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August 29, 2002

Pitt's faculty recruits: New faces on campus

More than 300 new professors have joined the Pitt faculty since last year, most of them in the medical school.

The following is a sampling of new Pittsburgh campus faculty members, as noted by deans, directors and department chairs. Those administrators and the University Times want to emphasize that this is only a sampling and not a complete list of important new professors here.

"We set out at this time a year ago to recruit a mix of senior and junior faculty," said James Knapp, associate dean for Faculty Affairs in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS). "We haven't been able to do that in recent years, but it is very important for departments to maintain a wide range of faculty experience.

"We hired some very distinguished faculty in chaired positions, and we also maintained our recent success in hiring outstanding young faculty. We are particularly pleased that 12 women, two Hispanic and three African American faculty were among the 25 new colleagues hired so far this year."

One of FAS's new junior faculty members is Beth Stronach, recruited as an assistant professor of biology from Harvard Medical School. Stronach is a developmental biologist who works on the molecular interplay between cell adhesion and signaling in the control of cell diffraction and migration. "Some cells become skin cells as fruit fly embryos develop, and Dr. Stronach is exploring how that happens," Knapp said.

Jose Brustoloni is a new assistant professor of computer science whom Pitt recruited from Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies. Brustoloni specializes in network performance, and his goal is to enable better network services. That involves bringing together innovations in networking, operating systems and security. His research will focus on network security, especially the protection of e-merchants from denial of service attacks.

Faith Adiele joins Pitt as an assistant professor of English from the University of Iowa, where she is completing her M.F.A. in non-fiction after earning an M.F.A. in fiction writing there. Adiele co-authored a novel, "The Student Body" (written under the pen name Jane Harvard) and has two children's books (on Nigeria and Kenya) forthcoming from Time/Life. She has published essays in various journals and magazines, and her essays have been published or anthologized in several books.

New faculty in the economics department include assistant professor Soilou Namoro, an applied microeconomist whose research interests include development economics, industrial organization, health economics and statistics, and associate professor Ted Temzelides, an economist bridging micro and macro economics, who studies money, banking and the stability of banking systems.

Jonathan Scott was recruited from the University of Cambridge as Amundson Professor of British History here. Scott researches 17th century British history, in particular the political and ideological upheavals of that century in which a remarkable series of revolutions (the English Civil War, the Restoration and the Great and Glorious Revolution) completely reworked English politics and British government.

Terence Smith joins Pitt from the University of Sidney as Mellon Professor of Contemporary Art. Smith is a leading figure in the new generation of art historians who have transformed art history into a comprehensive cultural study, in which works of art are examined in relation to the social and economic, as well as aesthetic, contexts in which they were created.

Vanitha Swaminathan joins the Katz Graduate School of Business as an assistant professor of marketing from the University of Massachusetts, where she taught product strategy.

Swarminathan's 2001 paper, "The Impact of Brand Extension Introduction on Choice," published in the Journal of Marketing, won the Lehmann Award for best dissertation-based article appearing in the Journal of Marketing or the Journal of Marketing Research — "the A-list publications in the marketing field," said Diana Dellavecchia, assistant dean for Faculty Resources at the Katz school.

School of Education Dean Alan Lesgold provided information on the school's three new faculty members.

"David Post joins us from Penn State, where he was associate professor of education and human and family development studies," Lesgold said. "He has a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago."

Post is an associate professor in the Department of Administrative and Policy Studies. His areas of research include educational expansion in Hong Kong, education and child development in Latin America, political foundations of U.S. education policy and other issues of educational policy research.

Two new assistant professors have joined the Department of Instruction and Learning.

Jennifer Cartier has a Ph.D. in education and a master's in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Lesgold said. "Her work is in inquiry-based science learning, and student understanding of scientific modeling and scientific argumentation," he said. "For example, she has done work on children's understanding of explanatory models in genetics."

Amanda Godley comes to Pitt after two years of teaching at California State University, Sacramento. Her doctorate is from Berkeley. "She has taught English, English as a second language and Latin, and she also has some special education experience," Lesgold said. "Her work has focused on such topics as the interplay of gender and literacy in the classroom, the teaching of writing, and how various discourses about composition — its economic status, remedial overtones, conceptions of student need and labor problems — emerge in response to changes in working conditions of writing instructors."

Among the new School of Engineering faculty members is Peyman Givi, professor of mechanical engineering, recruited from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Givi has received a Presidential Young Investigator award and research funding from a number of government agencies and academic societies, including NASA, the U.S. Department of Defense and the American Chemical Society. His research focuses on the simulation of turbulent reacting flow.

The Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) has hired William W. Keller as the new director of the Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security Studies and the inaugural Wesley W. Posvar Professor. GSPIA Dean Carolyn Ban described Keller, who holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University's Department of Government, as a major recruit for the school.

Keller comes to Pitt from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was executive director of the Center for International Studies, research director for MIT's Japan Program and principal research scientist, with responsibilities in administration, fund-raising and academic research.

In the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Jean McCrory has joined the Sports Medicine Program as assistant professor and Greg Norman Associate Director of the Neuromuscular Research Laboratory (NMRL) at the UPMC-HS Sports Medicine Center. McCrory will provide leadership in NMRL's Golf Medicine Injury Prevention Research Project.

McCrory's previous research included a three-year NASA post-doctoral research project to study mechanisms for the prevention of bone loss in astronauts subjected to zero gravity.

Jennifer Brach has joined the physical therapy department as an assistant professor. Brach is a recent Ph.D. graduate of the Pitt Graduate School of Public Health. She also received her physical therapy training at Pitt. Brach was recently recognized by the Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association for her outstanding achievements in geriatric research.

The School of Medicine is by far Pitt's largest school, with more than 1,800 full- and part-time faculty members — representing 42 percent of the University's total faculty. Many of them are clinical faculty who teach in hospital settings but not in the classroom.

Between July 1, 2001, and last week, the medical school had hired 269 new faculty members. That does not include clinicians with unpaid appointments. However, it does include faculty who spend most of their time in clinical and teaching activities as opposed to research, as well as those who are primarily researchers.

Among the medical school's new junior professors is Judith Klein-Seetharaman, assistant professor of pharmacology. Her research focuses on sequence-structure-function relationships in proteins. She earned a Ph.D. in biological chemistry in 2000 from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a postdoctoral associate at MIT and Carnegie Mellon University.

Joan M. Lakowski is a new Pitt professor of pharmacology. As an assistant vice chancellor, she heads Pitt's new Office of Academic Career Development. The office was set up to establish, evaluate and sustain initiatives that will enhance the recruitment, retention and academic success of biomedical scientists at Pitt. Lakowski joined the Pitt faculty in July from Penn State College of Medicine, where she was interim chairperson of the pharmacology department and professor of pharmacology and anesthesiology. She holds a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Iowa.

Hand surgeon and basic science researcher W.P. Andrew Lee comes to Pitt as professor of surgery and chief of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Lee is board certified in general and plastic surgery with research interests in transplantation of composite tissue allografts and tissue engineering for joint cartilage reconstruction. Lee came to Pitt from Boston, where he was an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and director of the Massachusetts General Hospital's Plastic Surgery Research Laboratory and chief of hand surgery service. He received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University, where he also completed his surgical residency and microvascular research fellowship.

Patrick S. Moore, professor of molecular genetics and biochemistry, and Yuan Chang, professor of pathology, came to Pitt from Columbia University, where they discovered Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. KSHV causes Kaposi's sarcoma, the most common malignancy in AIDS patients. The virus also is linked to other disorders that involve a compromised immune system. Moore and Chang, who are married, received their medical degrees from the University of Utah College of Medicine.

David Roodman, an internationally renowned researcher in multiple myeloma (a cancer of the plasma cells) and bone marrow culture techniques, has joined the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute as director of the Multiple Myeloma Center. Roodman also is a professor of medicine in the medical school's hematology/oncology division and director of UPMC Health System's Center for Bone Biology. Roodman came to Pitt from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

Jacqueline Dunbar-Jacob, dean of the School of Nursing, touted four new faculty recruits.

