Johns Hopkins Gazette | April 20, 2009
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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University April 20, 2009 | Vol. 38 No. 31

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.


Bayview Medical Center

Eric Howell, assistant professor of medicine and director of the Collaborative Inpatient Medicine Service, has been elected to the board of directors of the Society of Hospital Medicine. He recently received SHM's Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Antony Rosen, professor and director of Rheumatology in the Department of Medicine, has been selected as recipient of the 2009 Mary Betty Stevens Award presented by the American College of Physicians, Maryland Chapter. Named for one of the world's foremost rheumatologists, the award recognizes significant contributions through clinical research. Rosen, an internationally renowned basic scientist in cell biology, pathology and immunology, directs the rheumatology division that is ranked No. 1 in the country by U.S. News & World Report. He also is deputy director for innovation for the Department of Medicine at Bayview. Rosen and his colleagues work on defining the mechanisms of the autoimmune rheumatic diseases, with a particular focus on understanding how these diseases get started and cause damage to the body's tissues.


Bloomberg School of Public Health

Miriam Alexander, director of the General Preventive Medicine Residency Program and assistant professor in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, has been named president of the American College of Preventive Medicine. She will begin serving a two-year term as president on Feb. 1, 2011, followed by a two-year term as immediate past president.

Chongzhi Di, a doctoral candidate, is this year's recipient of the Biostatistics Department's Margaret Merrell Award for Excellence in Research.

Diane E. Griffin, professor and the Alfred and Jill Sommer Chair of the W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, was inducted March 12 into the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame. Griffin, also the founding director of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, came to the university as a virology fellow in 1970 after earning her medical and doctoral degrees from Stanford University School of Medicine. Upon completing her postdoctoral work, she was named an assistant professor and later professor of medicine and neurology. She served as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator from 1973 to 1979. Griffin is the principal investigator on a variety of grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Bill & Melinda Gates and Dana foundations. Her research focuses on how viruses cause disease, especially alpha-viruses, acute encephalitis and measles. She is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Microbiology and the Institute of Medicine.

Nicholas Reich, a doctoral candidate, is this year's recipient of the Biostatistics Department's Helen Abbey Award for Excellence in Teaching.


Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

Joyce Epstein, principal research scientist in the Center for Social Organization of Schools, has received the Elizabeth Cohen Award for Applied Research in the Sociology of Education from the Sociology of Education Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association. The honor was presented this month at the 90th annual meeting of AERA, held in San Diego.

In addition, Epstein and James McPartland, also a principal research scientist with CSOS, were among 44 scholars selected as fellows by AERA in recognition of their exceptional scientific or scholarly contributions to education research or significant contributions to the field through the development of research opportunities and settings. They were inducted on April 14 during the AERA meeting.



Three women from Johns Hopkins have been named by The Daily Record to its list of Maryland's Top 100 Women of 2009, a recognition honoring women who are making an impact through their leadership, community service and mentoring. They are Lynn Goldman, a pediatrician and professor in the Bloomberg School of Public Health's Department of Environmental Health Sciences, who is principal investigator for the Johns Hopkins University Center for the National Children's Study and co-principal investigator of the National Study Center for Preparedness and Critical Event Response; Martha Hill, dean of the School of Nursing, who is known for her work and research in preventing and treating hypertension and its complications, particularly among young, urban African-American men; and Rhonda Ulmer, community health advocate for Johns Hopkins HealthCare. The honorees will be recognized at an event to be held May 11 in Baltimore.

Recipients of the 2009 Diversity Recognition Awards will be honored at a ceremony at noon on Tuesday, May 12, in Homewood's Shriver Hall. Individual awards will be presented by President Ron Daniels to C. Michael Armstrong and Beverly White-Seals, Johns Hopkins Medicine board of trustees; Juan Arvelo and William Gray, Applied Physics Laboratory; Rosa Asitimbay, Johns Hopkins Home Care Group; Frederick Brancati and Neil Powe, School of Medicine; Francesca Dominici, Bloomberg School of Public Health; Ahreum Kim, Peabody Conservatory; and Melodye Thomas, Bayview Medical Center.

