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Awards and Accolades: University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences Announce Faculty, Staff Achievements

PITTSBURGH, February 26, 2009 — The faculty, staff and students of the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences often are recognized by academic and scientific societies and other prestigious organizations for their significant achievements and exceptional leadership. Among those whose work has been acknowledged recently with awards and accolades are the following:

  • Charles F. Reynolds, M.D., professor of psychiatry, neurology and neuroscience, senior associate dean, School of Medicine, and professor of behavioral and community health sciences at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, has been elected to a one-year term as the president of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This is a volunteer position that serves as an officer on the Foundation’s board of directors.
  • Thomas E. Starzl, M.D., Ph.D., will be honored with one of two lifetime achievement awards from Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., whose mission is to help consumers find the best health care in America. The National Physician of the Year Awards recognizes both physicians and leaders in health care whose dedication, talents and skills have improved the lives of countless thousands of people throughout the world. Dr. Starzl will be honored at a program and reception, Monday, March 23 at The Hudson Theater in New York City.
  • Donald B. DeFranco, Ph.D., professor and vice chair for education in the Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, started a five-year term as the new editor-in-chief of Molecular Endocrinology. To highlight the translational aspect of the work published in Endocrine Society journals, Dr. DeFranco plans to collaborate with other Society journals to cross-reference articles.
  • Raman Venkataramanan, Ph.D., professor of pharmaceutical sciences, School of Pharmacy, received the 2009 Bristol-Myers Squibb Mentorship in Clinical Pharmacology award from the American College of Clinical Pharmacology. This bi-yearly award recognizes sustained excellence in clinical pharmacology mentorship in an academic, regulatory and/or industrial setting.
  • Gwendolyn Sowa, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine, will receive the 2009 Young Academician Award at the Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP) annual meeting on Feb. 26 in Colorado Springs. Each year, the AAP honors one academic physiatrist under age 40 for outstanding performance in teaching, research or administration. Dr. Sowa is the third faculty member from Pitt’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation to win this national award.
  • Joseph C. Maroon, M.D., a neurosurgeon at UPMC and professor and vice chairman of the department of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, has been invited as a special guest to the Chongqing International Neurological Diseases Forum 2009 in China in March. The forum will serve as a platform for invited international experts to share their understanding and experiences in managing and preventing cerebral vascular diseases, as well as advances in neuroimaging and neurosurgical techniques.

The University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences include the schools of Medicine, Nursing, Dental Medicine, Pharmacy, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and the Graduate School of Public Health. The schools serve as the academic partner to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Together, their combined mission is to train tomorrow’s health care specialists and biomedical scientists, engage in groundbreaking research that will advance understanding of the causes and treatments of disease and participate in the delivery of outstanding patient care. Since 1997, Pitt and its affiliated university faculty have ranked among the top 10 educational institutions in grant support from the National Institutes of Health.

For additional information about the Schools of the Health Sciences, please visit

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