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June 13, 2002


Lynette Van Slyke, director of Disability Resources and Services, has been appointed to a three-year term on the Allegheny County Drug and Alcohol Planning Council.

The 15-member council assists county administrators with the planning, development, implementation and evaluation of services for residents who are addicted to drugs.

Van Slyke has supervised services to Pitt's learning-disabled students for four years. Prior to that, she was a learning-disability specialist at Pitt, developing comprehensive learning plans for students and monitoring their progress. Van Slyke also has experience in personal and group counseling and providing education to professionals who work with drug- or alcohol-addicted students.

Van Slyke is president of the Consortium on Higher Education and Disability.


At the annual YMCA Tribune-Review scholar athlete banquet May 29, Freddie Fu, professor and chairman of orthopaedic surgery at the School of Medicine and UPMC Health System, was honored with the annual YMCA Person of the Year Award. Ben Howland, Pitt men's basketball coach, received the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review City of Champions Award.

Fu was recognized, among his many activities, for his volunteer work at Mt. Lebanon High School as a team physician.

Howland received his honor after having had a breakout season as the coach of the surprising Pitt basketball team. The award adds to the long list of coach-of-the-year postseason awards that Howland has received.


A book by Valerie Krips, associate professor of English and director of children's literature, has been designated an Honor Book for the Children's Literature Association (ChLA) Book Award.

The awards are given annually "to promote, recognize and publicize outstanding contributions to scholarship in the field of children's literature."

Krips's book, "The Presence of the Past: Memory, Heritage and Childhood in Postwar Britain," "demonstrates how important for children's literature studies a thorough understanding of the methodology of cultural studies can be," the ChLA award committee noted.

"The author works not only with other written texts in situating the postwar British literature, but also with such cultural contexts as museums, tourism advertising and theme parks."


Robert Perloff, emeritus Distinguished Service Professor of business administration and of psychology, has received a Historic Preservation Award from the City of Pittsburgh and the Historic Review Commission for initiating the restoration of the Stephen Foster Memorial Statue.


Recipients of this year's Excellence in Education Awards were announced at the School of Medicine's annual curriculum colloquium last month.

The Distinguished Service in Medical Education Award was presented to Steven L. Kanter, senior associate dean of the School of Medicine and associate professor of medicine and neurological surgery. The distinguished service award is the highest honor in medical education given by Pitt's medical school. The award signifies five or more years of medical education service at the University; authorship of publications related to the curriculum; teaching in more than one course or clerkship, or significant administrative responsibilities that extend beyond a single course or clerkship.

The Kenneth E. Schuit Award, recognizing the dean's master educators, was presented to James A. Shaver, professor of medicine, and William C. de Groat, professor of pharmacology. This award recognizes clinical and basic science faculty for education-related contributions (teaching, planning and organization of courses or course sections) to the Pitt medical curriculum.

Two new awards were presented this year.

The Donald S. Fraley Award (School of Medicine, Class of 1968) was presented to Ross H. Musgrave, Class of 1943, executive director of alumni affairs and clinical professor of surgery. This award honors individual achievements including extended service as a student mentor at the School of Medicine, and significant mentoring contributions that extend beyond a single student or group of students.

The Sheldon Adler Award was presented to John B. Schumann, associate professor of neurobiology, for the development of significant innovative contributions to medical education at Pitt.

Awards also were presented at the colloquium by first- and second-year medical students to John B. Schumann, course director; Gregory J. Naus, course director; William C. de Groat, lecturer, and Georgia K. Duker, small-group facilitator.

Winning faculty members were selected from first- and second-year student nominations to honor faculty and recognize their contributions and dedication to teaching in the basic sciences and organ systems courses in the School of Medicine.


Anthony Bauer, associate professor in the division of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at Pitt, has been named the recipient of the Janssen Award in Gastroenterology for basic science research.

"The Janssen Award is the highest international prize in this field, and the recipients are chosen by a panel of senior experts," says David Whitcomb, chief, division of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition, Pitt School of Medicine. "Dr. Bauer is the first person from the University of Pittsburgh to win this award, and we are proud that his groundbreaking accomplishments are being recognized by the professional community."

