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Honors and Other Things

November 1, 2011, Volume 58, No. 10

Institute of Medicine New Members
Three professors from the Perelman School of Medicine have been elected members of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), one of the nation’s highest honors in biomedicine.  The new members bring Penn’s total to 75.

The new Penn IOM members are:

Dr. Vivian G. Cheung is professor of genetics and pediatrics and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Her research focuses on human genetics and genomics. In particular, her lab combines computational and experimental methods to study normal variation in human traits and genetics of complex diseases.

Dr. Paul Offit is professor of pediatrics. He is director of the Vaccine Education Center and chief of infectious diseases at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In addition, Dr. Offit holds the Maurice R. Hilleman Endowed Chair in Vaccinology. During his tenure as a pediatrician specializing in infectious diseases, Dr. Offit’s work includes 25 years developing RotaTeq, one of the main vaccines currently used to fight rotavirus.

Dr. Daniel J. Rader is the Cooper-McClure Professor of Medicine and chief of the division of translational medicine and human genetics in the department of medicine. He is also associate director of Penn’s Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics and director of the Preventive Cardiology Program at Penn Medicine. Dr. Rader’s basic research laboratory focuses on genetic and pharmacologic regulation of lipoprotein metabolism and atherosclerosis.

Friend for Life Honorees

Bob Schoenberg, director of the LGBT Center, and Rev. Jim Littrell, rector of St. Mary’s Church, were presented Friend for Life Awards by ActionAIDS at its 25th Anniversary Gala. Mr. Schoenberg is the first president of the ActionAIDS board and Rev. Littrell is the first director of the organization. ActionAIDS was created in 1986 to foster a community to care for those living with HIV/AIDS.

Best ALS Research: Dr. Gitler

Dr. Aaron Gitler, assistant professor of cell and developmental biology at the Perelman School of Medicine, received the Instituto Paulo Gontijo International Medicine PG Award for the best ALS research by a young investigator. ALS is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). The award includes a $20,000 cash prize, a gold medal, and an invitation to present at the International Symposium on ALS/MND in Sydney, Australia this month.

Creative Concept: Mr. Merrin

Jason Merrin, a junior majoring in digital media design in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, is the recipient of the Creative Concept Award in the Creative World Awards (CWA) International Screenwriting Contest for his film, Sleepwalkers. The prize includes a private development coaching session with Dr. Jack Boozer, professor of film studies in the department of communication at Georgia State University.  CWA winning screenplays are circulated to top agencies, film studios, managers, producers, and international financiers looking for their next project.

Distinguished Career: Dr. Mutz

Dr. Diana C. Mutz, the Samuel A. Stouffer Professor of Communication and Political Science in the Annenberg School, is the recipient of the 2011 Murray Edelman Distinguished Career Award from the American Political Science Association’s Political Communication Section. Dr. Mutz is also director of Annenberg Public Policy Center’s Institute for the Study of Citizens and Politics.

Internal Medicine Board: Dr. Naylor

Dr. Mary Naylor, the Marian S. Ware Professor in Gerontology and director of NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health at the School of Nursing, was named to the Board of Trustees of the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Naylor was praised for her “contributions to the health care field through her work in exploring chronic care management and transitional care models to improve health outcomes.”

ASLA Medal: Professor Olin

Professor Laurie Olin, practice professor of landscape architecture in the School of Design, is the recipient of the 2011 American Society of Landscape Architects’ Medal. Founder and principal of the firm OLIN, Professor Olin is internationally known for his work including iconic places such as New York City’s Bryant Park and the Washington Monument Grounds. The awards ceremony takes place at the ASLA annual meeting, October 31-November 2.

Golden Quill Award: Dr. Perna

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators honored Penn GSE Professor Laura W. Perna for her research and publications on pre-college and college education, college finance and affordability, and equity in higher education.

Dr. Perna received the Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award, given annually for outstanding contributions to the literature on student financial aid.

Distinguished Scholar: Dr. Zelizer

Dr. Barbie Zelizer, the Raymond Williams Professor of Communication and director of the Scholars Program in Culture and Communication at the Annenberg School, is a recipient of the National Communication Association’s Distinguished Scholars Award.  The award recognizes and rewards a lifetime of scholarly achievement in the study of human communication by members of the NCA. Dr. Zelizer is the fourth member of the Annenberg faculty to receive this honor.

Presidential Nomination to NIBS: Professor Timberlake

President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate James Timberlake, adjunct professor of architecture in the School of Design, to the Board of Directors of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS). The NIBS is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that brings together representatives of government, the professions, industry, labor and consumer interests and regulatory agencies to focus on the identification and resolution of problems and potential problems that hamper the construction of safe, affordable structures for housing, commerce and industry throughout the United States.

Almanac - November 1, 2011, Volume 58, No. 10