|Honors & Other Things
May 21, 2013,
Volume 59, No. 33
AAI-BD Award: Dr. Artis
Dr. David Artis, assistant professor of microbiology at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, has received the AAI-BD Biosciences Investigator Award for outstanding, early-career research contributions to the field of immunology from the American Association of Immunologists (AAI).
Dr. Artis’s research is focused on understanding the regulatory mechanisms that control immune cell homeostasis at the body’s barrier surfaces. Employing diverse models of microbial colonization, pathogen infection and chronic inflammation, his research examines how mammalian host genetics and signals derived from commensal microbial communities influence innate and adaptive immune responses in the skin, lung, and intestine.
“It’s an enormous honor to be recognized by the members of the AAI with such a prestigious award,” said Dr. Artis. “I also thank all the trainees and collaborators that I have had the pleasure of working with. An award like this is a testament to their creativity, hard-work and dedication.”
Grand Challenges Canada Grant: Dr. Behrman
Dr. Jere R. Behrman, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Economics and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, is the lead researcher for an 18-month grant to the University from Grand Challenges Canada, for “Team 1000+ Saving Brains: Economic Impacts of Poverty-Related Risk Factors during the First 1000 Days for Cognitive Development and Human Capital.” The project will be centered at the Penn Population Studies Center, where Behrman is a research associate, but is part of a consortium with the University of Bristol and The Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP)/Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) that involves over 50 investigators in 17 countries.
Funded by the Government of Canada, Grand Challenges Canada funds innovators in low- and middle-income countries and Canada. The organization works to catalyze scale, sustainability, and impact, focusing on results that save and improve lives globally. Its Saving Brains program focuses on interventions that nurture and protect brain development in the first 1,000 days of life.
As many as 200 million children fail to reach their full potential as a result of exposure to risk factors—malnutrition, infection, poor management of pregnancy, birth complications, and lack of stimulation and nurturing—from conception to two years of age. Targeted interventions may help unlock the potential of the next generation of children, and provide their countries with an exit strategy from poverty. The complexity of the issue requires Integrated Innovation, which is at the heart of the Grand Challenges Canada approach.
Three AAAS Members
The Perelman School of Medicine researchers Dr. Shelley L. Berger, the Dr. Daniel S. Och University Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology; director of the Penn Epigenetics Program, and Dr. Virginia Man-Yee Lee, director, Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research; John H. Ware 3rd Professor in Alzheimer’s Research; and professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Dr. Lawrence D. Brown, the Miers Busch Professor and professor of statistics, at the Wharton School have been elected as new members to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
One of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, the Academy is also a leading center for independent policy research. The current membership includes some of the world’s most accomplished leaders from academia, business, public affairs, the humanities and the arts.
The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on October 12, 2013, at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
American Academy in Berlin: Dr. Breckman
Dr. Warren Breckman, professor of history in the department of history, has been named a 2013 Fellow of the American Academy in Berlin. Dr. Breckman is a professor of modern European intellectual and cultural history. His books include Karl Marx, the Young Hegelians, and the Origins of Radical Social Theory: Dethroning the Self and European Romanticism: A Brief History with Documents. His latest book, Adventures of the Symbolic: Post-Marxism and Radical Democracy, will be published in June.
American Academy fellows are in residence at the Hans Arnhold Center for one academic semester or occasionally for a full academic year. Fellows become involved in Berlin’s cultural, social, and intellectual scene beyond the walls of the Academy, often by establishing close working affiliations with institutions related to their fields. The ultimate aim of the American Academy is to bring the best and brightest Americans to the interested German public, through publications, media contacts and public lectures.
SAA VP & President: Dr. Bushnell
Dr. Rebecca Bushnell, Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences (SAS), Thomas S. Gates, Jr. Professor, and professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, has been elected the vice-president of the Shakespeare Association of America (SAA). She will become president of the Association next year.
The SAA is a non-profit academic organization devoted to the study of William Shakespeare and his plays and poems, the cultural and theatrical milieu in which he lived and worked and the various roles he has played in both Anglo-American and world culture ever since.
Dr. Bushnell is a scholar of early modern English literature, culture and history, as well as an expert on the literary genre of tragedy.
The SAA holds annual meetings in different North American cities so that its members can exchange ideas and discuss strategies for reading, teaching, researching and writing about Shakespeare’s works and their many contexts. Sessions at these conferences include formal papers, seminars, workshops, film screenings and theatrical performances.
One Simons Investigator; Two Simons Fellowships
Dr. Rajeev Alur, the Zisman Family Professor in the department of computer and information science, has been named a Simons Investigator by the Simons Foundation. The Simons Investigators program provides a stable base of support for outstanding scientists, enabling them to undertake long-term study of fundamental questions. Investigators receive $100,000 per year for up to ten years to conduct basic science research.
Dr. Alur’s research is aimed at improving technology for design and analysis of reliable software systems. His team is interested in developing specification logics for formalizing correctness requirements, modeling notations for constructing modular descriptions of complex systems, and verification algorithms for checking systems against requirements.
Dr. Mirjam Cvetic, the Ray R. and Eugene L. Langberg Professor of Physics and associate chair of undergraduate affairs, department of physics and astronomy, and Dr. Ron Donagi, professor of mathematics, in SAS are the recipients of the 2013 Simons Foundation Fellowships. This is the second year that these awards have been given to outstanding mathematicians and theoretical physicists to focus solely on research for one year.
Dr. Cvetic’s research efforts are in gravitational theories. In particular the fundamental origins of black holes and the connection between string theory and elementary particle physics. Dr. Donagi’s project focuses on supersymmetry, and its central role in superstring perturbation theory as encoded in the geometry of the moduli spaces of super Riemann surfaces.
