February 22, 2010

Cheers — Feb. 22, 2010


Michael Pena has joined the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics as its communications specialist and media relations representative. He comes to Johns Hopkins from Stanford University News Service and previously worked as a reporter for The San Francisco Chronicle and other newspapers in the Northern California Bay Area.


William A. LaPlante, head of the Global Engagement Department, has been named to the Defense Science Board, the prestigious federal panel that advises top Defense Department leaders on scientific, technical, research and other critical matters. The board was established in 1956 to advise Pentagon leaders on potential new weapons systems and has evolved to shape and strengthen the Defense Department’s research and development strategies. LaPlante was one of 39 new members named to the board, which includes leaders in science, technology, industry and fields that relate to the military.

John Sommerer has been appointed head of the Space Department. Sommerer, who had been acting head since August 2008, assumes leadership of one of APL’s largest departments, with nearly 700 technical experts tackling some of NASA’s and the military’s toughest space science and systems engineering challenges. An internationally recognized expert in nonlinear dynamics and complex systems, Sommerer has served on several national academies and is currently chair of the Naval Research Advisory Committee, the Navy’s senior science advisory body. He holds a doctorate and master’s degree in physics from the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins, respectively, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in systems science and mathematics from Washington University in St. Louis.


Robert Black, the Edgar Berman Professor and chair of the Department of International Health, is the recipient of the 2010 Programme for Global Pediatric Research Award for Outstanding Contributions to Global Child Health. He will be presented with the award at the PGPR symposium at the Pediatric Academic Societies’ Annual Meeting in May.

David Holtgrave, professor and chair of the Department of Health, Behavior and Society, was appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius made the announcement on Feb. 1. The council provides advice, information and recommendations on domestic and global HIV/AIDS policy issues to the president through the secretary of health and human services. The council also will serve to further the policy goals of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy and will provide input for the national HIV/AIDS strategy. Holtgrave was one of 24 members named to the panel, which is drawn from a diverse group of researchers, service providers and community leaders from around the country, including people living with HIV, and from community-based organizations that cater to the medical, legal or mental health needs of people living with HIV/AIDS.


Patricia Brown, president of Johns Hopkins HealthCare and senior counsel for the Johns Hopkins Health System, is serving as 2010 leader in residence at the University of Richmond’s Jepson School of Leadership Studies. As president of Johns Hopkins HealthCare, Brown oversees all managed-care products for 200,000 individuals enrolled in self-funded employer, Medicaid and Department of Defense health plans served by Johns Hopkins. She also is responsible for integrating and coordinating managed care contracting and payer and market strategy for all JHM entities. In addition, as counsel, she provides legal advice for managed care and regulatory compliance.


Arthur Burnett II, professor of urology and director of the Basic Science Laboratory in Neurourology and the Male Consultation Clinic; and Edward Schaeffer, assistant professor of urology and director of International Urology, spoke to more than 100 physicians at Arab Health, the Middle East’s largest health care conference. The two-day gathering in Abu Dubai, United Arab Emirates, attracted more than 55,000 professionals from 145 countries.

Alan Harvey, former president of the Massachusetts Medical Society/New England Journal of Medicine, has been named chief medical officer of the Johns Hopkins–managed Tawam Hospital in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Harvey, also formerly director of Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement and Patient Safety in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, was instrumental in development of Massachusetts’ universal health care bill, which has become a template for national health insurance. Gregory Schaffer, former president and CEO of Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, has been appointed chief executive officer of Tawam Hospital. Schaffer, who headed Bayview from 1999 to 2009, has more than 30 years of health care leadership experience and is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.


Daniel Deudney, associate professor of political science, was honored by the International Studies Association for his book Bounding Power: Republican Security Theory From the Polis to the Global Village (Princeton University Press, 2007), which was named one of the three joint winners of its award for Outstanding Book of the Decade in International Studies. The honor was announced Feb. 18 during the organization’s annual meeting, held in New Orleans.

Kenneth B. Moss, the Felix Posen Assistant Professor of Modern Jewish History, is a winner of the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature for his book Jewish Renaissance in the Russian Revolution (Harvard University Press). Moss will split the first-place $125,000 prize, to be awarded March 31 in Jerusalem, with Sarah Abrevaya Stein for her book Plumes: Ostrich Feathers, Jews and a Lost World of Global Commerce (Yale University Press). In an unprecedented move, the judges this year decided to give the first prize to two authors and eliminate the runner-up category.


A new CD, Music of the 20th Century, from faculty artist Victor Danchenko, violin, features works by Janácek, Messiaen, Stravinsky and Shostakovich.

Following a Jan. 31 recital, 2009 Yale Gordon Competition winner Hans Goldstein, a senior studying cello with Amit Peled, advanced to the third round of the Unisa International String Competition in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Joel Puckett, a Music Theory faculty member, has been named composer in residence of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras for three years starting this spring. Puckett will write several pieces to be premiered by the ensembles, work with CYSO’s young composers and engage with CYSO’s youngest students during music theory classes.

Pianist Hee Youn Choue; an early music ensemble including soprano Elizabeth Hungerford, lutenist Kevin Dixon-Payne, archlutenist Brian Kay, and baroque guitarist Kevin Shannon; and the Brass Roots QuintetJohn Ehrenburg, Scott Nadelson, Joseph Hughes, Gabriel Colby and Haim Mazar—will perform in the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater on March 2 as part of the center’s Conservatory Project, a series of free concerts showcasing student performers from the nation’s top conservatories.


