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September 25, 2008


Neil M. Resnick, professor of medicine and director of the University of Pittsburgh Institute on Aging, is the first faculty member to hold the Thomas Detre Chair in Geriatric Medicine.

Resnick was installed as the inaugural Detre Professor on Sept. 11.

The chair, endowed by UPMC, honors Thomas Detre, distinguished senior vice chancellor emeritus for the Health Sciences and distinguished service professor emeritus of psychiatry.

Resnick has devoted his career to caring for older adults and to studying the causes of their many illnesses, most notably, incontinence. He has conducted research into other common geriatric conditions, including osteoporosis, falling, prostatism and delirium, among others.

Chancellor Mark Nordenberg said, “Dr. Resnick has been a highly regarded leader, both here at Pitt and internationally. He has devoted his distinguished career to caring for older adults and is very deserving of this special form of recognition.”


The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) has named Susan Albrecht, associate professor and associate dean at Pitt’s School of Nursing, as its 2009 president-elect. Albrecht will serve as president-elect effective Jan. 1 and as president of the organization beginning in 2010.

AWHONN advances the health care of women and newborns through advocacy, research and the creation of high-quality, evidence-based standards of care. Its 22,000 members worldwide are clinicians, educators and executives.

Albrecht currently sits on the AWHONN board of directors. Previously, she has served as chair of the AWHONN research committee, as well as co-chair of the AWHONN childbearing and newborn advisory panel.


Retired Maj. Gen. Gale S. Pollock, former deputy surgeon general of the U.S. Army, has joined the UPMC Eye Center as executive director of the nation’s first Center for Ocular Regeneration and Vision Restoration (CORVR). This effort, involving the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, a joint program of UPMC and Pitt’s School of Medicine, will help those with vision impairments become more active in their communities.

Pollock will oversee the center’s development from the ground up, integrating basic and clinical research endeavors with a patient focus and helping UPMC to continue to advance the science of vision care.

As executive director of CORVR, she will enforce a comprehensive approach when addressing the needs of the blind, blending the latest technology with successful research and clinical innovations. She hopes to recruit a range of experts to pioneer patient-driven research and clinical therapies for the vision-impaired, including congenitally blind individuals and those who have lost sight due to injury or illness.

Pollock has served as a nurse anesthetist, hospital commander, chief of the Army Nurse Corps, deputy surgeon general and acting surgeon general.

She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Maryland and attended the anesthesiology program for U.S. Army Nurse Corps officers. She received master’s degrees in business administration from Boston University, health care administration from Baylor University and national security and strategy from the National Defense University.

Pollock is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

She was named 2007 Woman of the Year by the American Legion Auxiliary.


Dana H. Bovbjerg, a nationally known expert in biobehavioral oncology research, has joined the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) as director of the biobehavioral medicine program. Bovbjerg also holds a faculty appointment as a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine.

At UPCI, Bovbjerg plans to focus the biobehavioral medicine program’s research and clinical efforts on improving patients’ psychological and biological responses to cancer treatment. He also plans a renewed emphasis on a transdisciplinary approach for exploring the broader behavioral and mind/body effects related to cancer that will call upon the expertise of both basic and applied researchers from the schools of arts and sciences, medicine, nursing, public health and social work at Pitt, as well as faculty from Carnegie Mellon University.

“We know the mind influences cancer through effects on risk behaviors like smoking and exercise, but we need to know more about how to help individuals consistently make healthy choices,” said Bovbjerg. “We also need to know much more about how unconscious activities of the brain may influence those choices and may even have more direct bodily effects on the development of cancer and the response to treatment.”

Prior to joining UPCI, Bovbjerg directed the biobehavioral medicine program at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He also has held faculty positions at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Cornell University Medical College.

Bovbjerg received a doctorate in neuroscience from the University of Rochester (N.Y.) School of Medicine, and earned undergraduate degrees in philosophy and psychology.

He was elected a member of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research and a fellow in the Society of Behavioral Medicine.

Bovbjerg has served on numerous research grant review panels for the National Institutes of Health and other funding agencies, both in the United States and internationally.


Recipients of the 2007-2008 Excellence in Education Awards were announced by the School of Medicine.

