The Johns Hopkins Gazette: May 17, 1999
May 17, 1999
VOL. 28, NO. 35


Society of Scholars to Induct New Members

Fifteen former postdoctoral fellows will be honored for accomplishments

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

To honor the significant accomplishments of men and women who spent part of their careers at Johns Hopkins, the Society of Scholars was created by the board of trustees in May 1967 on the recommendation of university president Milton S. Eisenhower.

The society--the first of its kind in the nation--inducts former postdoctoral fellows and junior or visiting faculty who have gained marked distinction in their fields of physical, biological, medical, social or engineering sciences or in the humanities and for whom at least five years have elapsed since their last Hopkins affiliation.

The Committee of the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars, whose members are equally distributed among the university's academic divisions, elects the scholars from candidates nominated by the academic divisions that have programs for postdoctoral fellows. The society currently has 370 members.

The 15 scholars elected in 1999 will be invested at an induction ceremony hosted by Provost Steven Knapp at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 26, at Evergreen House. At that time they will be presented with a diploma and a medallion on a black and gold ribbon to be worn with their academic robe. The induction will be followed by a dinner hosted by President William R. Brody.

The new Society of Scholars members will be recognized at commencement on May 27.

The following listing gives the names of the inductees, their current affiliation, their postdoctoral years at Hopkins, the name of their nominator and a short description of their field of interest:

Kenneth I. Berns, interim vice president for health affairs and dean of the College of Medicine, University of Florida; postdoctoral experience, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (formerly Department of Microbiology), School of Medicine, 1966-67; nominated by Thomas J. Kelly Jr.

Kenneth Berns has devoted most of his scientific research career to the study of the molecular basis of replication of the human parvovirus, adeno-associated virus. He has been a major contributor to our knowledge concerning the ability of AAV to establish latent infections in human cells and to be reactivated by adenovirus infection. His work was instrumental in providing the basis for the current interest in the use of this virus as a vector for gene therapy. He has served as president of the American Society for Virology and the American Society of Microbiology and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

George A. Bray, executive director and professor, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, La.; postdoctoral experience, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, 1957-58; nominated by Simeon Margolis.

George Bray's interest in obesity began with a question about the biological basis for inherited obesity. Using as models genetically obese mice and rats available when he was a fellow and faculty member at Tufts, he began a series of animal studies that have continued for 35 years. He has examined the effects of food restriction, dietary composition, insulin resistance and the administration of thyroid hormone, cholecystokinin and various anorectic drugs in rats obese due to genetic factors or hypothalamic lesions. His laboratory studies have also shown that dietary fat intake can be selectively regulated either by a pancreatic peptide (enterostatin) or by serotonin release in the brain. The results of these studies have provided an understanding that one important cause of obesity is defects in the feedback system that regulates food intake. He then used the insights gained from these animal experiments to study patients with obesity in the clinic. Findings regarding the role of monoamines in controlling food intake have contributed to his studies on the role of drugs that modulate neurotransmitters as possible treatments for obesity. He is the lead author on the multicenter study of subutramine, a drug that has just been approved for the treatment of obesity in the United States.

Robert M. Chanock, chief of the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health; postdoctoral experience, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, 1956-57; nominated by Diane E. Griffin.

Robert Chanock has had a career committed to the discovery of the etiology of many respiratory diseases and to developing vaccines for virus diseases of children and adults. He was responsible for the initial isolations of many respiratory viruses, e.g., respiratory syncytial virus, parainfluenza virus, corona viruses and a number of strains of rhinovirus. He also was the first to isolate and characterize a new type of infectious agent, mycoplasma. He defined most of what we know about the virologic and epidemiologic characteristics and the clinical spectrum of these infections. As chief of the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases at the NIAID, he currently leads the largest U.S. program for developing new vaccines for important virus diseases of humans. He has trained many of the leaders in human virology. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1973.

Michael J. Dunn, professor of medicine, dean and executive vice president, Medical College of Wisconsin; postdoctoral experience, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, 1962-65; nominated by W. Gordon Walker.

Michael Dunn's early classic description of experimental magnesium depletion in the human and subsequent studies of erythrocyte ion transport that clarified previously disparate views of sodium transport across the red blood cell membrane are recognized as outstanding research contributions. His most significant and sustained research on the role of prostaglandins in modulating renal function has provided new insights into the endocrine regulation of kidney function in health and disease. His studies of the renal toxicity of widely used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents have provided both clinical guidance and new insights into the basic physiology of the renal circulation.

Gerald A.M. Finerman, chairman, Department of Orthopaedics, University of California-Los Angeles; postdoctoral experience, Department of Orthopaedics, School of Medicine, 1966-69; nominated by John P. Kostuik.

