institute for the Study of Citizens and Politics, is the 2017 recipient of the Doris Graber Award from the American Political Science Association (APSA) for her book In Your Face Politics: The Consequences of Uncivil Media. This award recognizes the best book published on political communication in the last 10 years.
Dr. Mutz studies public opinion, political psychology and mass political behavior, with an emphasis on political communication. She recently received a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2017 Carnegie Fellowship to fund her continued research.
In Your Face Politics reviews research on both the benefits and the drawbacks of “in-your-face” media, such as TV shows in which politicians and pundits yell at one another.
Abraham Nitzan: Hirschfelder Prize in Theoretical Chemistry
Abraham Nitzan, professor of chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, was awarded the 2017-18 Joseph O. Hirschfelder Prize in Theoretical Chemistry from the Wisconsin-Madison Theoretical Chemistry Institute (TCI).
“[Dr. Nitzan] is an exceptional scientist,” said Edwin Sibert, professor at University of the Wisconsin-Madison and director of the TCI. “His theoretical work has laid the foundation for several important areas of physical chemistry.”
Dr. Nitzan is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Foreign Honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences and a member of the Israel Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The Joseph O. Hirschfelder Prize in Theoretical Chemistry was established in 1991. The award commemorates the role of Joseph O. Hirschfelder (1911-90) as a pioneering member of the theoretical chemistry field.
Stephen Ross: Posthumous Wharton-Jacobs Levy Prize
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania’s Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center for Quantitative Financial Research recently awarded the Wharton-Jacobs Levy Prize for Quantitative Financial Innovation to the late Stephen A. Ross.
Dr. Ross, who taught at Penn in the 1970s, was best known for the development of the arbitrage pricing theory (mid-1970s). He died on March 3, 2017 at the age of 73.
The prize recognized Dr. Ross, a former Penn economics faculty member with a secondary appointment in Wharton’s finance department, for his work in the area of multi-factor asset pricing, which was introduced in his 1976 Journal of Economic Theory paper “The Arbitrage Theory of Capital Asset Pricing.”
“Steve Ross was a groundbreaking theorist,” Geoffrey Garrett, dean of the Wharton School, said. “It is an honor to celebrate his contributions to the field of investment management, specifically his pivotal work on APT (arbitrage pricing theory), with this year’s Wharton-Jacobs Levy Prize.”
Rogers Smith: American Political Science Association President
Rogers Smith, the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science and associate dean for social sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, was named president-elect of the American Political Science Association (APSA) for the 2017-2018 term. He is the first political scientist from Penn to serve in the position.
Dr. Smith will also serve on APSA’s council and executive committee for three years.
Hao Wu: NIH New Innovator Award
Hao Wu, assistant professor of genetics in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has received a New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The award will provide Dr. Wu with $1.5 million over five years to study how the epigenome of heart muscle cells respond and adapt to changing environmental oxygen levels. The New Innovator Award supports unusually innovative research from early career investigators who are within 10 years of their final degree or clinical residency and have not yet received a research project grant or equivalent NIH grant. Dr. Wu is among 89 grantees chosen this year.
Dr. Wu, who joined Penn in 2016, works to create profiling and editing tools that investigate molecular interactions between environmental factors, such as oxygen levels in tissues, and the epigenome, a battery of chemical marks that control gene expression.
Dr. Wu will use the NIH grant to study the way the epigenome of heart muscle cells can respond and adapt to changing environmental oxygen levels. He plans to create single-cell profiling methods and “oxygen-sensing” epigenome editing enzymes to learn how to rewire the epigenome of mammalian heart muscle cells for the purpose of adult heart regeneration.
“Armed with these new tools, we will have the ability to observe and actively manipulate the interaction between environmental inputs and the epigenome ‘on demand’, providing fundamentally new opportunities to study the environment-epigenome interaction involved in a broad array of biological and pathological processes,” he said.
Penn Electric Racing: First Place in Two Competitions
Penn Electric Racing’s team won first place in two racing competitions over the summer. The team won first-place in the Electric Vehicle division at the student racing competition, Formula North 2017 in Barrie, Ontario, and won electric gold at Formula SAE (International Society of Automotive Engineers) 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The Formula SAE competition includes five events: acceleration, autocross, endurance, skid pad and fuel efficiency; and three static presentation events in business, cost and design. Penn won first-place in acceleration, autocross and endurance, as well as in the cost and business presentations. The team took second place in skid pad and efficiency, and third in design. Penn Electric Racing won first-place overall with a total of 923 out of a possible 1,000 points.
Penn Electric Racing utilizes the expertise of Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. The team provides students hands-on experience in skills such as vehicle dynamics, battery design, electric motors, motor controller design and coding, telemetry, sensors, transmissions, suspension and aerodynamics as well as management, operations and fundraising.
Penn: Fourth in Reuters Top 100
The University of Pennsylvania ranked fourth place in the third annual Reuters Top 100 ranking of the world’s most innovative universities. The ranking’s goal is to identify and rank the educational institutions doing the most to advance science, invent new technologies and power new markets and industries. Reuters partners with Clarivate Analytics to rank universities based on proprietary data and analysis of several indicators, including patent filings and research paper citations.
Among the top 10 universities, nine have remained in the top 10 every year, including Penn. Penn ranked ninth place in 2015 and eighth place in 2016.
Penn: 10th in World Rankings
The University of Pennsylvania earned 10th place in the World University Rankings 2017-2018 list of the top 1,000 universities in the world. The rankings are published by The Times Higher Education, a London-based magazine. Penn was ranked fourth in the United States and first in Pennsylvania.
In the performance breakdown of rankings, Penn received the following scores: 83.7 for teaching; 61.3 for international outlook; 90.1 for research; 98.5 for citations; 56.9 for industry income; and 87.7 overall.
The rankings are based on 13 performance indicators and are subject to independent audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers.