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

PITTSBURGH, July 9, 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 significant achievements and exceptional leadership. Among those whose work has been acknowledged recently with awards and accolades are the following:

  • Anthony P. Yates, M.D., assistant clinical professor, School of Medicine, and Pittsburgh Steelers team physician, recently was awarded the Jerry “Hawk” Rhea Award by the National Football League Physicians Society. The award is presented each year to an NFL team physician for distinguished years of service to the respective team, the NFL and long-standing relationships with the members of the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society.
  • At a dinner in Washington, D.C., the Foundation for Biomedical Research gave its Michael E. DeBakey Journalism Award, television category, to 60 Minutes for a segment called “Brain Power,” which featured the work of Andrew Schwartz, Ph.D., professor, Department of Neurobiology, School of Medicine. The award honors professional journalists whose reporting has enhanced public understanding of how the humane and responsible use of animal models leads to medical and scientific discoveries.
  • Kathy S. Magdic, M.S.N., coordinator of the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Area of Concentration, School of Nursing, was elected president of the Nurse Practitioner Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania (NPASP). The NPASP is a growing organization of nurse practitioners who work in many clinical settings.
  • Stephen Strom, Ph.D., associate professor of cellular and molecular pathology, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, was elected president of the Cell Transplantation Society, an international organization dedicated to promoting research and collaboration in cellular transplantation and regenerative medicine throughout the world. He was elected at the society’s most recent meeting in Okayama, Japan. Dr. Strom also is the Hepatocytes section editor for Cell Transplantation: The Regenerative Medicine Journal.
  • Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC was honored with the DEHP-Free Award, a 2009 Environmental Excellence Award from Practice Greenhealth. It is given to the hospital or system that demonstrates the most success with replacing DEHP-containing medical devices with safer alternatives, particularly with vulnerable patient populations.
  • Jinhan He, Ph.D., postdoctoral research associate, Center for Pharmacogenetics, School of Pharmacy, has been selected to receive the American Liver Foundation (ALF) Irwin M. Arias, M.D., Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. Only eight scholars nationwide are selected for this fellowship each year. The ALF’s mission is to facilitate, advocate and promote education, support and research for the prevention, treatment and cure of liver disease.
  • Mark W. Ochs, D.M.D., M.D., professor, associate dean and chairman, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Dental Medicine, received the American Dental Association’s 2009 Golden Apple Award for Inspiring Careers in Dental Education. This student-nominated award is presented nationally to one individual each year. Dr. Ochs was recognized for his teaching skills, dedication to education and encouragement to students to enter the dental profession, pursue postdoctoral training and consider career opportunities in dental education. The award was presented at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine’s diploma presentation ceremony in May.
  • Cyrus Raji, doctoral student, School of Medicine, has been awarded the 2009 Extended Neuroscience Award by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). Mr. Raji was selected for his research, “Independent Effects of Age and Alzheimer’s on Gray Matter in a Community Cohort,” which focuses on how certain regions of the brain are most strongly affected by both normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease. The Extended Neuroscience Award seeks to stimulate interest in the field of neurology as an exciting and challenging profession by offering highly competitive awards for the best essay. Mr. Raji received the award during the AAN’s 61st Annual Meeting in Seattle.
  • Richard Henker, Ph.D., R.N., C.R.N.A., associate professor and vice chairman of Acute and Tertiary Care, School of Nursing, and nurse anesthetist, UPMC Presbyterian, has received a 2009 Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) Golden Apple Award. The Golden Apple Award honors the extraordinary educational contributions of volunteers to international program sites. Dr. Henker was recognized for his volunteer work at Cambodia’s Angkor Children’s Hospital, where he not only trained Cambodian nurse anesthetists to improve their anesthesia care, he taught them how to share this knowledge with others. He also is responsible for the recruitment and design of a nurse anesthesia program in Bhutan, which commenced earlier this year. Dr. Henker also serves on the Steering Committee for HVO’s Nurse Anesthesia division.
  • Joseph C. Maroon, M.D., clinical professor, Department of Neurological Surgery, School of Medicine, was honored as a 2009 inductee into the Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. He also was a featured speaker recently at the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, of which he is senior vice president. He discussed how resveratrol, green tea, dark chocolate and red wine lead to a healthier and longer life.
  • Eugene N. Myers, M.D., professor, Department of Otolaryngology, School of Medicine, received a gold medal on behalf of the International Federation of Oto-Rhino-Laryngological Societies for his international work with otolaryngology. This award was presented at the XIX World Congress of Otolaryngology in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
  • Fadi G. Lakkis, M.D., professor of surgery and immunology, School of Medicine, and scientific director, Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, received the American Society of Transplantation (AST) Basic Science Established Investigator Award at the Professor Level. Recipients of AST’s 2009 Achievement Awards were selected for the originality, innovation and commitment they bring to the field of transplantation. AST is an international organization of transplant professionals dedicated to research, education, advocacy and patient care in transplant science and medicine.
  • UPMC Mercy has received the American Stroke Association’s Get With the Guidelines (SM) Stroke Silver Performance Award, which recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that patients receive treatment according to the nationally accepted standards and recommendations. UPMC Mercy has developed a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the Emergency Department.

    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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