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April 18, 2013

People of the Times

Hancock-Mud Wrestle

Alan Hancock, a staff member at Pitt-Bradford’s The Panther Shop, recently won two 2013 Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors Awards for photos published in The Bradford Era.

In the category of newspapers with a circulation of 15,000 and under, Hancock took first place for his feature photo of a mud-wrestling competition. He earned a second place in spot news for his photo of firefighters rescuing family pets from a fire.

Hancock Cat&firemen

Mathew Rosenblum, faculty member in composition and theory in the Department of Music, has been named a 2013 Guggenheim fellow.

rosenblumHe is among 175 scholars, artists and scientists selected in recognition of his achievement and exceptional promise.

Rosenblum’s proposed project is a concerto for the classical/klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer. Rosenblum will compose the concerto, titled “Lament/Witches’ Sabbath,” for Krakauer and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, directed by Gil Rose. The new piece will be loosely based on “Songe d’une nuit du sabbat,” the last movement of Berlioz’s “Symphony Fantastique,” and will be a reworking of elements of that music with Klezmer-inspired excursions based on the folk elements already embedded in the Berlioz.

According to Rosenblum, “It’s meant as a new piece that appropriates, transforms and interprets elements from the original. The idea is to mesh my microtonal musical language with David’s improvisational sensibility using aspects of Berlioz’s musical material and the evocative theme of ‘witches’ sabbath’ as a reference point.”


The Graduate School of Public Health recognized alumni for their outstanding service in the field of public health.

Among those honored was Mary Patricia Nowalk, class of 1993, who received the Margaret F. Gloninger Service Award for her significant contributions to the community.

A faculty member in family medicine in Pitt’s School of Medicine, Nowalk directs a Health Resources and Services Agency grant to fund primary medical and dental care for uninsured patients at the Matilda Theiss Health Center in Oak Hill. A registered dietitian, she also advises the Allegheny County Area Agency on Aging on its congregate meal program. She serves on the board of directors of the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and the senior companion program.


CooperThe 2013 Thomas E. Starzl Prize in Surgery and Immunology, which honors Pitt transplantation pioneer Thomas E. Starzl, has been awarded to Joel D. Cooper, a Penn faculty member in surgery who has made innovative contributions to lung transplantation.

Cooper has been at the forefront of both experimental and clinical lung transplantation for more than 30 years. His contributions made clinical lung transplantation possible by advancing the understanding of the role of immunosuppression in wound healing and introducing the surgical technique of omentopexy during bronchial anastomosis. While advancing lung transplantation, Cooper also performed a series of fundamental studies that formed the basis for the lung preservation method currently used worldwide.

The Starzl prize is sponsored by the Department of Surgery and the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute. The award and lectureship were established in 1996 by the Department of Surgery and subsequently endowed by Fujisawa Healthcare(now Astellas Pharma) to honor Starzl, whose seminal contributions to organ transplantation and immunology have been recognized around the globe.


carterSchool of Law Dean William M. Carter Jr. has been named a 2013 Diverse Attorney of the Year by The Legal Intelligencer, the nation’s oldest law journal. The journal solicits nominations from across the legal profession for outstanding attorneys from underrepresented groups who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievements.

Carter is known for his scholarship in constitutional law, international human rights law and issues of social justice.


Carrie Iwema, molecular biology service information specialist in the Health Sciences Library System, earned senior member status in the Medical Library Association’s Academy of Health Information Professionals and was appointed to MLA’s continuing education committee for a three-year term.


Laurie Mulvey, director of service demonstrations at the Office of Child Development (OCD), will be honored by Community Human Services (CHS) on May 16 with the Community Ally Award.

The award recognizes Mulvey’s nearly 40 years of leadership in family services, child welfare, mental health, juvenile justice and education systems. During her 20 years at OCD, she has provided leadership for projects designed to improve the lives of children and families. In addition to her work at OCD, she serves on the boards of several organizations.

