April 19, 2010

Cheers — April 19, 2010


Jim Schatz, of the Applied Information Sciences Department, has received the Distinguished Executive Presidential Rank Award, which recognizes career members of the government’s Senior Executive Service for long-term accomplishments. Schatz recently joined APL after holding several executive-level technical and leadership positions in the government, culminating in his role as director of research for the National Security Agency.

Gary Sullins, an aerospace engineer and supervisor within the Air and Missile Defense Department, was presented with a Missile Defense Agency Technology Achievement Award March 24 during the eighth annual U.S. Missile Defense Conference in Washington, D.C. Sullins was honored for his critical role in Burnt Frost, the 2008 operation to shoot down a wayward and potentially dangerous nonfunctioning U.S. spy satellite.


Akil Merchant has joined Bayview as interim clinical director of Hematology. After receiving his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine, Merchant completed a residency in internal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine Affiliated Hospitals, followed by a fellowship in medical oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.

Leigh Ann Price has joined the Johns Hopkins Burn Center. Price, an assistant professor, is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who specializes in acute and reconstructive burn surgery and complex wounds. She received her medical degree from University of Missouri, Columbia and completed her residency in general surgery at Baystate Medical Center, an affiliate of Tufts University. After completing a fellowship in burn surgery at the Johns Hopkins Burn Center, Price finished a fellowship in plastic and reconstructive surgery at hospitals within the Johns Hopkins and University of Maryland medical systems.


Rita Colwell, an adjunct professor in Environmental Health Sciences and the Center for Water and Health, is the 2010 recipient of the Stockholm Water Prize, which includes a $150,000 award in recognition of her “numerous seminal contributions towards solving the world’s water and water-related public health problems.” The award recognizes, in particular, Colwell’s work on preventing the spread of cholera.

Stacey DiLorenzo has been named senior director of communications. She will lead the school’s marketing and strategic communications, and oversee the operations of its publications, media relations and Web design teams. DiLorenzo comes to Johns Hopkins from Maryland Public Television, where she was managing director of local corporate support and marketing. Previously, at Discovery Communications, she was executive creative director and vice president of marketing for the TLC and Discovery Home networks. She has worked as a marketing and creative consultant to BBC America, NBC-4, McCormick Spice, PBS and the American Lung Association of Washington, D.C. She also worked as a writer and producer of documentary programming. A magna cum laude graduate of Boston University, DiLorenzo earned a master’s degree in radio, television and film from the University of Maryland.

‘Johns Hopkins Public Health’ has been nominated for best science/tech coverage in the 21st annual Utne Independent Press Awards. The awards, given in 10 categories, are sponsored by Utne magazine, which selects the nominees from 1,300 magazines. The winners will be announced April 25.


Ben Beirs, a Preparatory faculty member, won first place in the Ninth Annual Texas Guitar Competition and Festival held in March at the University of Texas at Dallas.

The Beijing Guitar Duo gave the Solomon H. Snyder Prize Recital in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall on April 9. The duo—Meng Su and Yameng Wang, graduate performance diploma candidates who met at China’s Central Conservatory of Music—was formally established with the encouragement of the students’ teacher and mentor, faculty artist Manuel Barrueco. Snyder, an accomplished amateur classical guitarist, led the Johns Hopkins Department of Neuroscience—now named for him—for 25 years.

Dan Trahey received a Champions of Courage award for his work with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids program. Trahey also coordinates the Peabody Preparatory’s Tuned-In program, which provides scholarships for music instruction to talented Baltimore City middle school students; mentors Baltimore City music teachers; and co-teaches a Conservatory course called Community Engagement and Creativity: 21st-Century Skills for Professional Musicians.

Sophomore Dian Zhang, a student of Victor Danchenko, won second prize in the school’s Marbury Competition for undergraduate violinists, held on March 30. No first prize was awarded. The judges for the competition were Ralph Evans of the Fine Arts Quartet, Boris Garlitsky of the Paris Conservatoire and Qing Li of the Baltimore Symphony.


