Society of Scholars inducts new members

April 2013 Posted in University News

The Society of Scholars was created on the recommendation of then university President Milton S. Eisenhower and approved by the board of trustees on May 1, 1967. The society—the first of its kind in the nation—inducts former postdoctoral fellows, postdoctoral degree recipients, house staff, and junior or visiting faculty who have served at least a year at Johns Hopkins and thereafter gained marked distinction elsewhere in their fields of physical, biological, medical, social, or engineering sciences or in the humanities and for whom at least five years have elapsed since their last Johns Hopkins affiliation. A Selection Committee, whose members are equally distributed among the academic divisions, elects a limited number of scholars from the candidates nominated by the academic divisions with postdoctoral programs. The scholars are presented with a certificate and a medallion on a black and gold ribbon at an annual induction ceremony, which this year will be held on April 11 at the Peabody Institute. Their induction brings to 595 the total number of members in the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars. The following listing of the new members is accompanied by a short description of their accomplishments at the time of their election.

David B. Allison Birmingham, Alabama

David Allison, a biostatistician, psychologist, and world-renowned obesity researcher, is the Quetelet Endowed Professor of Public Health and associate dean for science at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. At UAB, he is also director of the Office of Energetics and of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health. His research focuses broadly on the causes, consequences, treatment, and prevention of obesity. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, he works from basic science with animal models all the way through epidemiology, policy, and mathematical modeling.

Allison has authored more than 450 scientific publications and edited five books. Among the many honors he has received are the 2002 Lilly Scientific Achievement Award from the Obesity Society; the 2002 Andre Mayer Award from the International Association for the Study of Obesity; the 2006 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring from the National Science Foundation; the 2009 TOPS Research Achievement Award from the Obesity Society; and the 2009 Centrum Award from the American Society for Nutrition. He has been elected a fellow of numerous scientific societies, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 2012 was elected to the Institute of Medicine. He holds multiple NIH and NSF grants and is on the editorial boards of statistics, epidemiology, and obesity journals. Allison received his PhD from Hofstra University in 2009 and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine from 1990 to 1991.

Peter B. Bach New York, New York

Peter Bach is one of the world's leading health services researchers and health policy analysts in the realm of cancer treatment delivery. He is a full member at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where he directs the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes and is a senior scholar at the International Agency for Research on Cancer and a member of the World Economic Forum. He has conducted transformational work in the field of health care disparities, documenting the undertreatment of minorities with lung cancer. He first introduced and empirically supported the now widely accepted view that disparities in outcomes may be owing to the lower quality of the institutions in which minority patients receive care, and the relative lack of expertise and resources of the physicians who treat them.

Bach published the first validated risk prediction model for lung cancer, which laid the groundwork for identifying individuals who should be enrolled in trials of lung cancer screening, a model still in use in two ongoing trials in Europe. Also, his health policy analyses have questioned and shifted thinking in important areas of Medicare's approaches to cancer payment.

At Johns Hopkins, Bach was a member of the Osler Medicine house staff from 1992 to 1995 and a fellow in pulmonary and critical care medicine from 1997 to 1998.

Abhay Bang and Rani Bang Maharashtra, India

Through their outstanding leadership, applied research, technical support, and advocacy, Abhay Bang and Rani Bang have significantly changed the landscape of global health. Together, the couple founded the Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health, known as SEARCH, which works to improve the health of the population in Gadchiroli, a remote district of Maharashtra state in India. Abhay Bang is director of SEARCH, and Rani Bang is co-director. They both studied medicine in India and received Master of Public Health degrees from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Parallel to his efforts to develop community health services, Abhay Bang and his colleagues implemented and published world-class research on practical and effective approaches to reduce under-5 mortality in resource-constrained settings. Two of the most notable of these publications demonstrated the mortality impact of the management of childhood pneumonia and the provision of home-based neonatal care, both by community health workers. Pneumonia and neonatal conditions are the two leading causes of under-5 mortality globally.

Rani Bang and her colleagues carried out the world's first study documenting the large burden of gynecological diseases among poor rural women. This study was a major force in the expansion of women's reproductive health programs in developing countries. Her work has also focused on maternal health, adolescent sexual health, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV/AIDS control.

The Bangs have also done research and taken action in tobacco- and alcohol-related problems. Using the results of their research to advocate for more-effective programs for women and children, they have led a renaissance in improving the health of impoverished people through community-based primary health care.

Terence R. Flotte Worcester, Massachusetts

Terence Flotte is the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor in Medical Education, dean of the School of Medicine, and executive deputy chancellor and provost at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In this position, he oversees all academic activities, including education and research, of the basic and clinical science departments of the UMMS School of Medicine and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. He is a respected physician, educator, and internationally known pioneer in human gene therapy. He is leading rAAV vector research, investigating the development of therapeutic genes and miRNA for genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, genetic emphysema, and inborn errors of metabolism.

