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February 2, 2006


James Joshi, assistant professor in the School of Information Sciences (SIS), has been honored with the National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Award. The NSF career award supports the early career-development activities of teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of the organization. The NSF career award, totaling $416,419 over a five-year period, was announced in January.

Joshi was recognized for his work on “A Trust-Based Access Control Management Framework for Secure Information Sharing and Multimedia Workflows in Heterogeneous Environments.”

The goal of Joshi’s research is to address the complex security and management issues related to emerging multi-domain application environments, such as grid environments, peer-to-peer environments and mobile environments that utilize multi-media and work-flow technologies. These types of environments have the potential to automate work-flow processes efficiently and to facilitate unprecedented levels in sharing of information and resources.

The results of this research are expected to have a long-term impact on the development of secure data application environments and to contribute significantly to efforts to protect complex systems and infrastructures such as the national and global information grids.

Joshi’s research results also will be incorporated into the security curriculum at Pitt, which is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

Joshi is co-founder of the Laboratory of Education and Research on Security Assured Information Systems, a research center at SIS that facilitates the technical expertise of the University’s faculty to address the multidimensional problems in information assurance.


Marek Druzdzel, associate professor in the Decision Systems Laboratory at the School of Information Sciences, was named senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Inc., a technical professional association with more than 365,000 members.

This international association covers technical fields including computer engineering, biomedical technology and telecommunications, aerospace engineering and consumer electronics.

Senior membership is the highest professional grade in the IEEE, and is conferred upon only 7 percent of the institute’s membership.

Druzdzel’s research interests include decision-making under uncertainty, decision-theoretic methods in intelligent systems and user interfaces to decision support systems.


The School of Medicine has named Steven D. Shapiro as chair of its Department of Medicine, the largest of the medical school’s 26 departments. He will assume his duties July 1.

Shapiro joins Pitt after spending four years at Harvard Medical School as the Parker B. Francis Professor of Medicine and as chief of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He oversaw a four-fold increase of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care’s NIH funding.

Shapiro is a pulmonary medicine specialist and investigator whose research has focused mainly on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung development and repair mechanisms in the lung. Important discoveries made by his lab have garnered the interest of pharmaceutical companies that now are working to develop a new class of drugs for COPD.

Working with a mouse model, Shapiro and his team replicated the conditions of cigarette smoke-induced emphysema and examined how the absence of specific proteinases, enzymes that chop up proteins, affects disease progression. They determined that MMP-12, a type of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP), is a significant factor in the development of emphysema as well as COPD. These findings have led to an effort by the pharmaceutical industry to develop MMP inhibitors for the treatment of COPD.

Shapiro’s current research is exploring the origins of inflammation in COPD, genetic susceptibility to the condition and its impairment of repair mechanisms.

Shapiro’s research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health since the earliest years of his academic career.

Shapiro received both his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Chicago. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Barnes Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine, where he also completed a fellowship in respiratory and critical care medicine, and later served as chief resident.

Shapiro is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the American Association of Physicians and the American Thoracic Society, and he is a fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians.

He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology and serves on several editorial boards.

Among Shapiro’s awards are the Edward Livingston Trudeau Scholar Award of the American Lung Association, a Career Investigator Award of the American Lung Association and the American Thoracic Society’s Scientific Achievement Award.


Robert Hill, vice chancellor for Public Affairs, has been named the 2006 Renaissance Communicator of the Year by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The award honors a practitioner for excellence in communications.

Since arriving at Pitt in 1999, Hill has expanded and reorganized the division, establishing the Pitt Chronicle, creating the executive communications and national media relations units, and overseeing a renovation of the University’s web presence.

Hill is responsible for supervising the departments of Executive Communications, University Marketing Communications, National Media Relations and University News and Magazines.

Under Hill’s direction, the Office of Public Affairs has received hundreds of awards — almost 200 in the last two years — among them the Telly award, which honors outstanding film, television and video productions, and the MarCom Creative Award, which recognizes excellence in marketing and communications. He also has received awards from PRSA, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), International Association of Business Communicators and the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania.

In 2001, Hill spearheaded a multi-institutional Pitt-based communications task force whose mobilization of numerous media resources motivated thousands of families to comply with the measles vaccination certification requirements, avoiding potential massive school suspensions.

For this work, the Office of Public Affairs received national recognition: the PRSA 2002 Silver Anvil Award of Excellence in the community relations category and a CASE Gold Medal in community relations programs and projects category in the Circle of Excellence Awards competition.

Hill’s community outreach efforts include working with organizations such as the Kuntu Repertory Theatre, Urban League of Pittsburgh, City Theater and others, helping the organizations to reach their target audiences.

