Awards & More

Issue Date: 
March 23, 2009

Two Pitt faculty members have been selected as 2009 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellows. Brent Doiron, an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics, and Michael Grabe, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, will receive two-year, $50,000 awards from the New York-based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.The Sloan fellowships are presented to young science researchers.

Doiron’s research focuses on the creation and study of mathematical models of neural processing, an important step in understanding brain function.

Grabe, in his research, develops computer models that help explain biological phenomena, and his Sloan fellowship research could enable a better understanding of how proteins interact with cellular membranes.

Doiron and Grabe are among the 118 junior professors from 61 universities in the United States and Canada who received 2009 Sloan fellowships, including faculty members at Cornell University, Duke University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California at Berkeley.

Among Pennsylvania institutions, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pennsylvania also received two fellowships and Pennsylvania State University received one.

University Professor of Chemistry Peter Wipf has been awarded the 2009 Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products. The honor will be awarded March 24 during the American Chemical Society’s Spring 2009 National Meeting and Exposition in Salt Lake City. Wipf, who also is a professor of pharmaceutical studies in Pitt’s School of Pharmacy, serves as director of Pitt’s Center for Chemical Methodologies and Library Development as well as its Combinatorial Chemistry Center and codirecor of Pitt’s Drug Discovery Institute. He has been a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the United Kingdom’s Royal Society of Chemistry, and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Lynn Emanuel, University of Pittsburgh professor of English, poet, and author, has been named the 2009 Elliston Distinguished Poet-in-Residence at the University of Cincinnati. The position carries an award of $20,000. As poet-in-residence, Emanuel will teach an intensive five-week course for graduate students in Cincinnati’s McMicken College of Arts and Sciences and will give a poetry reading and two public presentations. Supported by the George Elliston Poetry Fund and the University of Cincinnati Department of English and Comparative Literature, this position has been offered to one poet annually for more than 50 years. The Elliston poet-in-residence position has an illustrious history and includes such poets as Robert Frost, Randall Jarrell, and Robert Lowell.

Director of Pitt’s Writing Program, Emanuel is the author of four collections of poetry: Hotel Fiesta (University of Georgia Press, 1984); The Dig (University of Illinois Press, 1992), a National Poetry Series Award winner; Then, Suddenly—(University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999), a selection of the Academy of American Poets’ Poetry Book Club and Eric Matthieu King Award; and, forthcoming, Mob and Torch.

Peter Brusilovsky, a professor in Pitt’s School of Information Sciences, was recently nominated by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) as a senior member. The senior member grade recognizes those ACM members with at least 10 years of professional experience and five years of continuous professional membership who have demonstrated performance that sets them apart from their peers. ACM is the largest international educational and scientific computing society for computing educators, researchers, and professionals.

Brusilovsky is known for his research in several areas, including adaptive Web-based systems, adaptive hypermedia, adaptive interfaces, intelligent tutoring systems, and artificial intelligence.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Law has been selected as one of two host institutions for the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) 2009 Summer Regional Institutes. This is the eighth time since 1993 that the CLEO Institute has been held at Pitt. Pitt’s law faculty will challenge 40 CLEO Fellows with an intensive six-week law school curriculum as the students immerse themselves in the world of legal analysis.

Southern Illinois University Law School also will welcome 40 students for an intensive prelaw program at its summer institute. CLEO, created in 1968, is a federally funded program to enhance diversity in legal education. More than 7,500 economically disadvantaged students have participated in CLEO since it began.