Group awards will be presented to the Center for Talented Youth's disability management team: Mary "Liz" Albert, Katherine Kidd, Melissa Kistler, Linda Noell, Andrew Moss and Jim Smerbeck; and to Engineers Without Borders at the Whiting School of Engineering: William Ball, Edward Bouwer, Kristen Downs, Ryan M. Harrison, Karen Nie, Carolyn Purington, Jessica Shaio, Yourong "Sophie" Su, Linda Wan, Yujie Wang, Mike Wheeler, Shane Woolwine, Jane Yee and Jie Zhang.


Peabody Institute

Zane Forshee, a doctoral candidate in guitar studying with Julian Gray, has received a Fulbright grant to spend nine months in Alicante, Spain, starting in September. Forshee, who also teaches classical guitar at the Peabody Preparatory, will study the solo guitar works of several Spanish composers with guitarist Ignacio Rodes at the Oscar Espla Conservatory in preparation for a new recording. In addition, he will conduct research for a book on the solo guitar works of Vicente Ascencio (1908-1979), with whom Rodes worked closely.

Adam Golka, a graduate performance diploma candidate studying piano with Leon Fleisher, has been named the 2009 Max I. Allen Classical Fellow by the American Pianists Association. Golka received the prestigious fellowship, one of two, following solo, chamber, lieder and concerto performances in Indianapolis.

Colin Sorgi, a senior studying with Herbert Greenberg, has been awarded the first prize in this year's Marbury Prize Competition for undergraduate violin. Sorgi will perform at the Marbury Prize Recital on Tuesday, April 21, in Goodwin Recital Hall. Vieen Leung, a junior studying with Victor Danchenko, was awarded second prize in the competition.



Jakub Grygiel, the George H.W. Bush Associate Professor of International Relations, has been accepted as a 2009-2010 academic fellow with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in Washington, D.C. As an FDD fellow, he will participate in a unique educational program that focuses on the threat of terrorism to democracy. The FDD Academic Fellowship Program, which takes place in Israel for 10 days this spring, consists of an intensive series of lectures by academics, diplomats and military officials from India, Israel, Jordan, Turkey and the United States, as well as field trips to military, police and immigration facilities throughout Israel. The goal is to educate participants about terrorism and how democratic states combat the threat.


School of Education

Yolanda Abel, assistant professor in the Department of Teacher Preparation, has been selected by Phi Delta Kappa International for inclusion in the PDK 2009-2010 Class of Emerging Leaders. Founded in 1906, Phi Delta Kappa is a professional association for educators whose mission is to promote high-quality education--in particular, publicly supported education — as essential to the development and maintenance of a democratic way of life. PDK has chapters in the United States, Europe and Asia. Emerging leaders are those under 40 who are considered the next generation of educational leaders and policy-makers.


School of Medicine

Robert Cotter, professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences and director of the Middle Atlantic Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, has received the American Chemical Society's Analytical Division Award in Chemical Instrumentation for his landmark advances in the field. Cotter was among the first to use mass spectrometers to analyze proteins and since has made significant improvements in the technology. For example, he led a team that produced a shoebox-sized, miniaturized mass spectrometer, which typically is as big as a refrigerator. The miniature was sent on a space mission to Mars.

Rebekah Gundry, a research fellow in the Department of Medicine's Division of Cardiology, is one of only four recipients nationwide of a Pathway to Independence Award from the NIH's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The grant provides approximately $950,000 over five years to support Gundry's research to track the differentiation of embryonic stem cells toward heart muscle cells. She also received a research grant from BD Biosciences, an international life sciences company, that provides $25,000 worth of the firm's reagents, which are substances used in a chemical reactions to detect, measure, examine or produce other substances.

