September 21, 2009

Cheers — Sept. 21, 2009

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.


Peter Abadir has joined the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology as an assistant professor. He completed his residency at the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center, where he also was chief resident, and followed with a fellowship in geriatric medicine and gerontology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Abadir’s clinical interests are the frailty syndrome and late-life decline, including genetic, hormonal and environmental factors.

Tola Omotosho has joined the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology as an assistant professor. At the Johns Hopkins Women’s Center for Pelvic Health, she specializes in diagnosing and treating pelvic floor disorders, especially urinary and fecal incontinence; painful bladder syndrome; and reconstructive surgeries for pelvic organ prolapse. Omotosho received her medical degree from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore and a fellowship in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center.

Stephen M. Schatz has joined the Department of Urology as an assistant professor. Schatz comes to Bayview from private practice in San Francisco, after spending two years at the SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine. Schatz received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh and completed his internship in surgery and residency in urology at the Mayo Clinic. He practices general urology, with interests in benign prostate enlargement, kidney stone treatment and prevention, and urologic oncology.

The Internal Medicine Residency Program has received five years of continued accreditation from the Residency Review Committee of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Continued accreditation for five years is the longest period granted by the committee and is awarded to less than 20 percent of internal medicine programs in the United States.


Rafael Irizarry, a professor in the Department of Biostatistics, has been named the 2009 Presidents’ Award recipient by the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies. The organization said that the award, which honors early career contributions, was given to Irizarry in recognition of his leadership, world-class contributions to science, teaching and mentoring, and development of practice-transforming software. Irizarry has also been named a fellow of the American Statistical Association.


Ronald R. Peterson, president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, has been appointed by Gov. Martin O’Malley to the eight-member board of the newly revived Maryland Economic Development Commission, an advisory panel that had been dormant for three years. The group will be led by Elias Zerhouni, former director of the National Institutes of Health and a one-time Johns Hopkins Medicine executive vice dean who returned to Johns Hopkins in April as a senior adviser to JHM. The gubernatorial panel will develop a 10-year strategic economic plan for Maryland.


Michael Edidin, a professor in the Biology Department, has won the University of Chicago Alumni Association’s Professional Achievement Citation for his pioneering work in developing biophysical approaches to examining cell membrane function. Edidin is a 1960 graduate of the University of Chicago and earned his doctorate at University College London in 1963.

Lisa Feigenson, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, has won the American Psychological Association’s 2010 Boyd-McCandless Award for her investigation into the cognitive development of young babies and children. The annual award recognizes a young scientist who has made significant theoretical contributions to developmental psychology or has made distinguished contributions to the dissemination of developmental science. As the latest winner, Feigenson will deliver the Boyd McCandless invited address at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, next August in San Diego. Feigenson is co-director of the Laboratory for Child Development at Johns Hopkins, and her research focuses on how infants and children who are too young to formally count understand numbers.


Joel Puckett, a faculty member in Music Theory, was named composer in residence for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras.

Pianist Ivan Moshchuk, an 18-year-old Peabody Conservatory freshman and student of Boris Slutsky, has been named one of two Gilmore Young Artists for 2010. Sponsored by the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, the Gilmore Young Artist Award is presented every two years to a musician under the age of 22.

Carolee Stewart, dean of the Peabody Preparatory, has been chosen as one of two recipients of a Hall of Fame Alumni Award from the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theater and Dance. A specialist in Orff Schulwerk who earned her doctorate in music education from Michigan, Stewart taught in the Peabody Conservatory’s Music Education Department for 10 years prior to her appointment as Preparatory dean in 2001. She will be inducted on Sept. 25 during Michigan’s Homecoming Weekend.


Mitchell Orenstein, an associate professor in European Studies, is the recipient of the 2009 Charles H. Levine Memorial Book Prize for Privatizing Pensions: The Transnational Campaign for Social Security Reform (Princeton University Press, 2008). The prize is awarded annually by the International Political Science Association’s Research Committee on the Structure of Governance. In making the announcement, the committee said, “Orenstein’s contribution will be of interest to a wide range of scholars and policy-makers, both for its insights into this particular area of governance and also for its exploration of the transnational-national dynamic. The book also opens important doors to further investigation of this dynamic in other policy arenas.”


