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June 10, 2004

People of the Times

Sunil Saxena, assistant professor in the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Chemistry, recently received the Faculty Early Career Development Award, the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) most prestigious honor for new faculty members. The award recognizes teacher-scholars most likely to become academic leaders in the 21st century.

Saxena was recognized for developing technology called pulsed electron spin resonance, a phenomenon that occurs when certain molecules are placed in a static magnetic field. When exposed to specifically designed bursts of oscillating magnetic fields, the molecules emit signals that indicate how the molecules move. Using the technology, Saxena examines how biological molecules organize and rearrange over time.

The NSF award will support development of new experimental designs and procedures to measure the atomic-level details of proteins by interpreting the emitted signals. The information in the signals will help explain how such proteins as the glycine receptor change and interact in their native environment. The glycine receptor, which helps mediate signals to and from the brain, has been resistant to conventional methods of study. Many diseases, including epilepsy and other seizure disorders, are associated with the glycine receptor.

“This research will lead to new technology that will enhance our ability to systematically measure and understand the fundamental processes that control cellular functions,” said Saxena, who is collaborating with Michael Cascio, assistant professor in the Pitt medical school’s Department of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry.

Saxena earned a Ph.D. in chemistry at Cornell University and completed his postdoctoral training at California Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley.


Lynn M. Martire recently received the 2004 Springer Early Career Achievement Award in Research on Adult Development and Aging, from Division 20 of the American Psychological Association.

Martire is assistant professor of psychiatry and associate director of gerontology at the University Center for Social and Urban Research. Her research program focuses on the interface between late-life chronic illness and family relationships. This research has included prospective, observational studies as well as the development and evaluation of dyadic psychosocial interventions for ill older adults and their closest family member.

Martire has published in the leading aging and health journals.

Martire also is the recent recipient of a Career Development Award (K01) from the National Institute of Mental Health, which extends her research on family care giving to the issues faced by family members of clinically depressed older adults.


Malorie Kosht-Fedyshin has been named the new director of the physical therapist assistant program at Pitt-Titusville, affective May 1.

Fedyshin received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Physical Therapy degrees from Gannon University in 1992 and 1994. She earned her doctorate in physical therapy from Chatham College in Pittsburgh in 2003. She is a licensed physical therapist in New York and Pennsylvania.

Prior to coming to UPT, Fedyshin served as the facility director for Keystone Rehabilitation Systems in Union City. Since 1994, she has been a voluntary physical therapist consultant to Corry Area High School. She served as administrator and director of rehabilitative services at Heartfelt Home Healthcare Services in Erie in 2003; chief physical therapist for the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home in Erie 2001-2003, physical therapist at Tender Loving Care/StaffBuilders Home Healthcare in Jamestown 1999-2001; consulting physical therapist for Majors Medical Supply in Buffalo in 2001; physical Therapist at Sunset Manor in Titusville 1997-1998, physical therapist for Labrozzi Physical Therapy at Corry Memorial Hospital 1995-1997, and physical therapist at Lake Erie Institute of Rehabilitation in Erie 1989-1995.

Fedyshin is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, a geriatric section member and a home health section member.

She received an Outstanding Service Certificate from Tender Loving Care/Staffbuilders in 2000, the Award of Merit from the Mercyhurst PTA Program in 1996, Leaders in Quality Care Award from Lake Erie Institute of Rehabilitation in 1994 and clinical educational need assistance tuition, also from L.E.I.R., 1992-1994.

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