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November 7, 2002


The Department of Chemistry has honored three alumni — a pioneer in transplantation surgery, a Manhattan Project research team member and a chemist who was among the most cited scientists of the 1960s and 1970s. Each received the department’s distinguished alumni award Oct. 25.

Award recipients are:

— Mary Catherine Mancini, professor of surgery, chief of cardiothoracic surgery and director of cardiothoracic transplantation at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.

Mancini was among the first female transplantation surgeons in the United States. She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Pitt in 1974 and graduated from Pitt’s School of Medicine in 1978, where she completed her residency in general surgery and received training in cardiothoracic surgery. She received a Ph.D. in cellular biology and anatomy from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in 2000, and a master of medical management degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 2002.

— Muttaiya Sundaralingam, emeritus professor of chemistry at Ohio State University.

He was among the top 300 most-cited scientists for his work in genetics published from 1965 to 1978. After earning a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Ceylon, Sri Lanka, in 1956, Sundaralingam received a Ph.D. in chemistry from Pitt in 1961.

— Irving Wender, distinguished University research professor of engineering at Pitt.

Wender served as a chemist on the Manhattan Project research team from 1942 to 1946, studying the effects of radioactive iodine. After earning a B.S. in chemistry from the City College of New York in 1936, Wender went on to earn an M.S. in chemistry from Columbia University in 1945 and a doctorate in chemistry from Pitt in 1950.


David Piposzar, executive director of the Center for Public Health Preparedness at the Graduate School of Public Health, received the Public Health Excellence Award Oct. 22 at the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Public Health Association (PPHA).

According to PPHA president Robert Gage, the award is given to a Pennsylvanian who best exemplifies excellence in public health policy or practice.

Piposzar assumed the directorship of the center recently following a long career with the Allegheny County Health Department, where he managed environmental and public health programs and public health preparedness activities. For the past several years, he also has developed and delivered training programs on bioterrorism and public health preparedness to emergency medical personnel throughout the state.

Funded by a $1 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Center for Public Health Preparedness is one of 15 CDC-sponsored preparedness centers nationwide charged with training the nation’s public health, health care and public safety workforce in responding to terrorist incidents, infectious disease outbreaks and other public health threats.

Piposzar was named executive director of the Center for Public Health Preparedness last month.


Freddie H. Fu, the David Silver Professor and chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the School of Medicine, has received the 29th Chinese Hospital Annual Award from the Chinese Hospital in San Francisco.

Each year the Chinese Hospital board of trustees and medical staff honor the achievements of a physician, health sciences researcher or other medical professional from the United States or abroad who is most respected by peers.

Fu is the first in the field of orthopaedics and the first from Pittsburgh to win the award.

Chinese Hospital Board of Trustees President James K. Ho and Chinese Hospital Chief of Staff Francis H. Tse presented the award to Fu at an Oct. 18 ceremony at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. In addition to the award presentation, Fu delivered a lecture highlighting his recent research and clinical work.

“I am proud to receive this honor from my professional peers in the Chinese community. I believe the event provided an opportunity for the Chinese Hospital to encourage Chinese health care professionals to advance their medical knowledge and strive to learn more about caring for others in our community,” said Fu.

Fu is known for his pioneering surgical techniques to treat sports-related injuries to the knee and shoulder and for his scientific and clinical research in the treatment of such injuries. He is the head team physician for Pitt’s Department of Athletics.

He also was instrumental in the establishment of the Sports and Preventative Medicine Institute (now called the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine) in 1985. The facility has grown into one of the most highly regarded sports medicine clinical and research centers in the world.

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