Dengke Ma, a doctoral candidate in neuroscience, and Jared Parker, a doctoral candidate in biophysics and biophysical chemistry, are among just 13 graduate students from North America to receive 2009 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Awards from the Basic Sciences Division of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. They were recognized for the quality, originality and significance of their work.

Luca Vricella has been named chief of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery in the Division of Cardiac Surgery.

Georgia Vogelsang, professor of oncology, has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation for her work on chronic graft vs. host disease, or GVHD. She is the first woman to receive this honor, which recognizes dedication to seeing patients with chronic GVHD and developing new strategies to treat it.


School of Nursing

Elizabeth Jordan, assistant professor, and Shirley Van Zandt, instructor, both of the Department of Community Public Health, have been named 2009 Health Care Heroes by The Daily Record in the category of Community Outreach for their Birth Companions program. Since 1997, specially trained Johns Hopkins nursing students have provided free doula care, including education, prenatal visits and massages and breathing exercises during labor, to poor women in the greater Baltimore area.

Rosemary Mortimer, instructor in Acute and Chronic Care, has received the 2009 Leader of Leaders Award from the National Student Nurses' Association. The recipient is nominated by the students, and the award includes an expense-paid trip to the NSNA Annual Convention in Nashville, Tenn., where Mortimer was awarded a plaque at the Plenary Session on April 16.


Sheridan Libraries / JHU Museums

Gabrielle Dean, the Council on Library and Information Resources postdoctoral fellow in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Department at the Sheridan Libraries, has been awarded the Fredson Bowers Memorial Prize by the Society for Textual Scholarship. The prize is given out every two years and recognizes an outstanding essay or article in textual studies. Dean won for her article "Grid Games: Gertrude Stein's Diagrams and Detectives," which appeared in the April 2008 issue of the journal Modernism/modernity.


University Administration

Deborah Hillard has been named director of the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program. Hillard joined Johns Hopkins six years ago and recently has been directing the Johns Hopkins Student Assistance Program for medical and professional students. In her new role, she will direct the clinical and administrative functions of both programs, FASAP and JHSAP.


Whiting School of Engineering

Lori Graham-Brady, associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, is a recipient of the 2009 American Society of Civil Engineers' Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize. In selecting Graham-Brady for the award, the ASCE committee noted that "she has become one of the top researchers in the field of stochastic mechanics. She was one of the first to develop tools for micromechanics of materials with random microstructure. This focus on materials has been a new and very fruitful direction for probabilistic mechanics."

Rene Vidal, assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and director of the Vision Dynamics and Learning Lab, is the recipient of a 2009 Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award for "An Optimization Framework for Simultaneous Object Categorization and Segmentation." The Young Investigator Program recognizes outstanding new faculty members at institutions of higher education, supports their research and encourages their teaching and research careers.

Noah Cowan, assistant professor in Mechanical Engineering; Jeff Gray, assistant professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; and Rachel Karchin, assistant professor in Biomedical Engineering, are recipients of National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development awards, given in recognition of young scientists' commitment to research and education.

Cowan's award for "Sensory Guidance of Locomotion: From Neurons to Newton's Laws" will support his research in the ways nervous systems transform sensory signals into motor commands to guide locomotion. This research provides a scientific foundation for the development of biomorphic robots for critical applications such as disaster recovery, space exploration and security, and may lead to enhanced neural prostheses and brain-machine interfaces.

Gray's award for "Structure Prediction of Proteins on Solid Surfaces" will support the development of computational tools that can accurately predict the structure of proteins when they interact with interfaces--tools that are invaluable to the growth and evolution of devices at the interfaces of biology and solid-state nanotechnology. His award will also support an educational outreach program for middle and high school students in Baltimore, including the development of new course materials that will be distributed nationally.

Karchin's award for "Modeling Missense Mutation Research" will enable the development of computational models for missense mutant function prediction that will be used to explore the importance of biological context in protein response to missense mutation (such as loss or gain of activity). Additionally, the award will fund an outreach program for high school students (targeting groups underrepresented in science) to introduce them to the field of computational biology.


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