Awards & More

Issue Date: 
September 18, 2006

Organ transplant pioneer Thomas E. Starzl—Distinguished Service Professor of Surgery in Pitt’s School of Medicine and director emeritus of the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute—was honored July 25 with the American Society of Transplantation/Roche Ernest Hodge Memorial Award, the society’s highest award, for his seminal discoveries associated with immune tolerance and innovative surgical techniques, all of which paved the way for an entirely new field in human organ transplantation.

Starzl, known as the “Father of Transplantation,” performed the world’s first successful liver transplant in 1967 at the University of Colorado. In 1980, he advanced the field further when he introduced the antirejection medications antilymphocyte globulin and cyclosporine. When, in 1981, Starzl joined Pitt’s School of Medicine, he refined this approach, which soon became the accepted transplant regimen for patients with irreversible liver, kidney, and heart failure.
Earlier this year, Starzl received the nation’s highest scientific honor, the National Medal of Science.

Freddie H. Fu, professor and chair of the Pitt School of Medicine’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, has been elected president of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM). Fu will serve as vice president this year and as president-elect in 2007; he will be installed as president in July 2008. The AOSSM has a membership of more than 2,000 national and international leaders in sports medicine and focuses largely on research and education to improve patient care, physician knowledge, and overall quality of life for millions of people around the world. Fu is known worldwide for his pioneering surgical techniques to treat sports-related injuries to the knee and shoulder and his extensive scientific and clinical research in the biomechanics of such injuries.

• Pitt neuroscientist Beatriz Luna has received a 2005 Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering (PECASE), the nation’s highest honor for scientists at the beginning of their research careers. Only 55 other scientists from across the country received the honor this year.

According to the White House, the PECASE recognizes and supports researchers whose early work shows exceptional promise for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge. Awardees are nominated by one of eight federal departments, which provide the researchers with up to five years of research funding. Luna was nominated by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Luna, a Pitt associate professor of psychiatry and psychology and director of the Laboratory of Neurocognitive Development at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, was recognized for her research in adolescent brain development, investigating how changes in the brain impact memory and decision-making capabilities. Her current research, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, seeks to establish a template for normal maturation of cognitive control that can be used to identify impairments in developmental psychopathologies, such as schizophrenia and mood disorders, that emerge in adolescence.

Willa M. Doswell, associate professor in the Pitt School of Nursing’s Department of Health Promotion and Development, has been selected to serve as a member of the NIH Nursing Science: Children and Families Study Section, Center for Scientific Review. As a member of the study section, Doswell, who will serve a four-year term, may review grant applications submitted to the NIH, make recommendations on those applications, and conduct general reviews on the status of research in the section’s field of specialty. She was selected based on NIH criteria that included the quality of her research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements, and honors.

• Pitt nursing school faculty members Judy Erlen and Ellen Olshansky have been elected as officers for the Eastern Nursing Research Society (ENRS). Erlen, who is a professor in the school’s Department of Health Promotion and Development and associate director of Pitt’s Center for Research in Chronic Disorders, will serve as president-elect, and Olshansky, professor and chair in the Department of Health and Community Systems, was elected as treasurer. ENRS is the research arm of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Nursing Association and the New England Organization for Nursing.

• The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Foundation has selected Kim C. Coley, associate professor of pharmacy and therapeutics in Pitt’s School of Pharmacy, to serve on the selection panel for the foundation’s 2005 Literature Awards Program, specifically for the Pharmacy Practice Research Award. This is the fourth year Coley has been chosen to serve on a Literature Awards Program panel.

• Pitt sophomore Frank Velardo has been awarded the 2006 Pitt-Mellon Jazz Scholarship Award. The $5,000 tuition award is presented annually to a promising Pitt jazz student. Velardo, a native of Long Island, N.Y., plays in the Pitt Jazz Ensemble and also sits in at local jam sessions. He received his honor on stage prior to the Mellon Jazz at Hartwood Acres concert Aug. 13 featuring saxophonist David Sanborn. This marks the 20th year that Pitt and Mellon Financial Corp. have funded the scholarship.

Patrick Manning, a historian of African and world history, has joined the University as Andrew Mellon Professor of World History in the School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of History. A former professor of history at Northeastern University, Manning will be a key contributor to Pitt’s University Center for International Studies.

Manning has major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Annenberg/CPB program. His work on the Global Economic History Network is supported by the Leverhulme Foundation

Five of Manning’s monographs have been published to date; a sixth, The African Diaspora: A History through Culture, is scheduled to be published by Oxford University Press in 2007. In addition, he has edited or coedited three books and has 24 articles in refereed journals and an additional 24 book chapters published or forthcoming.

Manning received his Ph.D. in African history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1969. A former Guggenheim Fellow, he has held visiting appointments at a number of institutions, including Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University, and Macquarie University in Australia.

Larry J. Shuman, professor of industrial engineering and associate dean for academic affairs in Pitt’s School of Engineering, was recognized as one of 12 new fellows of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) at an awards ceremony held at the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition in June in Chicago, Ill.

Fellow member status is a distinction conferred upon those who have been members for at least 10 years and have made outstanding contributions to engineering or engineering technology education. Candidates nominated for fellow status are reviewed by the fellow member committee, which makes recommendations to the ASEE Board of Directors.

Shuman received the Ph.D. degree in operations research from Johns Hopkins University in 1969, joining the Pitt industrial engineering department that same year. His primary areas of research are improving the engineering educational experience, applying operations research to health-delivery systems, and studying the ethical behavior of engineers and engineering managers.

Shuman is the founding editor of the ASEE's new journal Advances in Engineering Education. He previously served as coeditor of the Journal of the Society for Health Systems and was senior associate editor of the Journal of Engineering Education.