Susan M. Cohen, an associate professor of nursing in the Department of Health Promotion and Development, "is a well-known researcher, educator and nurse practitioner in women's health with a particular interest in women with cancer and in menopausal symptom relief," Dunbar-Jacob said. "She is currently funded by the National Cancer Institute for a study examining acupuncture for menopausal symptom relief in women with breast cancer."

Associate professor of nursing Deborah A. Lewis is a family nurse practitioner and certified diabetes educator who completed a post-doctoral study in biomedical informatics through the Center for Biomedical Informatics at Pitt. Lewis directs Pitt informatics educational programs in nursing and holds a joint appointment in the Center for Biomedical Informatics. Her area of expertise is consumer informatics.

Ellen F. Olshansky, professor of nursing and chair, Department of Health and Community Systems, is a widely known qualitative investigator whose work centers on infertility. "She is a women's health nurse practitioner and certified psychiatric clinical specialist," Dunbar-Jacob said. Olshansky has been funded by the National Institute for Nursing Research to examine depression in previously infertile new mothers.

Thelma E. Patrick, assistant professor of nursing, Department of Health Promotion and Development, has a joint appointment at the Magee-Womens Research Institute, where she is a member of the preeclampsia group. She currently is funded by the National Institute for Nursing Research to examine exercise as a means to reduce recurrent preeclampsia in pregnant women. In addition to her Ph.D. in nursing, Patrick has an M.P.H. in women's health and completed post-doctoral studies in preeclampsia.

Pharmacy has hired nine new faculty members this year, said Interim Dean Patricia Kroboth. "I am extremely pleased that the School of Pharmacy has recruited so many outstanding faculty members, whose expertise ranges from clinical management of infectious diseases and related research to nuclear receptor regulation of genes," she said.

Kroboth noted two exceptional recruits.

"We are truly fortunate to have recruited Wen Xie to the Center for Pharmacogenetics and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences where he is an assistant professor," Kroboth said. "Xie's research focuses on establishing nuclear receptors as sensors that regulate the genes that encode for drug metabolizing enzymes and transporters. Both the approaches he uses and contributions to information on the control of metabolizing enzymes have already brought him considerable recognition."

Xie was a postdoctoral fellow at the Howard Hughes Institute. He earned an M.D. at the University of Peking University Health Science Center in 1991, and a Ph.D. in cell biology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1997.

Blair Capitano joins the Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics and the Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory of the School of Medicine as an assistant professor. Capitano received her Pharm.D. from Pitt, completed a residency in infectious diseases at the Cleveland Clinic and most recently was a research fellow in infectious disease at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Conn.

"Capitano's research includes experimental models of infection and identification of those factors that contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance," Kroboth said. "She will specialize in clinical activities related to the UPMC Presbyterian Antibiotic Management Program, and research efforts in outcomes assessment and antibiotic resistance."

The School of Social Work has hired two Pittsburgh campus assistant professors, Daniel Rosen and J. Chris Stewart.

Rosen comes to Pitt from the Corner Health Center in Ypsilanti, Mich., where he was director of research and evaluation. His areas of interest include mental health, substance abuse and domestic violence. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Substance Abuse Research Center at the University of Michigan.

Stewart holds a Ph.D. from Florida State University. Prior to coming to Pitt, he was assistant professor at the University of Alabama School of Social Work. His clinical employment includes work at the Apalachee Center for Human Services. Substance abuse research is his specialty, with a particular interest in the role of spirituality in substance abuse treatment.

The University Library System has recruited Michael Dabrishus as an assistant librarian for archives and special collections. He began at ULS on Aug. 1, following 18 years as assistant director for special collections for the University of Arkansas libraries.

Dabrishus is considered to be one of this country's outstanding professional archivists, said G. Rush Miller, ULS director and University Librarian. He added that Dabrishus will be "very active" in ULS fundraising. "As the chief fundraising officer for the Arkansas libraries, he was responsible for attracting a $35 million gift from the Walton Foundation," Miller said.

— Bruce Steele and Peter Hart

Filed under: Feature,Volume 35 Issue 1

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