Bauer will receive the Janssen award for his team's research into the causes of post-operative ileus, a condition that previously confounded the medical community. An almost universal complication of surgery, post-operative ileus occurs when the intestines stop working after surgery. In most cases, the intestines regain their function after a few days. However, for approximately 10 to 15 percent of patients, post-operative ileus can linger for weeks. Annually, over 5 million Americans are at risk. Treatment and extended hospital stays due to the condition account for up to $10 billion in health care costs each year.

Until now, it was not understood why post-operative ileus occurs. Bauer believed that it was a primitive response to trauma. "In the pre-historic environment, a caveman may have been gored by a predator, and it was advantageous for the intestine to stop working to allow for healing," says Bauer. "Even though a surgeon is performing a vital operation, the surgeon's hand is probably interpreted by the intestine in a similar manner to a predator's attack, causing intestinal contractions to stop."

Experimental evidence from Bauer's laboratory has confirmed that the patient's body sees the intrusion as a major insult, and an inflammation cascade develops in the tissues temporarily shutting down the organ.

Currently Bauer's lab has been investigating the possibility of enhancing the activity of anti-inflammatory pathways to treat ileus, focusing on the heme oxygenase pathway. Bauer's research has applications in other inflammatory conditions including sepsis, hemorrhagic injuries resulting from automobile and industrial accidents, and small-bowel transplantation.


James Menegazzi, research associate professor of emergency medicine at the School of Medicine, has won two awards from the National Association of EMS Physicians.

Menegazzi won Best Scientific Presentation for "Scaling Exponent Prediction of Rescue Shock Outcome in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest," and Best Cardiac Arrest Presentation for "Effects of Interventions Prior to Defibrillation in a Swine Model of Prolonged Ventricular Fibrillation."

Menegazzi's research focuses on advanced cardiac care by using information contained in electrocardiographic (ECG) signals to estimate how long the heart has been stopped and to predict if the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) will succeed or fail. By using the ECG signals, Menegazzi hopes to identify which patients with sudden cardiac arrest should receive shock treatment with an AED or receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and/or drugs before a shock is attempted.

"The most common cause of death in this country is sudden cardiac arrest, with approximately 400,000 victims each year. Menegazzi's research has the potential to greatly increase the survival rate," said Paul Paris, professor and chairman of emergency medicine.

"We envision that future AEDs will have the ability to advise rescuers, with more detailed voice prompts than today's models, on whether to deliver a shock or continue doing CPR until paramedics arrive," said Menegazzi.

In 2000, the American Heart Association published new guidelines for adult and infant CPR. In the new guidelines, the AHA acknowledged that the two-thumb infant CPR, developed by Menegazzi, was an acceptable alternative to providing CPR to infants via the traditional two-finger method. Menegazzi's studies proved the two-thumb method works better because it combines simultaneous sternal compression with lateral compression, or squeezing of the chest, unlike the two-finger method, which uses only the sternal compression.


Robert Hill, vice chancellor for Public Affairs, has received two awards for the Pitt-led "Booster Booster" measles vaccination campaign for Pittsburgh area school children.

The vaccination campaign earned an Award of Excellence from the Public Relations Society of America. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education awarded the vaccination campaign a Gold Medal from CASE National Circle of Excellence Award Program.

Of the campaign, CASE judges said they "were impressed by the detail and depth of the program you (Hill) designed to address the large number of students who were faced with suspension due to lack of immunization documentation. It was clear from the material presented that the program was not only well planned and executed, but that it was also very innovative."


The Johnstown campus has appointed Michael F. Castner athletic director for UPJ.

David Rooney, vice president for Student Affairs, noted: "Mr. Castner has been with UPJ for 23 years. He has served as head athletic trainer, sports center facility manager, head coach for women's cross country and interim athletic director. He brings to the position years of experience, an intimate knowledge of the athletic programs and department operations, and a proven dedication to the University."

School of Pharmacy faculty members Sandra L. Kane, Emily Wade, Levent Kirisci and Ted Rice were awarded this year's American College of Clinical Pharmacy's Amgen Biotechnology Research Award, along with Mitchell Fink, chief and professor of critical care medicine.

This award was based on their research proposal "Clinical and Economic Outcomes of Epoeitin Alfa." The research team is studying the impact of the drug's use in reducing the need for blood transfusions and preventing anemia in intensive care unit (ICU) patients.

The study will use electronic data to determine whether the drug improves the recovery time from an ICU stay and other illnesses.

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