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Honors & Other Things
December 5, 2006, Volume 53, No. 14

Dr. Birch: Academic Leader Award

Dr. Eugenie Birch, Lawrence C. Nussdorf Professor of Urban Research and Education, has been selected for the Most Distinguished Academic Leader Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, the highest honor of the planning academy

Dr. Brinster: Gairdner Awards

Dr. Ralph Brinster, Richard King Mellon Professor of Reproductive Physiology in the School of Veterinary Medicine, is one of the recipients of the 2006 Gairdner Awards. He received the award “for his pioneering discoveries in germ line modifications in mammals,” according to the Gairdner Foundation.

Dr. Davies: Distinguished Teacher

Helen DaviesDr. Helen C. Davies, professor of microbiology, and Ombudsman at the School of Medicine, has been awarded an Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award. The Association of American Medical Colleges honored her with this award for her distinction in medical student teaching.

“Dr. Davies is among our most distinguished teachers, and scores of Penn medical students—past and present—count Dr. Davis as an inspirational and life-altering educator, mentor, and friend,” said Dr. Robert Doms, chair of the department of microbiology.

Dr. Davies was the first female faculty member in microbiology in 1965 and the first woman ever to receive the American Medical Student Association’s National Excellence in Teaching Award. Her research interest is in the biochemistry of prokaryotic organisms, with a focus on bacterial energetics, electron transfer, and the cytochrome system.

Dr. Fine: Lifetime Achievement Award

Stuart FineDr. Stuart Fine, professor and chair of the department of ophthalmology and director of the Scheie Eye Institute, is one of six recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Honor Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) for his contributions to the Academy and to the ophthalmology profession. AAO is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons with more than 27,000 members.

Dr. Gasman: Promising Scholar

Marybeth Gasman

Dr. Marybeth Gasman, assistant professor of education, was recently presented with the Promising Scholar/Early Career Achievement Award by the Association for the Study of Higher Education. This award is given to an emerging scholar “for a significant body of scholarship or a single extraordinary research achievement by a higher education scholar, and in recognition of potential for future research.”

Dr. Greene: Taylor International Prize

Dr. Mark Greene, John Eckman Professor of Medical Science, was awarded the Robarts Research Institute’s 22nd annual J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine for his research in breast cancer. Dr. Greene’s pioneering work led to the development of Herceptin, the breast cancer drug that defines a new class of targeted cancer therapies. Dr. Greene and his colleagues have discovered how to disable breast cancer tumors without harming adjacent non-cancerous cells, as in chemotherapy or radiation.

Dr. Kerman: Community Award

Dr. Lucy Kerman, Fels Institute senior fellow, has been awarded the Calvary Center 2006 Community Beacon Award. Presented annually, this award recognizes outstanding contributors to the community in West Philadelphia/University City. Dr. Kerman received this award for her work with multiple organizations in the area including the Penn Alexander School.

Dr. Kerman is director of Strategic Initiatives at Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition. Prior to this, she was special projects coordinator in the Office of the President at Penn. One of her main responsibilities at Penn was with the University’s West Philadelphia Initiatives.

Dr. Mavandadi: Clinical Medicine Research Award

Dr. Shahrzad Mavandadi, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of biostatistics and epidemiology in the School of Medicine, was presented with the Clinical Medicine Research Award for 2006 at the Gerontological Society of America’s annual meeting. Each year, the award is given to a new investigator who has received a doctoral degree within the last seven years.

Dr. Rybczynski: Architecture Award

Dr. Witold Rybczynski, Martin & Margy Meyerson Professor of Urbanism and professor of real estate, is this year’s recipient of the Vincent Scully Prize from the National Building Museum in Washington. The award is given to a person who has broadly influenced the field of architecture through his writings and work.

Dr. Sherman: Commission on Crime

Lawrence Sherman

Dr. Lawrence W. Sherman, director of the Jerry Lee Center of Criminology and professor of criminology and sociology, has been named to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency by Gov. Edward Rendell.

“Dr. Sherman is one of our nation’s most distinguished experts in the field of criminal justice research and policy,” said Gov. Rendell. “His research has been cited by the United States Supreme Court, and governments around the world routinely reach out to Dr. Sherman for guidance when making key decisions about public safety.”

Dr. Tannen: NSF Grant

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $2 million interdisciplinary grant to a group of researchers led by Dr. Val Tannen, professor of computer and information science, to design a next-generation data integration system for evolutionary biologists working on the Assembling the Tree of Life (AToL) initiative. The system will support the work of biologists who need a single point of access to control scientific experiments, utilize large distributed collections of data, and apply computational resources. Dr. Junhyong Kim, professor of biology, and researchers from Yale University and University of California, Davis, will collaborate on this project.

Three Professors: AAAS Fellows

Three Penn faculty members have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. The new fellows will be presented with an official certificate and rosette pin at the Fellows Forum on February 17, during the AAAS annual meeting in San Francisco. Announced in the AAAS journal, Science, on November 24, the new Penn AAAS Fellows along with their citations are:

Dr. M. Fevzi Daldal, professor of biology, SAS, “For distinguished contributions to the field of molecular microbiology and biochemical genetics, particularly structure, functions, regulation and biogenesis of cytochromes and membrane cytochrome complexes.”

Dr. Martha Farah, professor of psychology, SAS and director of Penn’s Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, “For her many contributions to our understanding of the functioning of the human mind and its neural substrate.”

Dr. Andrew I. Schafer, professor and chairman of the department of medicine, School of Medicine, “For distinguished original research contributions to the field of hemostasis, thrombosis, platelet and vascular cell biology, and for leadership in academic medicine.”

Wistar Institute President’s Award

United States Senator Arlen Spector has received the third annual Wistar Institute President’s Award, which honors a public figure who has not only confronted cancer personally but also served as an advocate for improvements in cancer education and research. Senator Spector, a stage IVB Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor, was recognized for his steadfast national leadership over many years increasing support for biomedical research.

Penn: Vegetarian-Friendly

Penn is ranked #9 in the listing for the “Most Vegetarian-Friendly Colleges in the U.S. and Canada” by peta2, the world’s largest youth animal rights organization. Rankings were based on student nominations and online dining service information. 

NBC: Green Business Award

Penn’s New Bolton Center recently received the 2006 Green Business Award, presented by the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry and the Chester County Board of Commissioners, with support from the Chester County Solid Waste Authority. The Center was honored for reducing its trash bill by 33 percent and its trash volume by 66 percent in the first year of its recycling program. New Bolton also reduced the number of trash containers from 45 to 16.

PMC: 100 Top Hospitals

Recognized for its excellence in the delivery of cardiovascular services, the Presbyterian Medical Center at Penn was selected, for the fifth year in a row, as one of the nation’s “100 Top Hospitals” for cardiovascular care by Solucient, a Thomson healthcare business. The medical center is the only Philadelphia hospital to make the list and one of seven in the entire state. A complete list of winners can be found at www.100tophospitals.com.

Almanac - December 5, 2006, Volume 53, No. 14