Eric S. Edelman and Thomas Mahnken, both visiting scholars at the Merrill Center for Strategic Studies and adjunct faculty members in Strategic Studies, have been named to the independent panel chartered by Congress to review the Department of Defense’s recently completed 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review. Edelman is one of eight members appointed by Congress; 12 others are selected by the secretary of defense. Mahnken will be the staff director. The panel is required to submit by July a report to Congress assessing the QDR, its recommendations and assumptions, and any vulnerabilities of the strategy and force structure underlying the report.


Edward Pajak, professor and chair of the Department of Teacher Development and Leadership, will be the keynote speaker at the Second International Conference on Supervision, to be held June 23 in Turkey. He will discuss “The History and Future of Instructional Supervision in the United States.” In addition, Pajak was selected as a Fulbright Senior Specialist to lead faculty at the Marino Institute of Education, located in Dublin, Ireland, in developing new master’s-level programs in education. He will spend six weeks in Dublin to help Marino prepare the proposals for new degree programs for accreditation from the University of Dublin.


Ted Dawson has been appointed scientific director of the Institute for Cell Engineering. In this new position, he will expand the robust research program at ICE and establish much-needed services to the stem cell research community at Johns Hopkins and beyond. The Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Professor in Neurodegenerative Diseases and a leading expert in Parkinson’s disease and neurodegenerative disorders, Dawson will continue to co-direct the neuroregeneration section of ICE.

Samuel “Chris” Durso has been named director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Clinical Gerontology, where he had served as interim director for the past 18 months. Durso’s research interests include “train the trainer” education to prepare faculty to teach geriatric medicine and to prioritize health care for older adults with multiple co-morbidities. A 15-year veteran of Johns Hopkins, he has maintained strong partnerships with the Center on Aging and Health and plans to strengthen the relationship with the National Institute on Aging’s Intramural and Clinical programs.


Sharon L. Kozachik, an assistant professor in the Department of Acute and Chronic Care, has been awarded a K01 mentored scientist award from the National Institute of Nursing Research. The three-year grant provides 75 percent salary support, and research and tuition allowance, for Kozachik’s project “Biobehavioral Risk Factors for Pain: Sleep and the HPA Axis,” in which she seeks to determine the effects of chronic sleep loss on neuropathic pain caused by the chemotherapy drug Paclitaxel.


Christopher Case, content management librarian, and Heidi Herr, outreach coordinator for the Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts, have been honored with the 2010 Gerd Muehsam Award for their paper “Case Study: The Walters Islamic Manuscript Digital Project.” Sponsored by the Art Libraries Society of North America, the annual award recognizes excellence in a graduate student paper or project on a topic relevant to art librarianship. Case and Herr earned their MLS degrees in December, and the paper will be published in the Fall 2010 issue of Art Documentation, the official bulletin of the Art Libraries Society of North America.


Michael Betenbaugh, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, is the recipient of the 2010 Cell Culture Engineering Award. This prestigious honor, formerly known as the Merck CCE Award, is given biannually at the Cell Culture Engineering Conference and recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of cell culture technology and engineering and significant service and dedication to the profession. Betenbaugh’s citation noted, in part, that his research “has had a large impact on both fundamental and applied aspects of cell culture engineering over the past 20 years. His major contribution to the field is the concept that manipulating a cell’s production machinery should be an integral part of the optimization of cell culture systems.”

Don Geman, professor of applied mathematics and statistics, has been named a 2010 fellow of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Geman was elected for his contributions to stochastic processes, image analysis and statistical learning. The 2010 class of fellows includes 34 individuals who have made significant contributions to the fields of applied mathematics and computational science and who exemplify SIAM’s vision of the central role mathematics plays in the advancement of science and technology.

Aviel Rubin, professor of computer science and technical director of the university’s Information Security Institute, has accepted a Fulbright Scholar grant supporting faculty travel and research abroad. The grant will allow Rubin to spend the next academic year at Tel Aviv University in Israel, conducting research on electronic medical records security.

Ben Schafer, associate professor of civil engineering, has been awarded the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2010 Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize. Huber Awards recognize notable achievements in research related to civil engineering by members of the society in any grade, with preference given to younger members who are demonstrating early accomplishment in their research careers. The citation stated that Schafer received this honor for his “contributions to the advancement in understanding of the stability of thin-walled steel members,” and noted in particular his research in the area of the behavior and design of thin-walled cold-formed members.