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May 15, 2014

People of the Times

hobermanThe Academic Pediatric Association has awarded its 2014 APA Research Award to Alejandro Hoberman, a faculty member in pediatrics and chief of the Division of General Academic Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital. The award was presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in Vancouver.

The award acknowledges Hoberman’s excellence in research, originality, creativity and methodological soundness. He is known for his research on acute otitis media and urinary tract infections.

Hoberman’s research has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA Pediatrics and Pediatrics.

He has served on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) special emphasis panels, NIH strategic planning workgroups, American Academy of Pediatrics guideline committees and as a member of the Clinical and Translational Science Award child health oversight committee.


DonohueJulie Donohue, a faculty member in the Graduate School of Public Health’s Department of Health Policy and Management, was awarded the James L. Craig Excellence in Teaching Award. The award, voted on by a committee of public health students and past awardees, is bestowed upon a faculty member who has excelled in the teaching and mentoring of students.

Donohue’s research evaluating the impact of the Medicare Part D drug benefit has been published in publications such as the New England Journal of Medicine and Health Affairs. She conducts research on insurance coverage, financing and delivery of health care, while focusing on use of prescription drugs and mental health care.

She has been the principal investigator on grants from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute and the Fine Foundation.


Michael Neilan, a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics, has received a 2014 Sloan Research Fellowship in Mathematics.

The fellowships are awarded in eight scientific and technical fields: chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences and physics. Candidates must be nominated by their fellow scientists, and winning fellows are selected by an independent panel of senior scholars on the basis of the candidate’s independent research accomplishments, creativity and potential to become a leader in his/her field.

Fellows receive $50,000 to further their research.


skidmoreElizabeth Skidmore, a faculty member in the Department of  Occupational Therapy, has been elected a member of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation Academy of Research, which recognizes individuals who have made exemplary and distinguished contributions to the science of occupational therapy.

Skidmore also has been recognized as a promising young researcher by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Her NIH-funded research program examines the influences of cognitive impairments and mood symptoms on activities of daily living outcomes, focusing on two areas: interventions designed to improve rehabilitation outcomes for individuals with cognitive impairments after acquired brain injury and activities of daily living disability among community-dwelling older adults with mild cognitive impairment and major depression disorder.


KellySean Kelly, a faculty member in the School of Education’s Department of Administrative and Policy Studies, is one of the 2014 recipients of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Division K Award for Exemplary Research in Teaching and Teacher Education.

AERA recognized Kelly for his paper, “English Teacher Candidates Developing Dialogically Organized Instructional Practices,” published in Research in the Teaching of English. The award committee noted the “unique and rigorous research design employed in this study of pre-service teachers’ field experiences.”

The paper is part of Kelly’s ongoing research on engaging instructional practices in English and language arts.

The award was presented at the Division K Business Meeting at the AERA annual meeting in Philadelphia last month.


ShafiqM. Najeeb Shafiq, a faculty member in the Department of Administrative and Policy Studies, was honored by the Journal of Education Finance with an outstanding article award.

His article, “Accounting for Risk of Non-Completion in Private and Social Rates of Return to Higher Education,” is the 2014 recipient of the Outstanding Journal of Education Finance Award of the National Education Finance Conference. This award is given annually to authors whose Journal of Education Finance article embodies extraordinary rigor and relevance to the field of education finance. Recipients are selected by a committee of senior scholars.


Susan Sherlock, a staff member in the School of Education’s Office of the Dean, and Jennifer Russell, a faculty member in the education school, were given the Extra Mile Award by the Council of Graduate Students in Education (CGSE). The award “honors faculty, administrators or staff members who exemplify the CGSE mission statement and take it the extra mile.”


cooperThe Viscardi Center has announced that Rory Cooper, a faculty member in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, is one of the winners of the international 2014 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards, which pay tribute to leaders in the disability community who have had a profound impact on shaping attitudes, raising awareness and improving the quality of life of people with disabilities. Nominees came from 11 countries; this year’s slate of winners hails from the United States, Australia and Kazakhstan.

