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Honors and Other Things

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January 17, 2012, Volume 58, No. 17

AAAS Fellows: Four Professors

Four faculty members at the University of Pennsylvania have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. They are:

David Boettiger, emeritus professor of microbiology in the Perelman School of Medicine, for distinguished contributions to tumor virology and to integrin-mediated cell adhesion, particularly for the identification of adhesion signaling and its regulation by mechanical forces.

Nancy Bonini, professor of biology in the  School of Arts and Sciences, Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, for distinguished contributions in the fields of basic and translational neuroscience, particularly as applied to understanding neurodegenerative disorders.

Nigel Fraser, professor of microbiology in the Perelman School of Medicine, for outstanding discoveries about the mechanisms of herpes virus biology, particularly in the area of herpes simplex virus latency and reactivation.

David Weiner, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine, for pioneering and enabling discoveries in the area of DNA vaccines: bench to bedside, and promoting the field and scientists interested in DNA vaccines.

New Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin in February at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2012 AAAS Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada.

Prince Mahidol Award: Dr. Beck

Beck Dr. Aaron T. Beck, professor emeritus of psychiatry in the Perelman School of Medicine, is co-winner in the field of medicine, along with David T. Wong, from Indiana University School of Medicine. Professor Beck has been recognized by the Prince Mahidol Award judging committee for his outstanding contribution in the development of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Dr. Beck was the first person to successfully develop CBT and use it on patients suffering from depression, said Clinical Professor Udom Kachintorn, vice-president of the Prince Mahidol Award Foundation. Recognized as the father of CBT, Dr. Beck developed it in the early 1960s.  Since then CBT has been widely used by psychiatrists and psychotherapists to treat depression. CBT has been used on more than 120 million people suffering from major depression and has helped reduce suicide rates.

RWJF Grant: Dr. Carthon

Dr. J. Margo Brooks Carthon, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, has been awarded a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to conduct a national survey of minority student recruitment and retention efforts in nursing schools across the US. Dr. Carthon is among a select group of junior investigators to receive a two-year, $75,000 grant from the foundation.

National Academy of Public Administration Fellow: Dr. Dilulio

Dr. John DiIulio, Jr., Frederic Fox Leadership Professor of Politics, Religion, and Civil Society in the School of Arts and Sciences, and professor of political science, has been elected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.  The Academy is comprised of public management and organizational leaders who provide insight on critical public management issues and advisory services to government agencies.

Pulitzer Prize Board: Dr. Hahn

Hahn Dr. Steven Hahn, the Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of History, has been elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board, which oversees the Pulitzer Prizes of which 21 are awarded annually. Dr. Hahn won a Pulitzer Prize for history in 2004 for A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration.

Draper Prize: Dr. Heilmeier

Dr. George H. Heilmeier, emeritus overseer in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, is one of four recipients of the 2012 Charles Stark Draper Prize, administered by the National Academy of Engineering. He and  Wolfgang Helfrich, Martin Schadt and T. Peter Brody were honored “for the engineering development of the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) that is utilized in billions of consumer and professional devices.” Dr. Heilmeier discovered the dynamic scattering mode (DSM), which resulted in the first operational LCD. Shortly after, DSM LCDs could be widely found in watches and calculators.

Board Appointment: Dr. Jameson

BioAdvance, the Philadelphia-based Biotechnology Greenhouse of Southeastern Pennsylvania, has named Dr. J. Larry Jameson, executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and dean of the Perelman School of Medicine, as one of its two new directors.

Keynote Presentation: Dr. Lior

Dr. Noam Lior, professor of mechanical engineering and applied mechanics in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, gave the opening invited keynote presentation at the conference of the International Center for Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems this past September in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Dr. Lior also presented a paper titled, “Reconciling long-term sustainable development and R&D planning with the short-term preferences that drive governments, businesses, institutions, and individuals.”

Grant for Prostate Cancer: Dr. Penning

Dr. Trevor Penning, professor of pharmacology at the Perelman School of Medicine, and colleagues have received a 2011 Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) Challenge Award. This is a multi-investigator grant awarded to Penn, Harvard University, University of Washington-Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital to find new treatments for patients with advanced prostate cancer. The grant totals $500,000 per year for up to three years for all investigators.

“PCF Challenge Awards support transformational prostate cancer research teams to accelerate progress towards the reduction of death and suffering due to recurrent or advanced prostate cancer,” said Dr. Howard R. Soule, PCF chief science officer. “This multi-institutional research program will significantly advance our knowledge of why some men become resistant to treatment with abiraterone and identify new targets and treatments for them.”

