Kenneth Jordan's Paper on Hydration, Surfactants Published in PNAS
Kenneth Jordan, Richard King Mellon Professor and Distinguished Professor of Computational Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry, is part of the research team behind the paper “Molecular-Level Origin of the Carboxylate Head Group Response to Divalent Metal Ion Complexation at the Air-Water Interface,” published in the July edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the official journal of the National Academy of Sciences.
The paper examines at a microscopic level the hydration of a model surfactant system. Surfactants such as soaps have one end that is attracted toward water, with the other end being attracted to oily substances.
Pediatrics Researcher John V. Williams to be Presented Award for Scientific Contributions
John V. Williams was recently announced as the recipient of the 2020 Norman J. Siegel Outstanding Science Award by the American Pediatric Society for “his considerable contributions to pediatric science.”
Williams is the division chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh; Henry L. Hillman Endowed Chair in Pediatric Immunology; professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; and director of the Institute for Infection, Inflammation, and Immunity in Children (i4Kids).
Williams is an international leader in the field of respiratory virus biology, particularly human metapneumovirus (HMPV), and a recognized researcher and contributor to leading scientific journals. He will be presented the award on May 3 during the APS Presidential Plenary at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2020 meeting in Philadelphia.
Read more about Williams and the American Pediatric Society's honor.
Taryn Bayles Awarded for Excellence in Teaching
Taryn Bayles, vice chair for education and professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, recently received the James Pommersheim Award for Excellence in Teaching Chemical Engineering. The award recognizes departmental faculty in the areas of lecturing, teaching, research methodology and research mentorship of students.
Bayles’ research focuses on engineering education, increasing awareness of the engineering field and understanding how to help students succeed once they choose engineering as a major. She co-authored the INSPIRES (INcreasing Student Participation, Interest and Recruitment in Engineering and Science) curriculum, which introduces high school students to engineering design through hands-on experiences and inquiry-based learning.
Read more about Bayles and the award on the Swanson School's website.
Pitt Collaboratory Releases Paper on Water Issues
The Pittsburgh Collaboratory for Water Research, Education, and Outreach has released a white paper outlining key challenges to water quality research, monitoring and improvement in the region. The collaboratory, founded by faculty out of the Department of Geology and Environmental Science in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, recommended coordinated regional efforts to test waterways for a broader range of pollutants and increased public awareness surrounding water quality issues. The paper, “Water Quality in Southwestern Pennsylvania: Knowledge Gaps and Approaches,” is the second of three examining knowledge gaps surrounding water issues within the region.
Shelome Gooden Named Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research
Shelome Gooden was recently named as the University of Pittsburgh’s first-ever assistant vice chancellor for research for the humanities, arts, social sciences, and related fields, announced Senior Vice Chancellor for Research Rob Rutenbar. She will begin her position on Jan. 1, 2020.
Gooden will provide intellectual leadership across the humanities, arts, social sciences and related areas. She will work with and across leadership throughout the university to evolve new collaborations and research synergies that draw on strengths outside the laboratory and clinical areas. She will also participate in the University Research Council and will work to develop institutional-level funding to support research in the target areas.
“Our office (Pitt Research) needs to promote and engage with faculty working in all these knowledge domains, and creating this position helps us to do so,” said Rutenbar. “I know Shelome’s vision will help to advance the research conducted here at Pitt, and will enhance interdisciplinary opportunities.”
Rutenbar said that the new position was created because the University offers an incredible diversity of modes of research and creative endeavors, and corresponding ranges of research and creative products.
Read more about Gooden and her new position in @Pitt.
Katz MBA Rises in Poets & Quants Rankings
For the sixth year in a row, Pitt’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business MBA program is ranked among the top 20 in U.S. public universities by Poets & Quants.
Katz was number 39 in the U.S. and number 17 among U.S. publics in the Poets & Quants 2019-20 MBA rankings. Pitt saw the largest rise among the top 40 schools, up five spots from last year’s ranking.