Pilar Hernandez-Wolf, an associate professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Resources, was recently selected president of the Maryland Association for Counseling and Development. The mission of MACD, which is associated with the American Counseling Association, is to influence policies on behalf of professional counselors and their clients and to provide professional development opportunities and other support services to counselors. Hernandez-Wolf also serves the clinical community program and is internship coordinator for the department.


Cynthia Boyd, assistant professor of geriatrics and gerontology, and Dorry Segev, associate professor of surgery, are among just eight recipients of 2009 Paul B. Beeson Career Development Awards in Aging Research. The awards, of $600,000 to $800,000 for a three-to five-year period, will support the ongoing, innovative inquiries of Boyd, who conducts her research at Johns Hopkins Bayview, and Segev, who works at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Boyd was recognized for her research on the treatment burden in older adults with diabetes and other chronic diseases, and Segev for his studies on elderly patients’ access to kidney transplantation. Named for a renowned infectious disease expert, the awards are administered and sponsored by the National Institute on Aging and the American Federation for Aging Research and also receive funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, Atlantic Philanthropies, John A. Hartford Foundation, Starr Foundation and an anonymous donor.

John Cameron, professor and former surgeon in chief of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, has received a Hope Funds Award of Excellence for his decades of work refining the Whipple procedure for pancreatic surgery. Cameron is believed to have operated on more pancreatic cancer patients than any other surgeon in the world. His devotion to improving and perfecting this complex operation has helped reduce postsurgery death rates from 25 percent to 5 percent. The Hope Funds for Cancer Research is dedicated to advancing innovative research on those cancers that are the most difficult to treat.

Romergryko Geocadin, associate professor of neurology, neurosurgery and anesthesiology/critical care medicine, has been named director of the Neurosciences Critical Care Division and the Neurosciences Critical Care Unit at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Geocadin previously was associate director of the Neurosciences Critical Care Division and director of the Neurosciences Critical Care Unit at Johns Hopkins Bayview.

Marek Mirski, associate professor of anesthesiology/critical care medicine, neurology and neurosurgery, has been named director of the new Perioperative Clinical Research Program and now will serve as executive director of the Neurosciences Critical Care Division. He will continue to serve as vice chair of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, chief of the Division of Neuroanesthesiology and co-director of the Comprehensive Stroke Program.

Jin Zhang, associate professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences, has been awarded a National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award. The $2.5 million grant will cover her direct research costs over the next five years.


Sharon Kozachik, who earned her doctorate from the school in 2006, has been appointed assistant professor in the Department of Acute and Chronic Care.

Nicole Warren, a Johns Hopkins alumna who received her baccalaureate nursing degree in 1998 and her master of public health degree in 1999, will join the faculty as an assistant professor in the Department of Community Public Health.


Robin Ferrier, communications manager at the Montgomery County Campus, has been named co-chair of the Tech Council of Maryland’s Marketing Committee.


Erin Fitzgerald, a doctoral candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering, is among 190 doctoral-level scientists and master’s- and doctoral-level engineers spending a year working in federal agencies or congressional offices as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow. Funded by science societies and government agencies, the fellows learn about science policy while providing science and technology expertise to the government.

Kevin Hemker, a professor in Mechanical Engineering, and Evan Ma, a professor in Materials Science and Engineering, have been elected fellows of ASM International, the Materials Information Society. Hemker is being honored “for research contributions in the understanding of deformation mechanisms, in intermetallic systems and microscale mechanical testing” and Ma for “significant contributions in the study of processing, structure and mechanical properties of nanocrystalline and amorphous metals and alloys.”

Charles O’Melia, professor emeritus of geography and environmental engineering, is the 2009 recipient of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors’ Outstanding Publication Award for the paper titled “The Coagulation of Humic Substances by Means of Aluminum Salts,” published in the Journal of the American Water Works Association. He shares this honor with co-authors Brian Dempsey of Penn State and Rui Ganho of New University of Lisbon.

Srideva Sarma, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering in the Institute for Computational Medicine, is the recipient of a Career Award for Scientific Interface from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. The award is intended to foster the early career development of researchers with backgrounds in the physical, mathematical and computational sciences whose work addresses biological questions. Sarma’s award will support research in improved therapies for Parkinson’s disease.