Jakub Grygiel, the George H.W. Bush Associate Professor of International Relations, has joined the Center for European Policy Analysis as a senior fellow working on issues in Central European geopolitics. He and The Economist’s Edward Lucas, an expert on Russia and Central and Eastern Europe, will work to raise U.S. policy-maker awareness of the need for greater engagement with Central European allies amid ongoing developments in the regional landscape and new challenges in relations with Russia.


Stephen Baylin, professor of oncology and medicine and deputy director of the Kimmel Cancer Center, has received the 14th annual Alfred G. Knudson Award in Cancer Genetics from the National Cancer Institute. The award, named for the researcher who revolutionized the understanding of the genetic basis for cancer, recognizes outstanding contributions in cancer genetics. Baylin and his laboratory have led the way in the emerging field of epigenetics, which determines how cellular information within DNA is controlled.

Lisa Cooper, professor of general internal medicine, has been named one of msnbc .com’s 100 Black History Makers in the Making. Praised for her pioneering work to close “the racial gap in health care,” Cooper joins such other African-American notables on the list as Oprah Winfrey, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, pop music star Beyonce Knowles and fellow Marylanders Freeman Hrabowski III, president of UMBC, and new Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Julie Freischlag, professor and director of the Department of Surgery, has been named one of Working Mother magazine’s 10 “most powerful moms in health care.” Freischlag is one of only three women chief surgeons in the nation and, the magazine notes, “is devoted to courting more women into surgery departments.”

Julie Gottlieb has been named associate dean for policy coordination. In this post, she will further expand conflict-of-interest and compliance initiatives across the institution and maximize its national profile. Gottlieb has been an assistant dean and director of the Office of Policy Coordination since 2003.

Edward Miller, dean of the school and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, has been named one of the Baltimore Business Journal’s Baltimore Power 20 for the past year. The designation ranks Miller among the top 20 leaders in the community.

Peter Pronovost, professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine and director of the Center of Innovation in Quality Patient Care, has received the National Committee for Quality Assurance health quality award for conducting research that improves the health care system; improving the management or delivery of health care to make the system more effective, efficient and compassionate; and advancing health care quality. Other NCQA honorees this year include Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell and Karen Davis, president of the Commonwealth Fund.

Zeshaan Rasheed, medical oncology fellow at the Kimmel Cancer Center, has been awarded the first Pancreatic Cancer Action Network–AACR Pathway to Leadership Grant. The grant, totaling $600,000 over five years, will support Rasheed’s efforts to examine the relevance of cancer stem cells in pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

Gary L. Rosner has been appointed professor of oncology and director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins’ Quantitative Sciences Program and Biostatistics/Bioinformatics Division. Rosner previously held faculty appointments at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, where he was the inaugural director of the Program in Biomathematics and Biostatistics. Prior to that, he was a member of the faculty in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the Yale University School of Medicine. A graduate of the State University of New York, Buffalo, he received his MAMSc from Rice University and his doctorate from Harvard. His postgraduate training was in applied mathematical sciences at Rice and in biostatistics at Harvard.


Martha N. Hill, dean of Nursing and a professor in the schools of Nursing, Medicine and Public Health, has been named an honorary member of Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society. Hill is the first nurse to receive this honor from the 107-year-old society, which confers honorary membership on physicians and scientists in recognition of their extraordinary contributions to medicine. The honor recognizes Hill’s work in integrating scholarship with patient, provider and system-level interventions to improve care and outcomes for vulnerable and underserved populations, particularly young, urban African-American men.


Mark Cyzyk, scholarly communications architect in the Library Digital Programs Group, has been appointed to the editorial board of Information Technology and Libraries, the flagship publication of the American Library Association’s Library and Information Technology Association. His two-year term begins July 1.


German Drazer, assistant professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Naru Nakata, assistant professor in Civil Engineering, are recipients of National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) awards, given in recognition of young scientists’ commitment to research and education. Drazer’s award was given for “Deterministic and Stochastic Transport of Suspended Particles in Periodic Systems: Fundamentals and Applications in Separation Science.” The grant will support his investigations into the transport phenomena that arise in the motion of suspended particles in spatially periodic systems, and the translation of these phenomena into new principles for the manipulation of suspended particles in fluidic devices. Nakata’s award for “Advanced Acceleration Control Methods and Substructure Techniques for Shaking Table Tests” will support the development of methodologies that enhance accuracy and capabilities of shake table testing of structures. This work will have a direct impact on earthquake engineering by providing accurate experimental means for seismic performance assessment of structures under dynamic loadings and boundary conditions.

Jin Kang, professor and chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been elected a fellow of the Optical Society of America, which brings together optics and photonics scientists, engineers, educators and industry leaders to promote research and share knowledge of optical problems. The OSA is recognizing Kang for his contributions to spatial soliton nonlinear optics and for the development of novel fiber lasers and fiber-optic subsystems for broadband RF signal processing and communications.

Feilim Mac Gabhann, assistant professor in Biomedical Engineering and a core faculty member in the Institute for Computational Medicine, has been awarded the Microcirculatory Society’s 2010 August Krogh Young Investigator Award. The award is given annually to a young investigator in the early stages of his or her research career.