Johns Hopkins Gazette | August 21, 2006
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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University August 21, 2006 | Vol. 35 No. 42

For the Record: Cheers

Cheers is a monthly listing of honors and awards received by faculty, staff and students plus recent appointments and promotions. Contributions must be submitted in writing and be accompanied by a phone number.

JHU Astrophysicist Shares Gruber Cosmology Prize
By Lisa De Nike, Homewood

Johns Hopkins astrophysicist Charles L. Bennett is a member of the science team that has won the Peter Gruber Foundation's 2006 Cosmology Prize.

The prize's gold medal and $250,000 cash prize were presented to John Mather of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the 18-member Cosmic Background Explorer team on Aug. 15 at the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union in Prague, Czech Republic.

The annual prize recognizes fundamental advances in research on the origin, development and structure of the universe. Co-sponsored by the International Astronomical Union, it aims to acknowledge and encourage further exploration in a field that "shapes the way we perceive and comprehend our universe," according to the foundation's Web site.

The Cosmic Background Explorer satellite was launched in 1989 to measure the early universe's now-diffuse infrared and microwave radiation. Its science team was honored by the foundation for multiple accomplishments, including the discovery of tiny cosmic temperature variations across the sky that reveal how matter and energy were distributed when the universe was very young, more than 13 billion years ago. Bennett was one of the leaders of this investigation. The prize also marks COBE's discovery that the infant universe's afterglow radiation has an average temperature of 2.725 Kelvin (degrees above absolute zero), which closely matched predictions of the hot Big Bang theory. The Big Bang theory was worked out in detail in 1948 by Ralph Alpher of JHU's Applied Physics Laboratory and his colleagues.

Another leading member of the team sharing the prize was Michael Hauser, deputy director of the Space Telescope Science Institute and an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins during the 2005-2006 academic year. Hauser led the COBE discovery of the cosmic infrared background radiation, the cumulative light from all of the stars and galaxies in the universe.


Applied Physics Laboratory

Wayne Bethea of the Research and Technology Development Center has been named a "Trailblazer" by Science Spectrum magazine. The honor is given to outstanding Hispanic, Asian-American, Native American and black professionals in science.

Adrian Hill of the Space Department's Information Sciences Branch has been named the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineer of the Year for its Baltimore chapter.

Bob Farquhar of the Space Department has been invited by the National Air and Space Museum to hold the Lindbergh Chair in Aerospace History for the 2007-2008 academic year.


Bayview Medical Center

Jonathan Ellen has been promoted to professor and appointed vice chair for pediatrics. His research has focused on the prevention of adolescent sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and the factors associated with the acquisition, screening, treatment and care of sexually transmitted infections. Ellen is also the director of the Johns Hopkins Pediatrics Outcomes and Policy Research Center.

Michele M. Mehrling has been appointed administrator of the Department of Surgery. She previously was assistant administrator for the Department of Surgery and the senior division manager for the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine.


Homewood Student Affairs

Bobby Benson has joined the Athletics Center as assistant coach/offensive coordinator of the men's lacrosse team. A 2003 Johns Hopkins graduate, Benson returns to Homewood after coaching stints at UMBC and Loyola. Benson was a three-time All-American, finishing his career at Homewood ranked sixth all-time in goals scored (124) and 14th in career points (167). He is one of just two players in school history to lead the team in goals four straight years, and he helped the Blue Jays to four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances.

Bill Dwan, an assistant men's lacrosse coach for the last six years, has been promoted to associate head coach. Dwan, a 1991 Hopkins graduate and three-time All-American, has helped the Blue Jays to six straight berths in the NCAA Tournament, four appearances in the Final Four and the 2005 national championship.


School of Medicine

Deborah K. Armstrong, associate professor of oncology, gynecology and obstetrics, was one of six physicians and researchers to receive Ladies' Home Journal's first annual Health Breakthrough awards, which were presented Aug. 2 in New York. The recipients and their life-changing medical discoveries are featured in the magazine's September issue. Armstrong was recognized for her work as principal investigator in a study finding that a 50-year-old rarely used method for delivering chemotherapy directly into the abdomen of women with advanced ovarian cancer could increase survival by more than a year.

Seth Blackshaw, an assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience, has been named a Distinguished Young Scholar by the W.M. Keck Foundation. The Keck Distinguished Young Scholars in Medical Research program was designed to support groundbreaking research addressing the fundamental mechanisms of human disease. Under the program, each grant recipient's sponsoring institution receives an award of as much as $1 million to support the scientist's research activities for a period of five years. Blackshaw has developed ways to identify the molecules that determine how retinal cell types become functionally different from one another during embryonic development. His work holds the promise that one day doctors could treat certain types of blindness by regenerating a patient's retinal cells.

Donald S. Coffey, the Catherine Iola and J. Smith Michael Distinguished Professor of Urology, has been appointed by President Bush to the 18-member National Cancer Advisory Board, which advises, consults and makes policy recommendations on issues related to cancer care to the secretary of health and human services and to the director of the National Cancer Institute. The National Cancer Advisory Board and the President's Cancer Panel are the only NIH advisory groups whose members are appointed by the president. Coffey's appointment is to a six-year term.

Ahmet Hoke, an associate professor in the Department of Neurology, has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Neuropathy Research Foundation to develop new treatments for peripheral neuropathy, a debilitating disorder that is estimated to affect 20 million Americans. Hoke's research will focus on identifying compounds that protect nerve ends that connect to muscle or skin from damage due to chemotherapy and diabetes.

Antonio Jimeno has joined the Kimmel Cancer Center's Gastrointestinal Cancer Program as an instructor in oncology. He received his medical degree from the University of Valladolid in Spain and a doctorate in oncology from the University of Madrid. He completed his training in internal medicine and medical oncology at the University Hospital in Madrid.

Moshe Yair Levy has joined the Kimmel Cancer Center's Division of Hematologic Malignancies as an instructor in oncology, following two years' training as a translational researcher under Ephraim Fuchs, associate professor of oncology. Levy received his undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Maryland, College Park and his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center before coming to Johns Hopkins in 2003 as an oncology fellow. His primary research focus is tumor immunology.


School of Nursing

Maya Shaha, a postdoctoral fellow, was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing, at the 17th International Nursing Research Congress Focusing on Evidence-Based Practice, which was held in July in Montreal.

Kathleen Becker, an assistant professor in the Division of Graduate Instruction, was one of 80 graduate nursing faculty from across the United States competitively selected to attend a three-day course, "End of Life Nursing Education Consortium — Graduate Curriculum: Promoting Palliative Care in Advanced Practice Nursing" in Pasadena, Calif.


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