Katz is one of only 42 business schools across the country that placed in all major MBA rankings this year, an honor shared by just 5% of all Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-accredited schools and less than 0.3% of schools worldwide that grant business degrees.
To learn more about Pitt’s highly ranked MBA programs, visit the Katz programs page.
Shelome Gooden Named First Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research for the Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Related Fields
Shelome Gooden was recently named as the University of Pittsburgh’s first-ever assistant vice chancellor for research for the humanities, arts, social sciences, and related fields. She will begin her position on Jan. 1, 2020.
Gooden will provide intellectual leadership across the humanities, arts, social sciences and related areas. She has served as associate professor in Pitt’s Department of Linguistics, researching language contact and sound structure in Creole languages. For the past 14 years, she has served on the executive committee for the Society for Pidgin & Creole Languages and currently serves on the advisory board for an international research group, Creative Multilingualism.
Pitt created this position because the University offers an incredible diversity of modes of research and creative endeavors, and corresponding ranges of research and creative products.
“Our office (“Pitt Research”) needs to promote and engage with faculty working in all these knowledge domains, and creating this position helps us to do so,” said Rob Rutenbar, senior vice chancellor for research at Pitt. “I know Shelome’s vision will help to advance the research conducted here at Pitt, and will enhance interdisciplinary opportunities.”
Feng Xiong Receives CAREER Award for AI Energy Efficiency Project
Feng Xiong, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, received a $500,000 CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation for his work developing the missing element in spiking neural networks (SNN), a dynamic synapse, that will dramatically improve energy efficiency, bandwidth and cognitive capabilities of SNNs.
A human brain—which today is still more proficient than CPUs at cognitive tasks like pattern recognition—needs only 20 watts of power to complete a task, while a supercomputer requires more than 50,000 times that amount of energy. The project aims to make computers complete cognitive tasks using less energy.
SAFE Peer Educators Honored for Work Preventing Sexual Misconduct
Sexual Assault Facilitation and Education (SAFE) peer educators were recently recognized during halftime at a Pitt women’s volleyball game for their work around preventing sexual misconduct and promoting healthy relationships on the Pittsburgh campus.
SAFE peer educators facilitate interactive workshops with student organizations and Greek Life, as well as in residence halls. The workshops range from topics about relationship violence, sexual violence, consent, interpersonal communication and bystander intervention. During fall 2019, SAFE peer educators facilitated 30 workshops and educated 60% of the University’s Greek community on bystander intervention.
The program is sponsored by the Title IX Office and Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Education Office and codirected by Michele Welker, clinician with the Counseling Center, and Carrie Benson (EDUC ’12G), Title IX specialist.
SAFE is currently accepting applications for undergraduate and graduate educators. Students can also submit request for workshops. For more information, email SAFEStudentLeaders@pitt.edu or visit the SAFE website.
Pitt Business' Chris Driscoll Named 2019 Preservationist of the Year
The organization advocates for the preservation of historic sites and structures in the Greater Pittsburgh region. The annual award recognizes significant contribution in the area of historic preservation.
Driscoll is part owner and founder of the restaurant Revival on Lincoln, which is housed in a historic mansion in Bellevue. The previously dilapidated building required extensive restoration to be recognized as an historic landmark by Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation and placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Driscoll was presented the award in a Nov. 1 ceremony at Alphabet City in Pittsburgh.
Library System Acquires Poet Jorge Luis Borges’ Papers
Manuscripts by Argentinian writer and poet Jorge Luis Borges have been acquired by the University Library System (ULS). The new items include two poems and two essays—"El otro tigre (The Other Tiger)"; "La nadería de la personalidad (The Nothingness of Personality)"; "Poema conjetural (Conjectural Poem)"; and "Anotación al 23 de agosto de 1944 (Annotation to the 23rd of August of 1944)."