Hill’s commitment to diversity earned him three major awards in 2005: the Trailblazer Award from Renaissance Publications, the Pennsylvania Black Conference on Higher Education Presidential Award and the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh Racial Justice Award.


A number of Pitt law professors recently have received accolades or earned appointments.

Lawrence Frolik has been appointed editor-in-chief of the NAELA Journal, the law review published by the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

He also was appointed as the representative of the elder law section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA). Frolik will serve as one of three PBA members asked to advise legislative staff counsel who are revising proposed legislation that would amend Pennsylvania’s current statute that governs the use of living wills and advance health care directives.

Arthur Hellman was elected as a member of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers at the academy’s recent meeting. The academy was founded in 1990 to recognize outstanding appellate lawyers and promote the improvement of appellate advocacy and the administration of the appellate courts.

Membership is limited to 500 members in the United States and open only to persons who possesses a reputation of recognized distinction as an appellate lawyer.

Associate Dean Darryll Jones last month was named a member of the executive committee of the Association of American Law Schools minority groups section during the AALS annual meeting in Washington, D.C.


Alexandre Vieira and Adriana Modesto, new faculty members in the School of Dental Medicine, have been selected to receive the 2006 William J. Gies Award presented by the International Association for Dental Research and the American Association for Dental Research (AADR). The award will be presented at AADR’s annual meeting in March.

The award is given for the best paper published in the Journal of Dental Research during the preceding year. The winning paper, “MSXI,PAX9 and TGFA Contribute to Tooth Agenesis in Humans,” suggests that genes play a role in isolated dental agenesis.

Vieira and Modesto were working at the University of Iowa when they published their research.


Jeffrey A. Kant, professor of pathology at the School of Medicine and professor of human genetics at the Graduate School of Public Health, received the Association for Molecular Pathology’s (AMP) 2005 Leadership Award. Kant is the inaugural recipient of the award, which recognizes an AMP member for exceptional leadership in advancing the mission and goals of the association.

Kant, who also is director of the Division of Molecular Diagnostics at UPMC, was a leader in establishing the organization and served as its first president from 1995 until 1996. Kant also is a past chair of the association’s education and journal oversight committees.


Joanne Kowiatek, adjunct professor in pharmacy and therapeutics at the School of Pharmacy and pharmacy manager of medication safety at UPMC, received a Cheers Award from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) for her contributions to improving patient safety.

Kowiatek was recognized for her volunteer work with the institute, particularly her service on the advisory board for ISMP Nurse Advise-ERR, a monthly medication safety newsletter for nurses who transcribe medication orders, administer medications and monitor the effects of medications on patients.

According to the ISMP, Kowiatek consistently has demonstrated a commitment to helping the institute learn more about medication errors and error-prevention strategies.


The Society for Public Health Education has given its Health Education Mentor of the Year award to Sandra Crouse Quinn, associate dean for student affairs and education at the Graduate School of Public Health. Quinn, who also is associate professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, was selected in recognition of her work in helping to prepare health educators for successful careers and incorporating links between research and practice in her teaching.


The National Registry of Rehabilitation Technology Suppliers has given Elaine Trefler, assistant professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, its Lifetime Achievement Award for 2005. For 20 years, Trefler has been involved in coordinating the International Seating Symposium, allowing suppliers of wheelchairs and lifts, for example, to participate in the same training programs as occupational and physical therapists and other health care professionals.

The symposium, along with other educational programs that Trefler has spearheaded, has enabled suppliers to communicate more effectively with therapists on behalf of persons with disabilities.


The School of Medicine has named David L. Bartlett, professor of surgery and chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology, as its inaugural Bernard Fisher Professor of Surgery.

The professorship is named in honor of Bernard Fisher, Distinguished Service Professor of Surgery at the School of Medicine, who has made significant contributions to the treatment and understanding of breast cancer. A 1943 graduate of Pitt’s medical school, Fisher is past chairman and scientific director of the Pittsburgh-based research consortium known as the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project.

Bartlett, who joined the medical school’s faculty in 2001, will be installed in conjunction with this year’s Bernard Fisher lecture on Feb. 1. Larry Norton of New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, a medical oncologist renowned as a leader in the development of chemotherapeutic regimens for breast cancer, will deliver the lecture.

In addition to his academic appointment at the medical school, Bartlett is director of the David C. Koch Regional Perfusion Cancer Therapy Center at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. A specialist in the regional delivery of chemotherapy to different organ systems, his clinical expertise lies in the management of advanced, complex abdominal cancers, such as those of the liver, gallbladder and pancreas.

Bartlett also has worked with chemotherapy delivery to the arm or the leg, which can be a treatment strategy for melanoma that has spread throughout the limb.

Prior to coming to Pitt in 2001, Bartlett was a senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research.

He is a member of the Society of Surgical Oncology, the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Society of Gene Therapy.

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