Career Award: Dr. Rentschler

Dr. Stacey Rentschler, cardiovascular instructor at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, has been awarded the Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Medical Scientists. The award provides $700,000 over five years to conduct research on Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, a congenital disorder that affects how the heart beats. Dr. Rentschler’s research aims to uncover new insights on the causative developmental and genetic aspects of what forms electrically active conditions in the atria and ventricles of the heart. She also received a K08 Award from NHLBI for $137,976 per year for five years to investigate the role of Notch signaling in arrhythmogenesis. 

Fagin Award: Dr. Riegel

Riegel Dr. Barbara Riegel has been selected as the 10th recipient of the Claire M. Fagin Distinguished Researcher Award at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Dr. Riegel is the Edith Clemmer Steinbright Chair of Gerontology and director of the Center for Biobehavioral Research at Penn Nursing. Her interdisciplinary research has advanced knowledge about the management of patients with heart failure and has contributed to guidelines that have changed the care provided to those with acute myocardial infarction. Dr. Riegel will present the Fagin Lecture about her research at Penn Nursing on April 5. 

Best Business Book: Dr. Schoemaker

Wharton Digital Press has announced that one of its titles, Brilliant Mistakes: Finding Success on the Far Side of Failure by Dr. Paul J. H. Schoemaker has been named #1 Best Business Book of the year from The Patriot-News’s PennLive.com. Dr. Schoemaker is the research director of the Mack Center for Technological Innovation at the Wharton School.

Housing Commission: Dean Taylor

Marilyn Jordan Taylor, dean of Penn’s School of Design, has been appointed to serve on the housing commission of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, DC. She will join key stakeholders, academics and former senior political figures from both parties in a new effort to improve US housing policy.  The Bipartisan Policy Center is a non-profit organization founded in 2007 by former Senate Majority Leaders that drives principled solutions through rigorous analysis, reasoned negotiation and respectful dialogue. 

Green Fund Projects Spur Growth of Sustainability at Penn

Eight new sustainability projects from the Fall 2011 application pool have been selected to receive grants from the Penn Green Fund. The new projects will be implemented over the remainder of the year and join the list of creative sustainability initiatives conceived by Penn students, faculty, and staff since the release of the Climate Action Plan in September 2009.

Business Services: Ice Rink Water Density System—Installation of a water density system for the Penn Ice Rink that will reduce the Rink's energy usage and provide an improved ice product to customers. Project Leader: Paul Caron, Rink manager; Project Sponsor: Brian Shaw, director of Business Services, Business Services.

Department of Chemistry: Chemical Inventory & Waste Management System—Purchase of a 2-year University-level site license for a Chemical Inventory management system bar-code reader technology. The system will greatly improve Penn's ability to reduce the purchase of hazardous chemicals and reduce the University's hazardous waste stream. This pilot project within the department of chemistry will ideally expand to other departments, schools, and centers. Project Leaders: Matthew Finucane, executive director, Environmental Health & Radiation Safety (EHRS) & Matthew Lane, executive director of Facilities Planning and Science Operations for the Department of Chemistry; Project Sponsor: Matthew Lane, executive director of facilities planning and science operations for the Department of Chemistry.

Department of Earth & Environmental Science: Penn Sustainability Journal— Establishment of a peer-reviewed undergraduate journal on sustainability. The project team has put together a Faculty Advisory Board, which has representation from many schools and centers. The funding would cover the first year of production, including website development, promotions, and publication of the journal. Project Leaders: Yaowen Ma and James Teng (students); Project Sponsor: Fred Scatena, professor and chair, Department of Earth and Environmental Science.

Department of Recreation & Intercollegiate Athletics (DRIA): One Towel at a Time: Ozone Washing Machines at Pottruck—Installation of ozone washing machines at the Pottruck Health and Fitness Center, which currently uses eight-year-old traditional washing machines with standard hot water, detergent, and bleach. Ozone washing technology is a proven cost-saving and environmentally beneficial process. The process involves splitting oxygen atoms to form ozone, which is then injected into the machine's washwater. Ozone is known for its purifying and sanitizing properties, which kill bacteria and viruses more effectively than conventional chlorinated detergent. By employing patented cold water Ozone washing technology, Pottruck anticipates reducing hot-water utility costs and cutting water consumption. Project Leader/Sponsor: Tricia Depoe, associate director, DRIA.

New Bolton Center: Murphy Laboratory Building Energy Audit—Funding for an energy audit on an energy-intensive laboratory space at New Bolton Center. The project will build upon a previous Green Fund grant to the New Bolton Center, which installed meters in campus buildings. The grant will also cover the retrofits outlined from the audit. Project Leader: Karen Cronin, business administrator & sustainability director, New Bolton Center; Project Sponsor: Corinne Sweeney, associate dean, New Bolton Center.