In March 2018, ULS acquired the Cuaderno Avon (Avon notebook) and several loose accompanying pages (Páginas sueltas), which included the story "La espera (The Wait)" and the notes for "El escritor argentine y la tradición (The Argentine Writer and Tradition)."
Borges, considered one of the foremost literary figures of the 20th century, was born on Aug. 24, 1899, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and died on June 14, 1986, in Geneva, Switzerland. He wrote essays, poems and short stories and was also a translator.
These new materials will contribute to the enrichment of the Eduardo Lozano Latin American Collection at the ULS and will be housed in Archives and Special Collections. Other pieces of Borges’ original work are held at the University of Virginia Library, the New York Public Library, Michigan State University, the National Library of Spain, the Fondation Martin Bodmer in Geneva and the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas.
Janice Pringle to Receive Excellence in Patient Care Award
Janice Pringle, founder and director of the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy Program Evaluation and Research Unit, will receive the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation’s Excellence in Patient Care Award.
Pringle will be recognized for her work, which has helped to make a difference in Blair County, Pennsylvania. Pringle’s research helped combat opioid abuse and improved individual and population health outcomes in the county.
Pringle is also a professor of pharmacy and therapeutics in Pitt’s School of Pharmacy. Her research has helped develop health care policy research and briefs that have been used to inform policy development at both the state and federal levels.
New Institute Will Improve Pediatric Health and Research
The Institute of Infection, Inflammation and Immunity in Children—i4Kids for short—is a new strategic research effort focused on improving pediatric health by combating infectious and inflammatory diseases through accelerating new multi-disciplinary collaborations across the health sciences, natural and physical sciences, and computer science.
Infection is the leading cause of death in children under 5-years-old worldwide, and infectious and inflammatory diseases are the leading causes of child hospitalization in the US. i4Kids aims to become the epicenter of research, discovery, prevention and treatment of these diseases in children as the foundation of improving the health of future generations.
The institute will host a launch symposium on Feb. 11, 2020, from 2 to 6 p.m. in the Rangos Research Auditorium at Children’s Hospital. The institute is working with the Children’s Hospital Foundation to invite leaders of foundations and philanthropists across the nation.
For more information on i4Kids, visit their website.
Pitt School of Dentistry First to Create Opioid Guidelines
The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine is the first dental school in the nation to establish opioid-free pain management guidelines for the vast majority of procedures performed in all of its clinics. The guidelines advocate that clinicians prescribe non-opioid pain-relievers first whenever possible.
The Appalachian corridor, which includes Western Pennsylvania, is a hot zone for opioid addiction. With deaths occurring every day from opioid abuse, and costs of rehabilitation care approaching $90,000 per hospitalization, deliberate strategies to minimize dental pain after treatment and eliminate the need for opioid pain relievers are now available to combat this public health crisis in the Appalachian region.
“Pitt Dental Medicine is leading the way with the adoption of this new protocol by teaching our students and residents the best way to manage pain effectively without the unnecessary risk of opioid dependence,” said Bernard J. Costello dean of the School of Dental Medicine. “When these trainees move on to other practices, they’ll take these opioid-free guidelines with them.
Barry Mitnick Wins ‘Ideas Worth Teaching Award’
Pitt Business professor Barry Mitnick’s course Market Manipulations: Crises, Bubbles, Robber Barons and Corporate Saints has been recognized with a 2019 Ideas Worth Teaching Award—one of only 10 courses worldwide to be selected.
The award honors “faculty who are redefining business education—providing learning experiences that equip managers of tomorrow with the context, skills and decision-making capabilities needed to lead in an increasingly complex business environment—and world.”
It’s not the first time the prestigious international organization has recognized Mitnick’s work; in 2014, he was a finalist in the Faculty Pioneer Awards.
Focused on U.S. business history from 1835-1935, Mitnick’s course aims to help students understand the major kinds of market manipulations, their historical contexts and consequences and what insights they can provide for modern business behavior.
