University of Pennsylvania Announces 2009 Penn Fellows

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Media Contact:Leo Charney | lcharney@upenn.edu | 215-746-3430January 27, 2009


PHILADELPHIA – Eight faculty members at the University of Pennsylvania have been named the inaugural Penn Fellows, a leadership-development program that recognizes faculty in mid-career.

Penn Fellows have the opportunity to build networks across the University, meet with distinguished academic leaders, think strategically about university governance and participate in monthly dinners with prominent speakers from within Penn and beyond.

The 2009 Penn Fellows are:

Eric Bradlow, the K.P. Chao Professor and professor of marketing and statistics in the Wharton School. He specializes in applying statistical models to both high-level mathematical problems and real-world topics, such as hit songs, grocery-store coupons, Internet search engines, and, in a widely read New York Times op-ed essay, the career of baseball player Roger Clemens. He is editor-in-chief of Marketing Science, co-director and co-founder of the Wharton Interactive Media Initiative and winner of more than 20 Wharton teaching awards.

Charles Branas, associate professor of epidemiology in the School of Medicine and co-director of the Cartographic Modeling Laboratory. He specializes in researching and advocating for improvements to public health, especially reducing gun violence and improving emergency and trauma care. His work has been widely cited in national media, and he has led numerous federally funded studies into vital public-health issues. A Philadelphia native, he trained as an EMS provider with the Philadelphia and Baltimore fire departments, worked for the U.S. Public Health Service and in 2007 was elected president of the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research.

Robert Carpick, associate professor of mechanical engineering and applied mechanics in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. He is an expert in nanotechnology, specializing in the study of tribology (friction) at the atomic or molecular scale. His research uses experimental techniques to explore friction’s nature and origins and its connections to the structural, chemical, mechanical, vibrational and electronic properties of materials. Since September 2007, he has been Penn Director of the Nanotechnology Institute, a multi-institutional entity, funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, that advances commercial applications of nanotechnology through industry-university partnerships.

Marybeth Gasman, associate professor of education in the Graduate School of Education. She is a historian of education, specializing in issues of leadership, fundraising and philanthropy at historically African-American colleges. She has also worked directly with a wide range of universities to improve their outreach to African-American alumni. She received the 2006 Promising Scholar/Early Career Award from the Society of Higher Education and the 2008 Excellence in Teaching Award from GSE students.

John Jackson Jr., Richard Perry University Associate Professor in the Annenberg School for Communication and School of Arts and Sciences and a Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor. An anthropologist by training, he is a leading authority on racial identity in America. His research interests range from fieldwork in Harlem and Brooklyn to a current project on black Jews in the United States and Israel. He works across a range of media, including scholarly books, a radio show, seven films (combining fiction and non-fiction), a blog in The Chronicle of Higher Education and his own blog, “From the Annals of Anthroman.”

Joshua Metlay, associate professor of medicine in the School of Medicine. His research focuses on respiratory-tract infections and treatments, especially patterns of resistance to antibiotics; risk factors for the spread of drug-resistant respiratory infections; and optimal practices to improve the use of antibiotics in the treatment of acute respiratory infections. He is co-director of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at Penn and was a 2008 winner of the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, Penn’s highest teaching honor.

Sharon Thompson-Schill, professor of psychology in the School of Arts and Sciences. Her research focuses on the neurological basis of memory and language, including both normal cognition and cognition in those suffering from stroke, degenerative diseases and congenital blindness. Recently elected a national board member of the Association for Psychological Science, she is a 2006 winner of the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, Penn’s highest teaching honor.

Sarah Tishkoff, the David and Lyn Silfen University Associate Professor in the School of Medicine and School of Arts and Sciences and a Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor. She is an expert in human genetics, working primarily in Africa, where she has compiled the world’s most extensive DNA database, representing more than 7,000 Africans from more than 100 ethnic groups. Her research examines how genetic variations and genetic diversity affect human susceptibility to disease, metabolism of drugs and evolutionary adaptation. She has won a Packard Career Award, a Burroughs/Wellcome Fund Career Award and in 2003 was named one of Popular Science Magazine’s “Brilliant 10” American scientists.

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