Gerald Finerman received his medical degree at Johns Hopkins and following his residency here was appointed an assistant professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Johns Hopkins. With Lee Riley Jr., he initiated the total hip service at Johns Hopkins. At UCLA, which he joined in 1971, he specializes in sports medicine joint replacement. He has been in charge of the sports medicine program for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and was chief medical officer for the UCLA village in the 1984 Olympic games. He recently was awarded a large grant from NIH to evaluate kinematics of the cruciate ligaments of the knee.

Mark T. Keating, professor of medicine and of human genetics and HHMI investigator, Eccles Institute of Human Genetics, University of Utah; postdoctoral experience, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, 1980-83; nominated by Victor A. McKusick.

Mark Keating, who did his residency training on the Osler Medical Service of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, is a pioneer in molecular cardiology. Starting in 1991 and using methods of map-based gene discovery, he and his colleagues at the University of Utah characterized the genes mutant in four forms of the long QT syndrome, a cause of cardiac arrhythmia and sudden death. In 1993, he and his students showed that the gene for elastin is mutated or deleted in cases of the aortic malformation called supravalvar aortic stenosis. They went on to show that the elastin gene and neighboring genes are deleted in about 90 percent of patients with Williams syndrome, a developmental abnormality that has supravalvar aortic stenosis as one feature. Thus, the studies of Keating demonstrated that elastin is essential to arterial morphogenesis. His studies of the several forms of long QT syndrome revealed new information about the function of potassium ion channels in the heart and provided DNA diagnosis in family members at risk for sudden death.

David T. Kelly, Scandrett Professor of Cardiology and director, Hallstrom Institute of Cardiology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, Australia; postdoctoral experience, Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, 1969-76; nominated by Richard S. Ross.

David Kelly received medical and cardiology training in New Zealand and held junior faculty posts in London and Cape Town before coming in 1969 to Johns Hopkins, where he was served on the faculty until 1976. While at Hopkins, Kelly was involved in the development of radio nucleotide imaging of the heart. When he returned to Australia, he established the Department of Nuclear Medicine at the University of Sydney. He has been a pioneer in cardiovascular pharmacology and in the use of vasodilators in myocardial infarction. More recently, his interests have been directed toward the epidemiology of coronary disease, and he was invited to give the Paul Dudley White International Lecture at the 1996 Annual Scientific Session of the American Heart Association. Kelly has been president of the International Society and the Federation of Cardiology and will be president of the 14th World Congress of Cardiology, to be held in Sydney in the year 2002.

Jon C. Liebman, professor emeritus, Department of Civil Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; postdoctoral experience, Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering (formerly Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences), School of Engineering, 1965-72; nominated by Charles ReVelle and M. Gordon Wolman. Jon Liebman began his academic career on the faculty at Hopkins, where he established one of the nation's first research programs in environmental systems engineering and provided the university's first course in scientific computing. At the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, he headed the Civil Engineering Department, one of the largest in the country. Liebman's pioneering research has been in the area of environmental systems analysis, a field that blends the tools of operations research with the practical problems of environmental management. In particular, he has done path-breaking research in applications of mathematical modeling and optimization to the regional management of water quality; his seminal dynamic programming work led to extensive follow-on research on this important problem. He established the nation's first research program that focused on optimal methods for solid waste management. With his students, he studies the complex mathematical problems associated with collection, routing, transfer station siting and landfill siting in order to determine cost-efficient regional solid waste-disposal systems. He has also published extensively on optimal sewer system design and on the design of water distribution systems.

Paul Meier, Howard Levene Professor, Department of Statistics, Columbia University; postdoctoral experience, Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, 1952-57; nominated by Scott Zeger.

In 1958, Paul Meier published with E.L. Kaplan a paper in the Journal of the American Statistical Association titled "Nonparametric Estimation from Incomplete Observations" that introduced the now famous Kaplan-Meier estimate of the survival function, which populates every major medical and public health journal throughout the world. With the Cox proportional hazards model, the Kaplan-Meier estimate of a survival function is perhaps the most commonly used statistical method in clinical research. Meier had started this seminal work as a graduate student at Princeton and completed it as a faculty member in the Hopkins Department of Biostatistics. With this single paper, Meier established himself as the leading biostatistician of his day. He went on to a distinguished career, serving for more than 30 years as professor of statistics at the University of Chicago, during which time he became the leading American expert in the design, conduct and analysis of data from clinical trials.

Nicholas Muzyczka, professor, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Florida Health Science Center; postdoctoral experience, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (formerly Department of Microbiology), School of Medicine, 1974-77; nominated by Maurice J. Bessman.

Nicholas Muzyczka's doctoral thesis from the Hopkins Department of Biology on bacterial viruses was seminal to our understanding of the biochemical basis of spontaneous mutations. Later, as a postdoctoral fellow in Daniel Nathan's laboratory, Muzyczka began his work with animal viruses that has made him a leader in the area of gene therapy, using adeno-associated virus as the vector for replacing defective genes. His fundamental studies on viral replication have been instrumental in advancing the technology of gene replacement in the treatment of human disease.

