|Honors & Other Things
February 19, 2013,
Volume 59, No. 22
Perelman School of Medicine Awards of Excellence
The winners of the 17th annual Perelman School of Medicine Awards of Excellence were honored at
a dinner on November 14, 2012. The awards recognize outstanding performance by the
faculty in the research, clinical and mentoring areas. The following remarks are excerpts from the event.
Dr. Anil K. Rustgi, T. Grier Miller professor of medicine and chief of the division of gastroenterology, is the recipient of the Arthur Asbury Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, which recognizes a faculty member who has fostered professional development of other faculty members by providing inspiring and effective counsel and opportunities for achievement. His mentees and colleagues comment on his active engagement and encouragement as a mentor, reviewing countless grant applications and manuscript drafts, providing timely edits and comments, supporting applications for national awards, polishing presentations, facilitating research collaborations, improving clinical and teaching skills, and “opening the right doors.”
Dr. Y. Joseph Woo, associate professor of surgery, is the recipient of the Luigi Mastroianni, Jr., Clinical Innovator Award, which recognizes a clinician who has pioneered the invention and development of new techniques, procedures or approaches that change medical practices. Dr. Woo is a nationally-recognized academic cardiothoracic surgeon who has a robust, high-volume cardiac surgical practice at HUP, performing 400 pump cases per year and heading the Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery Program. He performed the first robotic heart surgery in the Delaware Valley a decade ago, and the world’s first robotic aortic valve procedure. He also heads the Mechanical Circulatory Assist and Cardiac Transplant Program.
Dr. Jennifer S. Myers, associate professor of clinical medicine, is the recipient of the Alfred Stengel Health System Champion Award, which recognizes a physician who has contributed significantly to the clinical integration of the Health System. As a hospitalist, she is recognized for her diagnostic acumen and compassionate patient care. She has led or has been an active contributor to numerous quality improvement initiatives at HUP, including improving chest pain triage and reducing length of stay, co-leading the development of Penn’s first rapid response team and improving many aspects of hospital discharge transitions. As one of HUP’s Patient Safety Officers, she provides clinical oversight and leadership for the incident reporting system and medical error review process.
Dr. Joseph R. Carver, clinical professor of medicine, is the recipient of the I.S. Ravdin Master Clinician Award, which recognizes an active clinician who is regarded and revered by his colleagues as a masterful practitioner—a “doctor’s doctor.” He currently serves as the chief of staff of the Abramson Cancer Center, the senior administrative officer of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute and interim director of consultative cardiology in the division of cardiology. Dr. Carver has authored over 75 medical papers and monographs and has received the Distinguished Teacher Award in Cardiology from the Perelman School of Medicine.
Dr. Janice K. Hillman, a clinical associate in the department of medicine, is the recipient of the Sylvan Eisman Outstanding Primary Care Physician Award, which recognizes a Health System primary care physician who goes beyond the norm and exemplifies the HUP’s excellent care. She is one of only a few internists in the United States who is board certified in both internal medicine and adolescent medicine. Dr. Hillman has been recognized by Philadelphia Magazine as a ‘Top Doc’ and has been in adolescent medicine for more than 10 years.
Dr. Patrick M. Reilly, professor of surgery, is the recipient of the Louis Duhring Outstanding Clinical Specialist Award, which recognizes a teaching and practicing physician in a clinical or ancillary department, exclusive of primary care, who combines biomedical research with clinical insight and knowledge to provide leading-edge service and creative care to patients and colleagues. He is a leader in trauma surgery and surgical critical care whose contributions have advanced patient care and improved patient outcomes. Since 1997, he has been program director of the surgical critical care fellowship and clinical director of the Rhoads Surgical Intensive Care Unit at HUP. He assumed the role of chief of the division of traumatology, surgical critical care and emergency surgery in 2011.