The Simons Foundation is a private foundation based in New York City, incorporated in 1994 by Jim and Marilyn Simons. The Foundation’s mission is to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences.
de Karman Scholarship: Mr. Gabrieli
Mr. David Gabrieli (BE’14), has been awarded a Josephine de Karman Fellowship, a merit-based award for doctoral students or undergraduates entering their final year.
Mr. Gabrieli is pursuing a major in bioengineering with a minor in mathematics. He currently holds undergraduate research positions in the department of biochemistry and biophysics at the Perelman School of Medicine and in the department of bioengineering at Penn Engineering. He participated in the 2012 Amgen Scholars Summer Research Program at Columbia University and is a 2013 John Thouron Research Prize recipient who will spend this summer studying at Pembroke College, Cambridge University, UK.
The Josephine de Karman Fellowship Trust was founded in 1954 by the late Dr. Theodore Von Karman, world renowned aeronautics expert and teacher and first director of the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology.
Mr. Gabrieli is among eight North American students awarded Josephine de Karman Fellowships this year and is the second de Karman winner from Penn in two years.
SAE Fellow: Dr. Jackson
Dr. Andrew Jackson, professor of practice, in the department of mechanical engineering and applied mechanics has been selected for an SAE Fellowship. This status is the highest grade of membership bestowed by SAE International. It recognizes outstanding engineering and scientific accomplishments by an individual that have resulted in meaningful advances in automotive, aerospace and commercial-vehicle technology. The program, established in 1975, recognizes an average of 20 worldwide recipients for this honor each year.
SAE International is a global association of more than 138,000 engineers and related technical experts serving in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries. SAE International’s core competencies are life-long learning and voluntary consensus standards development. SAE International’s charitable arm is the SAE Foundation, which supports programs, including A World in Motion and the Collegiate Design Series.
APS Member: Dr. Katz
Dr. Michael Katz, Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History and research associate in the Population Studies Center, has been elected to the American Philosophical Society (APS). The APS honors extraordinary accomplishments in the fields of mathematical and physical sciences; biological sciences; humanities; and professions, arts, and affairs.
Dr. Katz’s work focuses on three major areas: the history of American education, the history of urban social structure and family organization, and the history of social welfare and poverty. From 1991-1995 and 2011-2012, he was chair of the history department; from 1983-1996 he directed or co-directed the undergraduate Urban Studies Program; and in 1994, he founded the graduate certificate program in Urban Studies, which he co-directs.
The American Philosophical Society was founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin and John Bartram, two years before the founding of the University of Pennsylvania.
Penn Prize for Excellence in Teaching by Graduate Students
The 2013 recipients of the “Penn Prize for Excellence in Teaching by Graduate Students” are:
Justin Bleich, statistics
Nina Cohen, history
Torin Greenwood, mathematics
Paul Gurniak, electrical and systems engineering
Bruno Melillo, chemistry
Evan Perkoski, political science
Megan Potteiger, chemistry
Jessie Regunberg, history
Juliet Sperling, art history
Zenan Wu, economics
Dr. Karen Detlefsen, associate professor of philosophy and education, chaired the Selection Committee comprised of faculty, undergraduates representing the UA and SCUE, and former Penn Prize winners. There were 178 nominations from which the committee selected 29 finalists. Ten were chosen for the award. A reception was held in their honor on Thursday, April 25th at the Graduate Student Center. Vice Provost for Education Andrew Binns made brief remarks and presented certificates.
From left to right: recipients of the Penn Prize for Excellence in Teaching by Graduate Students—Torin Greenwood; Nina Cohen; Zenan Wu; Justin Bleich; Juliet Sperling; Evan Perkoski; Jessie Regunberg; Vice Provost Andrew Binns; Paul Gurniak; Bruno Melillo.
Not pictured: Megan Potteiger.
Emerging Leader in Science & Society Program
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has selected the University of Pennsylvania to be an Emerging Leaders in Science & Society (ELISS) founding partner campus. Three other universities were also chosen: Stanford University, University of Washington, and Purdue University.
ELISS, a new AAAS initiative, is a one-year competitive program designed to compliment graduate and professional student studies by producing leaders to help the nation understand and address tough issues related to community, the economy, health, energy and the environment. Two broad, cross-disciplinary themes of Health & Well-being and Energy & Environment have been chosen for the year, to include students with diverse expertise and fields of study in the program.
ELISS Fellows will receive funding, career development, and networking opportunities to develop and mount interdisciplinary theme-related and professional development programs for students at their institutions.
More than 1,500 graduate and professional students from more than 100 universities participated in a "Bring ELISS to my Campus" online signature drive.
"Penn was chosen because individual Penn graduate students, prompted by the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA) and the Biomedical Graduate Student Association (BGSA) responded with enthusiasm to the AAAS online-survey to ascertain student demand at various campuses," said Samantha White, a PhD student in neuroscience at Penn, who with Katie Reuther, a PhD student in bioengineering at Penn, led the effort to bring ELISS to campus.
With matching funds from the Office of the Provost and GAPSA, Penn will fund at least four ELISS fellowships for the 2013-14 application period to talented Penn graduate and professional students.
Those interested in applying to the program can set up a profile in the ScholarSelect online application system by visiting the ELISS webpage www.aaas.org/cspsp/eliss/index.shtml
The application period will be June 17-July 15, 2013. Eligibility is based on completion of at least a bachelor's degree and enrollment in a degree-granting graduate or professional program at Penn for the duration of the program.
More information is available at www.aaas.org/cspsp/eliss/index.shtml or by emailing email@example.com
May 21, 2013, Volume 59, No. 33