CHS is a community-based nonprofit that provides shelter, supported housing, a food pantry, free medical and mental health services, homeless outreach, rental assistance, community supports and in-home help to adults with disabilities, with a focus on building assets to strengthen communities.


Mark Gladwin and Naftali Kaminski, chief and director respectively of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine in the School of Medicine, will receive the Recognition Award for Scientific Accomplishments at the annual American Thoracic Society national convention next month.


Peter Brusilovsky, faculty member  in the School of Information Sciences, has been appointed editor-in-chief of IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, a journal dedicated to advancing the state of the art in technology-enhanced learning. This quarterly publication covers leading edge research on topics such as educational software applications, online learning systems and simulation systems for education and training.

Brusilovsky had served as associate editor-in-chief of the publication since 2008.

He is chair of the school’s graduate information science and technology program.


MinnighBeth Minnigh of pharmacy is the 2013 recipient of the Rho Chi Scholarly Contribution Award. Minnigh is supervisor of the Small Molecule Biomarker Core, a laboratory that provides quantitative analysis of drugs and biomarkers.

Bonnie Falcione, faculty member in the Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics, is the 2013 recipient of the Rho Chi Innovation in Teaching Award.

Rho Chi is pharmacy’s academic honor society.

FalcioneBruce A. Freeman,  chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology in the School of Medicine, was the recipient of the Pennsylvania Bio’s 2012 Scientific Achievement Award for his contributions to the advancements in scientific knowledge, innovation and patient care within the fields of biochemistry and pharmacology.


McGivneyMelissa Somma McGivney, faculty member in the School of Pharmacy and director of the community pharmacy residency program, was elected by the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association Educational Foundation as president of the foundation’s board of directors.

She will help establish the strategic direction of the foundation. Its mission is to foster research, education and the development of practice models that advance patient care.


Beverly Michael, faculty member in the Department of Mathematics, was awarded the 2013 Departmental Alumni Award -Instruction and Learning.

Michael has served the math education community nationally and internationally through publications, presentations, workshops and the teaching of undergraduate math courses for more than 40 years.

Starting at Pitt in 1980, she has been the department’s pre-calculus coordinator and supervisor of its part-time instructors. Michael also serves as the math department’s liaison to the math education faculty in the School of Education.


A researcher known for his contributions to understanding of the autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus will head the School of Medicine’s Department of Immunology.

Mark J. Shlomchik succeeds founding department chair Olivera Finn, who will continue her research into peptide vaccines against pancreatic and colon cancers at Pitt. He is expected to start July 1.

“Dr. Shlomchik has been very widely recognized for his research achievements,” said Arthur S. Levine, senior vice chancellor for the Health Sciences and dean of the School of Medicine. “His research interests spanning basic to translational immunology mesh well with the institutional strengths of our immunology department and put him in a good position to further build them.”

He added that while Shlomchik’s primary responsibility will be the leadership of his department, he will work closely with other entities in the medical school that focus on various aspects of immunology, including the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, the Center for Vaccine Research and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

In the area of lupus, Shlomchik’s work was among the first to elucidate the roles of B lymphocytes and Toll-like receptors in promoting disease. Both of these are now targets of drugs that are either approved or in development to treat autoimmune disorders in patients.

In October 2012, Shlomchik’s team showed in Science Translational Medicine that an enzyme complex called NADPH oxidase, or NOX2, which plays an important role in the body’s resistance to bacteria and fungi, is necessary to curb genetic predisposition to lupus. In addition to autoimmunity, B-cell immune responses and how vaccines elicit protective antibodies, Shlomchik has worked on bone marrow transplantation, where some of his findings also have resulted in an ongoing clinical trial.

Shlomchik received his medical and doctoral degrees in 1989 from the University of Pennsylvania, where he also completed residency training in pathology and laboratory medicine.

After postdoctoral work at Fox Chase Cancer Center, he joined the faculty at Yale University, rising to the rank of full professor in 2004.


The People of the Times column features recent news on faculty and staff, including awards and other honors, accomplishments and administrative appointments.

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