Dr. David Artis, associate professor in the department of microbiology, is the recipient of the Stanley N. Cohen Biomedical Research Award, which acknowledges a member of the Perelman School of Medicine faculty for a body of work with an emphasis on biomedical research, performed at Penn in the last five years. Dr. Artis’s research in mucosal immunology and immune regulation has placed him at the forefront of his field. Recently, the Artis lab has begun to develop translational research approaches that will allow analysis of findings in murine model systems to be tested in patient populations. These approaches offer the potential to significantly advance the understanding of the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory diseases and could have broader implications for multiple autoimmune diseases.
Dr. Robert H. Vonderheide, associate professor of medicine and investigator in the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, is the recipient of the William Osler Patient Oriented Research Award, which is granted to a member of the PSOM faculty for a body of work with an emphasis on clinical research, performed predominantly at Penn in the last five years. Dr. Vonderheide is being recognized for his groundbreaking work in the area of tumor immunotherapy. His work seeks to optimize tumor antigens and enhance the potency of patients’ immune systems to overcome immune ignorance or tolerance.
Dr. David J. Margolis, professor of dermatology and professor of epidemiology, is the recipient of the Samuel Martin Health Evaluation Sciences Research Award, which is granted to a member of the PSOM faculty for a body of work with an emphasis on health services research, performed predominantly at Penn in the last five years. His work has transformed understanding of the pathogenesis, prognosis and treatment of chronic wounds, which remain a major health problem. Dr. Margolis’s research has demonstrated that easily measured clinical factors such as anatomic depth, wound size, wound duration and early changes in wound size would predict healing. His innovative clinical assessments are now routinely incorporated into clinical trials designed to explore new treatments of venous leg and diabetic foot ulcers. The outcomes of his research are facilitating the development of safe and efficacious agents for treating chronic wounds, including the use of gene therapy for this important indication.
Dr. James Shorter, assistant professor in the department of biochemistry and biophysics, is the recipient of the Michael S. Brown New Investigator Award, which recognizes emerging faculty investigators engaged in innovative discoveries. Dr. Shorter’s independent research focuses on the mechanisms by which protein-remodeling factors, molecular chaperones and small molecules antagonize amyloid fibers and preamyloid oligomers. It provides a unique link between detailed quantitative analyses of protein folding and the diseases that arise when it goes awry. This work has enormous significance for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s in which amyloid structures play an important role.
Dr. Michael P. Cancro, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, is the recipient of the Lady Barbara Colyton Autoimmune Research Award, which recognizes a PSOM faculty member, fellow or postdoctoral student who has been engaged in innovative discoveries and outstanding research in the area of autoimmune diseases. Dr. Cancro has made seminal contributions to the understanding of autoimmunity. His pivotal discovery of the peripheral B cell developmental intermediate now known as the “transitional” B cell permanently changed the accepted paradigm. His work on the mechanisms responsible for B cell survival, homeostasis and selection has made him a thought leader in the field. Of most significance, however, is the outcome of his groundbreaking research: Dr. Cancro’s findings contributed to the first new FDA-approved therapeutic drug for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus in the past 50 years.
Dr. Scott D. Halpern, assistant professor in the departments of medicine and biostatistics & epidemiology, is the recipient of the Marjorie A. Bowman New Investigator Research Award, which recognizes a junior faculty member whose research has illuminated a fundamental clinical problem or improved the organization and delivery of health care. Dr. Halpern is internationally recognized as one of the leading scholars at the intersection of epidemiology, health services research and medical ethics. His research is underscored by a consistent mission to improve transparency, fairness and efficiency in healthcare and in the conduct of randomized clinical trials that inform healthcare delivery. Already, he has made conceptually fresh and empirically grounded insights that have improved allocation of scarce healthcare resources, the quality of healthcare decisions made by patients and the design and ethics of randomized clinical trials. Dr. Halpern is also considered a generous and devoted mentor, serving as primary mentor to more than 10 junior faculty, fellows and medical students.