Read more about Mitnick’s award-winning course in Pittwire.
Two Pitt Researchers Named Fellows for National Academy of Inventors
Rob Rutenbar, Senior Vice Chancellor for Research at Pitt, and William Federspiel, the John A. Swanson Professor of Bioengineering, were recently named fellows for the National Academy of Inventors’ 2019 fellowship class.
The NAI Fellows Program highlights academic inventors who have demonstrated a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society. Election to NAI Fellow is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors.
Rutenbar and Federspiel have a combined 26 patents to their names, respectively, and have over 300 peer-reviewed journals and papers published.
The complete list of NAI Fellows is available on the NAI website.
Healthy Lifestyle Institute Hosts Second Annual Summit, Announces New Initiative
The Healthy Lifestyle Institute (HLI) hosted its second annual summit on Friday, Dec. 6 on the Pittsburgh campus. The summit consisted of presentations and updates from researchers across campus on their work to transform lifestyle research into health and wellbeing for people in all stages of life.
Housed within the School of Education, HLI was founded in 2017 with a mission “to develop, translate and implement health and wellness programs” for the Pitt community and around the Pittsburgh region.
At the summit, HLI’s founding director John Jakicic (EDUC ’95G), introduced HLI’s Schools on the Move initiative, which will provide grants to support innovative physical activity programming at 43 K-12 schools in the Pittsburgh area.
“We’re asking teachers to get creative. We’re not just providing schools with basketballs and nets,” said Jakicic, who also serves as chair of the Department of Health, Physical Activity, and Exercise in the School of Education. “We’re really interested in seeing how these projects unfold.”
Inmaculada Hernandez Earns Emerging Leader Award
Inmaculada Hernandez, assistant professor of pharmacy and therapeutics in Pitt’s School of Pharmacy, was recently presented the 2019 Seema S. Sonnad Emerging Leader in Managed Care Research Award by the American Journal of Managed Care.
This award recognizes an individual whose early achievements in managed care demonstrate the potential for making an exceptional long-term contribution as a leader in the field.
With over 40 published peer-reviewed manuscripts, Hernandez has contributed to 25 as a first author and eight as a senior author. These articles have been published in various medical journals and their findings have been featured on NPR, Forbes, ABC, CNBC, BBC, Fox News and Bloomberg. Hernandez was also recently included on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list as a young leader in health care research.
Pitt Nursing Faculty Stand Out in Statewide Awards
Three University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing faculty members were recognized in November at the 30th annual gala and celebration of the Nightingale Awards of Pennsylvania. Each faculty member who was nominated for her category received the award.
Brenda Cassidy (NURS ’86G, ’97G, ’11G), assistant professor, won the Doctorate of Nursing Practice award; Jennifer Lingler (NURS ’98G, ’04G; A&S ’03G), professor, won the Nursing Research award; and Patricia Tuite (NURS ’85, ’92G), assistant professor, won the Nursing Education-Academia award.
The Nightingale Awards are a statewide program designed to recognize excellence in nursing. Over the past 30 years, more than 100 nursing professionals who best exemplify compassionate care, clinical expertise, education and leadership have been celebrated at the awards ceremony.
Grace Campbell Selected for Inaugural National Recognition
Nurse researcher and faculty member Grace Campbell (SOC WK ’85G, NURS ’94,’13G) is among an elite group of nurses included in the inaugural cohort of fellows of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN).
Campbell is one of fewer than 20 nurses from across the United States who were selected for this inaugural cohort of fellows. Nurses were selected based on their leadership in rehabilitation nursing, as well as contributions, service and commitment to the specialty and the ARN.
Campbell’s research focuses on the impact of chronic disorders on physical function and developing behavioral interventions to improve physical function. She is specifically interested in fall risk and fall prevention in individuals who are chronically ill, including those who are stroke and cancer patients.