Penn Student Agencies: PennCycle—A pilot bike-share program to be headquartered at Hill College House, with potential to expand to other College Houses. Developed in collaboration with the Penn Office of Risk Management & Insurance. Students taking out a bike from PennCycle will be required to watch a safety and security video. Project Leaders: Madison Roberts, Chris Crux, Alex Rattray, Jenny Xia, and Elizabeth Cutler (students); Project Sponsor : Audrey Edmondson, general manager, Penn Student Agencies.

Transportation Services: PennRoutes Shuttle Efficiency System—Development of PennRoutes, a routing system to make Penn Shuttles more efficient and reduce emissions. Penn Shuttle drivers will enter passengers' addresses on a tablet. After all of the passengers are picked up, the driver will hit "start," and the system will automatically compute the shortest route through all the destinations. The PennRoutes system will also be capable of sending real-time information about the shuttle to Penn Transit; currently communication is done through radio. Penn Transit will also be able to quickly identify the closest shuttle when an off campus pick-up is requested. Project Leaders: Ruxin Ho, Yuanjiao Shen, Xiaoting Zheng, Ting Zhou (students); Project Sponsor: Matthew Brown, associate director of Transportation, Business Services.

Urban Nutrition Initiative: Franklin's Farmers— Establishment of Franklin's Farmers, a network of gardeners at Penn who cultivate community, health, and environmental awareness along with fresh fruits and vegetables. These individuals will receive trainings and in return, will donate a portion of their crops for community distribution in West Philadelphia. The group, representing all 12 Schools and Centers, will aim to host 24 gardening workshops and 16 healthy cooking workshops for 600 members of the Penn community throughout 2012. AUNI will contribute support and funding for Franklin's Farmers through two student fellows. Project Leader: Danny Gerber, director, Urban Nutrition Initiative; Project Sponsor: Ira Harkavy, director, Netter Center for Community Partnerships.

Power Down Challenge Champions: Quad, Franklin Building

The Quad College Houses (Fisher Hassenfeld, Riepe, and Ware) and the Franklin Building won this fall’s Power Down Challenge, a three-week energy conservation competition which took place from November 1-20. The competition is part of the University’s larger commitment to reduce campus energy use by 17 percent by 2014, as outlined in the Penn Climate Action Plan.

Both the Franklin Building and Quad College Houses reduced their electric consumption by more than 20 percent over the three-week competition. They saved more than 35,000 and 25,000 hours (kWh) of electricity, respectively. To put the savings in perspective, 25,000 kWh is equivalent to planting 453 trees, powering 40 homes, taking 63 cars off the road, or preventing the release of 17.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the same three-week period. Hillel also participated and saw more than a 14 percent electricity reduction thanks to involvement from their Eco-Reps group.

College House residents focused on turning off lights in their rooms and in the common areas, unplugging appliances in their rooms, and greening their laundry practices by washing only full loads of laundry in cold water.

 The winning team at the Franklin Building communicated both through the management structure and through Staff Eco-Rep/Green Team members. Office managers reminded their colleagues to participate in the competition, and Green Team members acted as role models, educators, and as a last resort walked around and turned off unnecessary lights and appliances. Certain successful conservation efforts and solutions to energy efficiency challenges will be addressed and applied to buildings across campus where possible. 

Prior to the start of the competition, each building’s energy consumption was calculated as part of a unique two-week baseline reading. Since the Quad is metered as one building, Fisher Hassenfeld, Ware, and Riepe worked together as a single building in the College House competition. All buildings were ranked based on their percent electricity reduction against their baseline. Quad residents celebrated the victory with a house party, where raffle winners picked up bamboo flash drives, an eco-friendly hemp backpack, and one bicycle for the grand prize. The Franklin Building staff celebrated their win with a reception in the main lobby, where refreshments and energy conservation giveaways were available.

All together, the 15 participating buildings (College Houses and campus buildings) saved a total of 113,778 kWh over 20 days, which is equivalent to:

• Over 2,000 trees planted

• About 9,000 gallons of gasoline conserved, which is like driving 46 round trips between here and San Francisco

• Powering 185 West Philadelphia homes for three weeks

• Taking 280 cars off the road for three weeks

For the final results of the College House and Campus Building competitions, visit the Power Down Challenge webpage, www.upenn.edu/sustainability/powerdown/college-house.html

Almanac - January 17, 2012, Volume 58, No. 17