Carol Wolf Runyan, professor, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, and director, University of North Carolina Injury Prevention Research Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; postdoctoral experience, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, 1985-86; nominated by Susan P. Baker.

Carol Runyan's achievements and leadership in injury control have placed her at the forefront of this critical field. Shortly after completing her postdoctoral fellowship in epidemiology at the School of Public Health, she was appointed associate director and then director of the Injury Prevention Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Runyan's seminal research on adolescent and occupational injuries was accomplished during a period when both areas lacked good epidemiological work. Her papers on injuries to women have called attention to the underrecognized fact that injuries are the major cause of death among women for the first several decades of life. Her research is now making important contributions to the problem of violence against women.

Olive Shisana, executive director, Family and Health Services, World Health Organization; postdoctoral experience, Department of Health Policy and Management (formerly Department of Behavior Sciences), School of Public Health, 1981-84; nominated by David D. Celentano and Richard Morrow Jr. Olive Shisana, who in the mid-1970s fled South Africa because of anticipated arrest for her active anti-apartheid activities, has led the extraordinary transformation of that country's apartheid separate and unequal hospital-based health systems through to an integrated, equitable district-based primary health care-oriented system. After obtaining a master's degree from Loyola College in Baltimore and a ScD from the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins, she joined the Department of Human Services, District of Columbia, where, from 1986 to 1991, she served as chief statistical adviser and then chief of research and statistics. With the revolutionary political shifts in South Africa that would allow her expertise to be put to good use in rebuilding her homeland, she returned in 1991 to join the South African Medical Research Council. While with the MRC she was seconded to the University of the Western Cape to develop in parallel with the University of the Transvaal the first school of public health in South Africa. She became technical adviser to the African National Congress on Provincial Restructuring of the Administrations, Civil Service Restructuring and Affirmative Action and was instrumental in radically redrawing boundaries for the provinces and districts, which was fundamental to the drive for equitable social services. When the new Government of National Unity took over, she was appointed director general of the South African Department of Health in 1995, carrying through the full transformation of the previously inequitable, highly fractionated, racially structured health system in the face of unrelenting opposition by the incumbent members of the previous health establishment. Largely because of her courageous and compelling management of the health system of South Africa, she was one of the first people selected by Gro Brundtland, the new director-general of the World Health Organization, to join her inner cabinet, as executive director of Family and Health Services.

David B. Skinner, president and CEO, the New York Presbyterian Hospital and New York Presbyterian Healthcare System; postdoctoral experience, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, 1968-72; nominated by John L. Cameron.

David Skinner is a general thoracic surgeon whose first faculty appointment was in 1968 as an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, where he later was promoted to professor. His major interests were esophageal surgery, pulmonary surgery and support of the failing heart. He left Hopkins after five years to become the Dallas B. Phemister Professor of Surgery and chairman of the department at the University of Chicago. When he became president of New York Hospital in 1987, he was recognized as one of the outstanding esophageal surgeons in the world. Under his leadership, New York Hospital has gone from losing a million dollars a week to being a very successful institution, which recently combined with Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, with Skinner as the CEO of the combined New York Presbyterian Hospital and New York Presbyterian Healthcare System.

Eric Jeffrey Topol, chairman, Department of Cardiology, and director, Joseph J. Jacob Center for Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation; postdoctoral experience, Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, 1982-85; nominated by Kenneth L. Baughman.

While a fellow at Hopkins, Eric Topol made original observations on the influence of bypass graft surgery on stunned myocardium and the early use of thrombolytic agents. Following his fellowship, Topol was recruited by the University of Michigan School of Medicine, where he rose to the rank of professor in 1991 and was the director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory. He was subsequently appointed chairman of the Department of Cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, where he also directs the Joseph J. Jacobs Center for Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. He has organized a worldwide network of cardiovascular investigators who have completed a multitude of randomized, prospective placebo-controlled trials, which have dramatically forwarded our knowledge of evidence-based cardiology. In the area of cardiovascular diseases, Topol has authored or co-authored 528 original manuscripts, 15 books, 99 book chapters, 40 letters to the editor, 406 abstracts and 54 non-peer review articles.

Gayle Woodson, professor, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Tennessee; postdoctoral experience, Department of General Surgery, School of Medicine, 1976-78; nominated by Charles W. Cummings.

Gayle Woodson attended medical school at Baylor and did her surgical internship and first year of resident surgical training at Hopkins, prior to returning to Baylor in the otolaryngological head and neck surgical training program. She completed a fellowship in laryngeal physiology at the Institute of Laryngology and Otology in London and became certified by both the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada and the American Board of Otolaryngology. She served on the medical faculties of Baylor College and the University of California at San Diego before moving to the University of Tennessee. Woodson serves as a director of the American Board of Otolaryngology and is on the residency review committee for otolaryngology. She is currently president of the Society of University Otolaryngologists and the Advisory Council for Otolaryngology for the American College of Surgeons. Woodson serves on four editorial boards of peer-reviewed journals and has authored 85 publications and book chapters.