The Kenneth E. Schuit Award, recognizing the dean’s master educators, was presented to Jason B. Rosenstock, assistant professor of psychiatry, and Bruce A. McClane, professor of microbiology and molecular genetics.

The award recognizes clinical and basic science faculty for education-related contributions (teaching, planning and organization of courses or course sections) to the medical school curriculum.

The Donald S. Fraley Award was presented to Stephanie A. Studenski, professor of  medicine, and David L. Steed, professor of surgery.

This award recognizes extended service as a medical student mentor at the School of Medicine and significant mentoring contributions that extend beyond a single student or group of students.

The Sheldon Adler Award was presented to Donald B. Middleton, professor of family medicine, for significant innovative contributions to medical education at the School of Medicine.

The 2007 Award for Excellence in Clinical Precepting was presented to Ibrahim I. Ghobrial, clinical assistant professor of medicine.

This award recognizes clinical preceptors who consistently provide outstanding clinical instruction in a community setting for medical students. Achievements of individuals receiving this award include significant service as a medical student preceptor, and a clinical academic appointment in the School of Medicine.

The 2007 Clerkship Preceptor of the Year award was presented to Hoda Abdel-Hamid, visiting assistant professor of pediatrics; Gregory M. Bump, assistant professor of medicine; Andrew W. Eller, associate professor of ophthalmology, and Peter F. Ferson, professor of surgery.

This award was established to recognize clerkship preceptors who consistently provide outstanding clinical instruction for medical students in the setting of the required clerkships of the School of Medicine.

Achievements of an individual receiving this award include significant service as a medical student preceptor and an academic appointment in the School of Medicine.

The 2008 Excellence in Education Award was presented to course directors John W. Kreit, associate professor of medicine; McClane, and Peter J. Veldkamp, assistant professor of medicine; lecturers Andrew F. Stewart, professor of medicine, and John B. Schumann, associate professor of neurobiology, and small-group facilitators Kreit; P. Sudhakar Reddy, professor of medicine, and Georgia K. Duker, assistant professor of cell biology and physiology.

These faculty members were selected from nominations received by first- and second-year medical students to honor faculty and recognize their contributions and dedication to teaching in the basic sciences and organ systems courses in the School of Medicine curriculum.


Kong Ho, associate professor of art at Pitt-Bradford, is one of five artists awarded the 2008 VSA (Very Special Arts) Teaching Artist Fellowship for teaching artists with disabilities.

The award provides support for the artists in pursuit of their careers as well as additional networking and professional development opportunities, including a retreat held in Washington, D.C., last month.

The program, now in its second year, is supported in part by the U.S. Department of Education and the Dana Foundation.


Also at Pitt-Bradford, Helene Lawson, professor of sociology, received the 2008 Distinguished Service Award from the animals and society section of the American Sociological Association at its annual conference last month.

Lawson was honored for her work as a member of the section’s executive board.


Staff in the Office of Public Affairs have won International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)/Pittsburgh 2008 Golden Triangle Awards, which honor achievements of local communications and media specialists.

The awards will be presented Oct. 7.

Winners were: Elena Gialamas Cerri for Pitt Med magazine and Don Henderson for Engineering News in the magazine creative design category; Marci Belchick-Beas for “2007 Report of Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg” in the annual reports design category; Rainey Dermond for Jazz 2007 and for Pitt Arts in the poster design category; Belchick-Beas for the Tuskegee Airmen package in the graphic design-other category;

Kimberly K. Barlow for “Climbers Check Out Heinz Chapel” (University Times) and Cara Hayden for “The Greening of Vandergrift” (Pitt Magazine) in the news writing category; Barlow and Peter Hart for “Cleaning It Up” (University Times), Elaine Vitone for “What Possessed You?” (Pitt Med) and Diane Weathers for “Flying Lessons” (Pitt Magazine) in the feature writing category.

Public Affairs also won IABC awards in the following categories: communication management: “Tuskegee Airmen” in both special events and community relations; magazines: Pitt Med; newspapers/tabloids: Pitt Chronicle; annual reports: “2007 Report of Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg”; interactive media design: environmental studies and Cool Pittsburgh.


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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