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October 13, 2016

People of the Times

John M. Wallace Jr., faculty member in the School of Social Work and senior pastor of Bible Center Church, is among the recipients of the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh’s 2016 Racial Justice Awards. His award, in the Faith category, will be presented at a Nov. 16 dinner at the Omni William Penn Hotel, Downtown.

YWCA Greater Pittsburgh is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. The awards are a signature event of YWCA Greater Pittsburgh’s Center for Race and Gender Equity, which seeks to promote a society in which all people receive equal treatment and have equal access in the workplace, public services, justice system, classroom and throughout the Greater Pittsburgh community.



Christel N. Temple

Christel N. Temple has been appointed chairperson of the Department of Africana Studies. An associate professor of Africana studies here since 2010, Temple’s research interests focus on black cultural mythology, African world literature and the intersections of history and literature.

Temple is an affiliate of the University’s African studies program; the gender, sexuality and women’s studies program; the Global Studies Center; and the University Center for International Studies.

Prior to arriving at Pitt, Temple taught at the College of Saint Rose, Johns Hopkins University, Temple University and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.

Temple earned a PhD in African-American studies at Temple University, a master’s degree in African-American studies at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County and a Bachelor of Arts in history at the College of William and Mary.


School of Medicine faculty member Eva Szigethy is among the winners of The Bruce and Cynthia Sherman Charitable Foundation’s inaugural Sherman Prize for Excellence in Crohn’s and Colitis.

The awards acknowledge achievements in advancing patient care, medical research and public service in inflammatory bowel disease.

Szigethy is co-director of the UPMC total care-IBD program and associate professor of psychiatry, medicine and pediatrics in the Department of Psychiatry.

Szigethy will receive $100,000 for her work in integrating behavioral health into comprehensive care for IBD patients.

She built the nation’s first behavioral health program for children with IBD at Children’s Hospital, and recreated the model for adults by founding the Visceral Inflammation and Pain Center at the UPMC IBD Center. Her work has shown that integrating psychological and psychiatric services in the medical care of patients improves health outcomes and reduces costs, according to a media release.


Timothy Billiar, George Vance Foster Professor and chair in the Department of Surgery at the School of Medicine, has received the Friendship Award, the highest recognition bestowed by the People’s Republic of China on foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to the country’s economic and social progress.

Every year, 50 foreign experts are selected to receive the Friendship Award. This year, recipients came from 18 foreign countries and included experts in the fields of industry, science and technology, medicine, agriculture, energy, environmental protection and education.

Billiar was nominated by Central South University in Changsha, Hunan, China, for his work in developing student and physician exchange programs and for his role in developing a Chinese medical student research training program at Pitt’s School of Medicine.

Billiar accepted the award Sept. 29 in Beijing.


Pitt trustee Larry J. Merlo, president and chief executive officer of CVS Health, has been named the University’s 2016 Distinguished Alumni Fellow. The award, presented at an Oct. 6 dinner, recognizes graduates with extraordinary records of professional achievement and community service.

Merlo, who earned a bachelor’s degree from the School of Pharmacy in 1978, received the pharmacy school’s 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award. The University named him a Legacy Laureate in 2008.

Merlo and his wife, Lee Ann Merlo (A&S ’77), endowed the Larry and Lee Ann Merlo Student Leadership Fund Award, which provides need-based assistance to students in Pitt’s Doctor of Pharmacy program.

An executive at CVS Health since 1990, Merlo has served as its president since 2010 and as CEO since 2011.

Merlo has served on Pitt’s Board of Trustees since 2013.


Oncologist Stanley Marks, chairman of UPMC CancerCenter, chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology at UPMC Shadyside and a clinical faculty member in medicine at the School of Medicine, has been honored by UPMC and partners at the Oncology Hematology Association (OHA) through the establishment of the Stanley M. Marks-OHA Endowed Chair in Hematology/Oncology Leadership.

Marks’ 48 partners at OHA, a UPMC-owned practice, financially committed to create this chair, which also was supported by UPMC, for a total of $2.2 million.

The permanent endowment will support the recruitment and retention of outstanding leaders in the Division of Hematology/Oncology and will help to train professionals devoted to research and improved treatments for patients.


Breast cancer researcher Adrian Lee has been named director of the Institute for Precision Medicine (IPM), a joint effort by the University and UPMC to move biomedical research into personalized wellbeing and clinical care. He succeeds Associate Vice Chancellor Jeremy Berg, who will remain as a senior adviser to the IPM, which was founded in 2013 and formerly known as the Institute for Personalized Medicine.

Lee is a faculty member in the Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, and director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Women’s Cancer Research Center. In addition to studying the hormonal regulation of breast cancer, he is part of the team working to implement the technology infrastructure needed for precision medicine.

Arthur S. Levine, senior vice chancellor for the Health Sciences and dean of the School of Medicine, stated, “Under Adrian’s leadership, the IPM will help to ensure the continued development of innovative research programs, efforts to reduce administrative and regulatory barriers, and the education of physicians in the area of personalized medicine.”

—Compiled by K. Barlow

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