Print This Issue

School of Medicine Awards of Excellence
October 30, 2007, Volume 54, No. 10

The winners of the 12th Annual School of Medicine Awards of Excellence will be honored at a dinner on November 14, 2007.  The awards recognize outstanding performance by the faculty in the education, research, clinical, and mentoring areas.


Dr. Kevin G. Volpp,  assistant professor of medicine, is the winner of this year’s Marjorie A. Bowman New Investigator Research Award, which recognizes achievements in the health evaluation sciences. Dr. Volpp was chosen for his research on how regulatory and financial policies affect health care decisions. He has developed a national reputation as one of the world’s leading scholars in this field, and his methodologic innovation, his sensitivity to the pressing policy issues of the time, and the collaborative relationships he has developed across fields have allowed him to make observations of considerable credibility and early impact.

Dr. Phong Tran,  assistant professor of cell and developmental biology, is the winner of this year’s Michael S. Brown New Investigator Research Award, which recognizes emerging faculty investigators engaged in innovative discoveries. Dr. Tran was chosen for his research which focuses on deciphering basic mechanisms of motility and microtubular structure within the cell. His recent investigations have culminated in a publication in the journal Cell that was featured on the cover and highlighted in at least three other major cell biology journals.

Dr. M. Celeste Simon, professor of cell and developmental biology, is the winner of this year’s Stanley N. Cohen Biomedical Research Award, which recognizes achievement in the broad field of biomedical research. Dr. Simon was chosen for her important work on the role of hypoxia in the regulation of normal and abnormal physiology, with a particular interest in how responses to oxygen deprivation promote tumor growth. She has become a leader in the field of hypoxia-induced transcriptional responses and an internationally recognized scientist whose work has brought extraordinary recognition to Penn and the School of Medicine.

Dr. Dennis Durbin, associate professor of pediatrics at CHOP, is the winner of this year’s Samuel Martin Health Evaluation Sciences Research Award, which recognizes a member of the School of Medicine faculty for a body of work with an emphasis on health services research.  Dr. Durbin was selected for his research in evidence-based prevention and treatment of childhood injury. The nationwide success of the Partners for Child Passenger Safety study, which in just five years has fulfilled the cycle from problem identification to demonstration of intervention effectiveness, exemplifies the impact of his team’s work.

Dr. Aaron T.  Beck, professor emeritus of psychiatry, is the winner of this year’s William Osler Patient Oriented Research Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement for research in which the investigator directly interacts with human subjects. Dr. Beck, the “Father of Cognitive Therapy,” was chosen for his groundbreaking research which led to the development of a treatment which has transformed the field of psychiatry. His work over the past 40 years and continuing to the present day has successfully demonstrated, in rigorous clinical trials, the efficacy of Cognitive Therapy in the treatment of psychiatric disorders including depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, substance abuse, personality disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, suicidality, and even schizophrenia. As a faculty member in the Penn department of psychiatry for over 50 years, Dr. Beck’s work has had a very broad impact that goes beyond empirical studies, and has changed the way that investigators think about human problems.

Dr. Yongwon Choi,  professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, is the winner of this year’s Lady Barbara Colyton Prize for Autoimmune Research, which recognizes outstanding research in the field of autoimmune diseases.  Dr. Choi was selected because of the potential for his research to make a significant impact on the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.  Dr. Choi has made seminal contributions to the understanding of how innate and adaptive immune responses are properly controlled at the molecular level.  He continues to build on his research as the director of Penn’s Center for Osteoimmunology, a new discipline made possible by his theories and of which he is the world leader.


Dr. Thomas A. Wadden,  professor of psychiatry, is the winner of this year’s Arthur K. Asbury Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, which recognizes a faculty member who has fostered the professional development of other faculty members by providing inspiring and effective counsel and opportunities for achievement.  Dr. Wadden was cited for the high regard in which he is held by his colleagues at the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders, and the positive impact he has had on many careers during his 25 years at Penn.  One letter of support stated, “Tom has four special qualities that make him an outstanding mentor: high academic standards, integrity, caring support and appreciation for work-family balances.”


Dr. John H. Glick, professor of medicine and Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Professor of Clinical Oncology, is the winner of this year’s I.S. Ravdin Master Clinician Award, which recognizes an active master clinician who is a skillful, compassionate practitioner with a long and consistent record of contributions to the Penn School of Medicine and Health System. Dr. Glick was chosen for his unmatched record of compassionate, communicative, and empathetic care of cancer patients, an ethos which inspired many during his years of outstanding leadership of the Abramson Cancer Center. One supporting letter noted, “John Glick is not only a master clinician, he defines the very nature of a master clinician…he is genuinely dedicated to every one of his patients—this is John Glick’s way. It is built into the very fiber of his existence… he is a rare human being, he is an exceptional physician and he is an incomparable and irreplaceable member of the medical community at Penn and of the larger international medical community.”

Dr. Mariell Jessup, professor of medicine at HUP and the Presbyterian Medical Center of Philadelphia, is the winner of this year’s Louis Duhring Outstanding Clinical Specialist Award.  This award recognizes a clinical specialist physician who blends biomedical science and recent advances in clinical research and insight to provide cutting edge services to patients and colleagues, and applies clinical knowledge innovatively and creatively. Dr. Jessup was chosen for her leadership in the field of heart failure and transplantation.  Her practice, which exemplifies patient-centered care and focuses on collaboration and teamwork, is one of the largest in the region due to her unparalleled experience and judgment regarding complex patients with heart failure. Through her participation in every major multi-center trial in heart failure for the past 20 years, her influence extends well beyond the Penn Health System.

Dr. Thomas J. Bader, assistant professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology, is the winner of this year’s Sylvan Eisman Outstanding Primary Care Physician Award, which recognizes  a physician in family or general internal medicine, general pediatrics, or obstetrics/gynecology who strives for continuous improvement and highest quality of practice. Dr. Bader was selected for his leadership, professionalism, compassion, and dedication to the practice of obstetrics and gynecology. He was cited for his innovations in patient access and safety, his implementation of a team approach to patient care, and his integration of midlevel providers into the practice, as well as for his knowledge and skill and his availability to his fellow doctors in caring for mutual patients.

Dr. Francis E. Marchlinski, professor of medicine at HUP, is the winner of this year’s Luigi Mastroianni Clinical Innovator Award, which recognizes a Penn Medicine physician who has made significant contributions toward the invention and development of new techniques, approaches, procedures or devices that change medical practice and are of major benefit to patient care.  Dr. Marchlinski was selected for his leadership in the field of cardiac electrophysiology. He has made a global impact with his pioneering work in the development of technologies to treat arrhythmia, ventricular tachycardia, and atrial fibrillation, while his skills as an academic clinician, teacher, and mentor have made a lasting impression on the Penn Health System and School of Medicine.

Dr. Jack Ludmir, professor and chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the Pennsylvania Hospital and interim director of Obstetric Services at HUP, is the winner of this year’s Alfred Stengel Health System Champion Award, which recognizes a Penn Medicine physician who has made significant contributions toward the clinical integration of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, along with a demonstrated commitment to the improvement of quality care. Dr. Ludmir was chosen in recognition of his work, which has, in a period of less than two years, transformed the Health System’s obstetrical services, both at Pennsylvania Hospital and HUP. His leadership has resulted in teamwork between physicians and nurses in both units, while the consultative guidelines he established ensure the same standard of care across the Health System, improving patient safety and resulting in risk reduction.

Almanac - October 30, 2007, Volume 54, No. 10