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September 27, 2001


Daniel E. Weeks, associate professor of human genetics, has been named winner of the 2001 Mortimer Spiegelman Award.

Given annually by the American Public Health Association since 1970, the award honors a statistician aged 40 or younger who has made important contributions to the field of health statistics.

Weeks received his Ph.D. in biomathematics from UCLA in 1988. After post-doctoral training in statistical genetics at Columbia University, he joined the Department of Human Genetics at Pitt in 1990. From 1994 to 1998, he served as head of Statistical Genetics – Methods at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford.

His research focuses on developing new ways to map susceptibility genes involved in genetically complex diseases. He has made significant contributions to methodology development in statistical genetics as well as participated in applied collaborative linkage analyses of many diseases, including autism, diabetes, endometriosis and age-related macular degeneration.


Adam Gordon has received the American Medical Association Young Physicians Section's (AMA-YPS) Annual Community Service Award.

Gordon is an assistant professor of medicine at the School of Medicine and a faculty member of the Division of General Internal Medicine, associate professor of medicine at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and a member of the core faculty of the Pitt-based Center for Research on Health Care.

As volunteer medical director of the Salvation Army Public Inebriate Program, which helps homeless adults detoxify from alcohol and drugs, Gordon provides care to the adults participating in this program and also serves as a mentor by teaching communications and relationship building skills to the next generation of health care providers and volunteers. The state-licensed, inpatient detoxification program helps more than 500 individuals a year who might not otherwise receive treatment.

The AMA-YPS focuses on the concerns of physicians in professional practice and under age 40 or in their first five years of practice. Its community service awards program recognizes and encourages excellence in community service activities carried out by young physicians.


Two faculty members from the Department of Otolaryngology at the School of Medicine were honored for their service to the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the organization's annual meeting this month.

Eugene N. Myers, Eye & Ear Foundation Chair and professor of otolaryngology in the School of Medicine, received a 2001 Distinguished Service Award. This award is given to members of the academy who have provided over 25 years of service.

Myers has been professor and chair of otolaryngology since 1972.

Ricardo L. Carrau received a 2001 Honor Award, recognizing five years of service to the academy. Carrau is an associate professor of otolaryngology at the School of Medicine and the medical director of the UPMC Swallowing Disorders Center.


Several School of Pharmacy faculty members have won awards.

Gary R. Matzke, professor of pharmaceutical sciences and medicine, received the Achievement for Sustained Contributions to the Literature of Pharmacy Practice Award for his contributions to pharmaceutical literature in the area of pharmacokinetics. The award was given by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Research and Education Foundation. The award recognizes Matzke's original research and therapeutic review publications that have promoted improvements in the use of medications.

His pioneering work has characterized the effect of kidney disease and dialysis on the elimination of multiple therapeutic efforts. He also has translated these findings into strategies for clinical practice that have contributed to the quality of patient care.

Rowena Schwartz, associate professor in pharmacy and therapeutics, received the Joe E. Smith Award from the Pennsylvania Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Schwartz was recognized for her exemplary clinical pharmacy patient care practice and educational efforts performed on behalf of patients and other health care professionals at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

Terry L. Schwinghammer, professor of pharmaceutical sciences, was named Pharmacist of the Year by the Pennsylvania Society of Health-System Pharmacists for his contributions to pharmacy education and practice both in Pennsylvania and nationally. The award will be presented during the organiza-tion's annual assembly this fall.

Dennis P. Swanson, professor and assistant dean in the School of Pharmacy and director of the University's Institutional Review Board Office, received the William H. Briner Distinguished Achievement Award in Nuclear Pharmacy Practice from the American Pharmaceutical Association.

The award recognizes the achievements of an individual who has made a significant contribution or sustained contributions to the provisions of pharmaceutical care within nuclear pharmacy practice.

Ralph E. Tarter, professor of pharmaceutical sciences and director of the Center for Education and Drug Abuse Research, received the Service to Society for Prevention Research Award by the Society for Prevention Research (SPR).

Tarter was recognized for his service as a founding member and treasurer of SPR for the first seven years of its existence as well as for establishing the organization's journal, Prevention Science.


The American College of Radiology (ACR), the principal organization of radiology professionals in the United States, has selected Emanuel Kanal, director of Magnetic Resonance Services and professor of radiology and neuroradiology at UPMC, to chair its panel on magnetic resonance imaging safety.

Kanal is an internationally recognized expert in MR safety who serves as safety consultant for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He helped to write the existing ACR guidelines on MR patient safety.

ACR formed the panel this month, apparently at least in part in response to publicity surrounding recent adverse events involving patients, including the death of a boy in an MR suite in New York.


Martin B. Weiss, associate professor and co-director of Pitt's telecommunications program, has been named chair of the Department of Information Science and Telecommunications in the School of Information Sciences.

Executive duties for the telecommunications program have been assumed by co-director Richard A. Thompson, who is now program director.

Prior to joining Pitt in 1988, Weiss was a senior consultant for Deloitte, Haskins and Sells, now Deloitte and Touche. He also was a member of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories and MITRE Corporation.

He earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Northeastern University; his master's in computer, information and control engineering from the University of Michigan, and his Ph.D. in engineering and public policy from Carnegie Mellon University.

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