Cooper also is a senior research career scientist and director at the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ Human Engineering Research Laboratories. Since his spinal cord injury over 30 years ago, he has dedicated his life to improving the lives of people with disabilities. His research initiatives and innovations have spawned companies, additional research and development projects, and served as models for initiatives across the world to further the education, employment and recreational opportunities for people with disabilities.

Cooper has integrated research through clinical practice guidelines and innovative technologies aimed at delivering quality medical rehabilitative care and improving levels of function and independence of persons, especially veterans, with disabilities. His devices (e.g., Natural Fit Handrim, GameCycle) are used by over one-quarter million people with disabilities, and research equipment he designed (e.g., SMARTWheel, Wheelchair Data-Logger) is being used in nearly 100 laboratories and training facilities around the world.

The awards are named for Henry Viscardi Jr., who was one of the world’s leading advocates for people with disabilities. He served as a disability adviser to eight presidents.


Katherine Seelman, a faculty member in the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, received an appointment from President Barack Obama to the National Council on Disability.

Seelman joins three other newly appointed members on the council.


Thomas Starzl, a faculty member in the Department of Surgery and a pioneer of transplantation, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Sciences elected 84 new members and 21 foreign associates from 15 countries in recognition of their distinguished and continued accomplishments in original research.


Five Pitt faculty members have been elected to membership in the Association of American Physicians. AAP recognizes researchers who have made significant contributions to the advancement of medical science over the course of their careers. Pitt faculty made up 12 percent of the 60 persons elected this year.

Elected from Pitt were Yuan Chang, a faculty member in pathology; Patrick Moore, a faculty member in microbiology and molecular genetics; David Hackam, a faculty member in surgery; David Lewis, a faculty member in psychiatry, and Sally Wenzel, director of the University of Pittsburgh Asthma Center.


The American Society for Clinical Investigation (Young Turks) elected 75 new members in 2014, eight of whom are Pitt faculty members.

Founded in 1908, the society recognizes physician-scientists under the age of 50 who have conducted meritorious, original, creative and independent investigations in medicine.

The elected Pitt faculty members are: Christian Apetrei, microbiology and molecular genetics; Carlton Bates, pediatrics; Hulya Bayir, critical care medicine; Peter Lucas, pathology; Linda McAllister-Lucas, pediatrics; Mary Louise Phillips, psychiatry; Aleksandar Rajkovic, obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive science, and Yutong Zhao, medicine.

“We follow the Young Turks every year because it is in some ways the best form or one of the best forms, within biomedical research at least, to determine whether people on the outside think your pipeline of talent continues to be full,” said Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg.


Four Pitt faculty recently received Provost’s Awards for Mentoring Excellence. The four awardees are Marcia Landy, English; Stephen Manuck, psychiatry; Allan Sampson, statistics, and Trevor Orchard of  the Department of Epidemiology in the Graduate School of Public Health.

Orchard has served for more than 25 years as principal investigator (PI) of the Pittsburgh Epidemiology of Diabetes Study and has received continued NIH research funding as a PI since 1980.

Landy, Manuck and Sampson’s awards were announced in the April 3 University Times.


James Guggenheimer was among the honorees at the School of Dental Medicine Dean’s Scholarship Ball May 10.

Guggenheimer received the school’s Award of Appreciation.

He earned his B.S. from The City College of New York and did graduate work at the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine.

In 1966 he was recruited by the School of Dental Medicine as an assistant professor and was promoted to professor in the Department of Diagnostic Sciences in 1976. In 2000 he received a joint appointment to the School of Medicine as a professor in the Department of Otolaryngology.

Guggenheimer is known for research in the areas of diabetes complications, acetaminophen toxicity and opioid drug use.

—Compiled by Alex Oltmanns


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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