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April 16, 2009


David Y. Miller, professor and associate dean in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), has been appointed the inaugural director of Pitt’s Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy. As director, Miller will help integrate the forum into the larger University academic community through the development of programs that reflect the career and interests of Pitt alumnus and trustee Thornburgh, a former two-term Pennsylvania governor and attorney general of the United States.

Established in 2007, the Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy provides an opportunity to foster public education and civic action on important public policy issues.

Since 1998, Miller has served as associate professor and associate dean in GSPIA, where he has been responsible for the graduate and undergraduate curricula. He also has served as interim dean of GSPIA and as co-director and professor at GSPIA’s Center for Public Policy and Management in Macedonia.


Head men’s basketball coach Jamie Dixon has been named the 2009 Naismith Men’s College Basketball Coach of the Year by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

During the season Dixon guided Pitt to a 31-5 record (15-3 in the Big East), earned the school’s first-ever No. 1 seed upon entering the NCAA Tournament and led the Panthers to the NCAA East Regional final with three wins, the program’s most wins in an NCAA Tournament.

Pitt also achieved the consensus No. 1 national ranking for the first time in school history, set or tied school records for victories and league wins and finished the year with a perfect 19-0 home record. Dixon now has guided Pitt to NCAA Tournament appearances in each of his first six seasons as head coach, becoming the first coach in school history to achieve that honor. He has amassed a career record of 163-45, which places him third on Pitt’s all-time coaching wins list.

With his 163 career wins, Dixon set an NCAA Division I record for most victories after six seasons as a head coach. He concluded the 2008-09 season as the Big East’s all-time winningest coach by percentage in overall league games (.698). He also ended the 2008-09 campaign ranked third among NCAA active coaches in career winning percentage.


Freddie H. Fu, David Silver Professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the School of Medicine and founding medical director of the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine, last week was named president of the International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine (ISAKOS) at its biennial congress in Osaka, Japan. Fu, who has been a member of the ISAKOS board of directors for 10 years, will serve a two-year term as president.

ISAKOS is an international forum for the exchange of ideas that advance arthroscopy, knee surgery and orthopaedic sports medicine. ISAKOS promotes and provides educational opportunities for specialists from around the world, across cultural traditions and economic disparities, including developing countries.

Fu also is the current president of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.

Fu is known for his pioneering surgical techniques to treat sports-related injuries to the knee and shoulder and his extensive scientific and clinical research in biomechanics. He holds secondary appointments as professor of physical therapy, health and physical activity and mechanical engineering and is the head team physician for the Department of Athletics.

Over the years, Fu has trained more than 500 surgeons and physicians worldwide and more than 60 in the United States through the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery fellowship program.


Several faculty in the Schools of the Health Sciences have been acknowledged recently with awards or accolades, including:

• Alan Russell, director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and professor of surgery in the School of Medicine, has been ranked No. 32 of 100 people who are changing America by Rolling Stone magazine.

• David J. Hackam of pediatric surgery and Satdarshan P.S. Monga of pathology were elected into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI). This honor recognizes the contributions of physician-scientists at a young age. They will be inducted into the society on April 24 at the ASCI/Association of American Physicians joint meeting in Chicago.

• The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has appointed Rock Heyman, Department of Neurology, chair of the society’s National Council of Clinical Advisory Committee Chairs. Heyman served as a member of this committee previously and will direct the regional clinical advisory committees as they implement a new process to better define comprehensive MS care centers in addition to the current efforts to improve clinical effectiveness. Heyman’s term runs through December 2011.

• David A. Lewis, professor of translational neuroscience and psychiatry, and David Volk, assistant professor of psychiatry, received the American Psychiatric Institute for Research and Education Kempf Fund Award for Research Development in Psychobiological Psychiatry.

This award honors research excellence in the physiological, psychological and/or sociological causes and treatment for schizophrenia.

• Hank Weiss, associate professor, Center for Injury Research and Control, was honored with the Alex Kelter Vision Award from the State and Territorial Injury Prevention Directors Association.

The award recognizes individuals who have brought leadership and vision to the field of injury and violence prevention.

• Dennis Ranalli, senior associate dean in the School of Dental Medicine, has been named a distinguished member of the Academy for Sports Dentistry. The recognition was presented in honor of Ranalli’s service to the academy, of which he is past president and a board member.

• Mark Gladwin, chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine and director of the Hemostasis and Vascular Biology Research Institute, and Michael J. Fine, professor of medicine and director of the VA Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, have been selected for membership in the Association of American Physicians (AAP).

The goals of AAP members include the pursuit of medical knowledge and the advancement through experimentation and discovery of basic and clinical science and their application to clinical medicine. Each year, 60 individuals who have attained excellence in achieving these goals are recognized by nomination for membership by the council of the association.

• Francis X. Guyette III, assistant professor of emergency medicine in the School of Medicine, was recognized as a “top 10 innovator” in emergency medical services in 2008 by the Journal of Emergency Medical Services, with support from Physio-Control.

Guyette’s innovations include implementing therapeutic hypothermia, or cooling of the body, to prevent brain damage in cardiac arrest patients at UPMC. Guyette also serves as associate medical director of STAT MedEvac.


Beatriz Luna, associate professor of psychiatry and psychology at the School of Medicine, has been selected by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to serve as a member of the advisory committee to the director (ACD). Since 1966, the ACD has advised the NIH director on policy and planning issues important to the NIH mission of conducting and supporting biomedical and behavioral research, research training and translating research results for the public.

Luna is the first Pitt faculty member to be named to the advisory committee.

Luna’s primary research focuses on using innovative brain imaging technologies, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging, to characterize how the brain mechanisms underlying cognitive skills mature during adolescence. Her work provides insight into how vulnerabilities inherent to adolescence lead to psychopathology and risk-taking behavior, and is central to the recent view that brain function continues to be immature during adolescence.

Luna is the founding director of the Laboratory for Neurocognitive Development at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and training faculty member in the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition and the Center for Neuroscience at UPMC.

In 2005, she received the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering for her work investigating the neural basis of developmental changes in behavior through adolescence.


Two members of the Health Sciences Library System staff have been recognized recently.

Leslie Czechowski, assistant director of HSLS Collections and Technical Services, was awarded the Daniel T. Richards Prize by the collection development section of the Medical Library Association for her paper, “Edging Toward Perfection: Analysis of the New Approval Plan in a Health Sciences Library.”

Melissa Ratajeski, HSLS reference librarian, has been appointed to the Medical Library Association Beatty Award jury for 2009-10.


The People of the Times column features recent news on faculty and staff, including awards and other honors, accomplishments and administrative appointments.

We welcome submissions from all areas of the University. Send information via email to:, by fax at 412/624-4579 or by campus mail to 308 Bellefield Hall.

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