He is the author of more than 260 scholarly papers, and his published work has been cited close to 7,500 times. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, among others. The numerous honors and awards he has received include the 2012 Investigator Award from the Massachusetts Society for Medical Research, the 2005 E. Mead Johnson Award for Outstanding Scientific Contributions from the Society for Pediatric Research, and the University of Florida Faculty Research Prize in Clinical Science. He is an elected member of the Association of American Physicians, the American Pediatric Society, the Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Society for Pediatric Research.

Flotte completed his residency, pediatric pulmonary fellowship, and postdoctoral training in molecular virology at Johns Hopkins/NIH, and was an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins from 1993 to 1996. He then joined the faculty of the University of Florida, where he was a professor of pediatrics and of molecular genetics and microbiology, director of the Powell Gene Therapy Center, founding director of the UF Genetics Institute, and chair of the Department of Pediatrics. He has been at the University of Massachusetts Medical School since 2007.

Kevin B. Johnson Nashville, Tennessee

Kevin Johnson is the Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and a professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. His career bridges the worlds of pediatrics and biomedical informatics, especially in the development and evaluation of electronic health records, documentation, data exchange, and e-prescribing. He is internationally renowned for his scholarship and research in informatics, with more than 60 publications in the peer-reviewed literature since leaving Johns Hopkins in 2002.

Johnson completed his MD degree at Johns Hopkins and was a postdoctoral fellow in Pediatrics from 1987 to 1990. He served on the house staff from 1988 to 1990, and then joined the School of Medicine faculty in General Pediatrics, rising to associate professor in 2000. While at Johns Hopkins, Johnson worked on one of the first major studies examining the impact of computer-based documentation on physician-patient interaction; he was also a leader and innovator with the electronic health record project, then known as EPR.

He is an associate editor of JAMIA, the American Medical Informatics Association's premier journal for biomedical and health informatics. Johnson co-edited the first textbook on pediatric informatics and is a frequent speaker at national and international meetings. He has served on numerous expert panels, Institute of Medicine committees, study sections, and national boards of directors for professional societies and industry groups. In addition to his membership in the American College of Medical Informatics, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Pediatric Society, Johnson was recently elected to the Institute of Medicine.

Peter Kolchin Newark, Delaware

An internationally recognized leader in the field of comparative historical studies of slavery, Peter Kolchin is the Henry Clay Reed Professor of History at the University of Delaware.

As a postdoctoral fellow of the Institute of Southern History in the Department of History at Johns Hopkins from 1971 to 1972, he put the finishing touches on his book First Freedom: The Responses of Alabama's Blacks to Emancipation and Reconstruction, which examines the post-Civil War transition to freedom from African-American perspectives. He also began research on Unfree Labor: American Slavery and Russian Serfdom, a work that made him a major figure in the scholarly movement to place U.S. history in comparative and transnational contexts. In 1988, Unfree Labor received the Bancroft Prize from Columbia University, as well as awards from both the Organization of American Historians and the Southern Historical Association.

Kolchin is the author of two other major books, American Slavery: 1619-1877 and A Sphinx on the American Land: The Nineteenth-Century South in Comparative Perspective, and of many important articles. One of his articles was named by the Organization of American Historians in 1984 as the best article to have been published during 1983 in the Journal of American History. He is president-elect of the Southern Historical Association, a Distinguished Lecturer of the Organization of American Historians, and an elected fellow of the Society of American Historians. He has received the Francis Alison Award, the University of Delaware's highest faculty honor for research, teaching, and service.

Jane Koziol-McLain Auckland, New Zealand

Jane Koziol-McLain is director of the Interdisciplinary Trauma Research Centre and a professor of nursing at Auckland University of Technology. She is a leading researcher on the topic of violence against women and has established ways in which the world's health care systems can change to better address the issue. Her work has been referenced in two Institute of Medicine reports and was the basis of a 2011 IOM Global Violence Forum plenary address. Her research on risk factors for intimate partner femicide, a New Zealand Health Research Council-funded clinical trial on health care screening and intervention for domestic violence, led to noted publications, as well as to changes in health programs and practices. She is currently funded to conduct a trial of an Internet-based intervention to improve mental health outcomes for abused women, which has parallel studies in Australia, the United States, and Canada.

Koziol-McLain is known for her bicultural research, engaging with indigenous M?ori and other cultures. She is an implementing partner for the United Nations Population Fund Pacific Sub-Regional Office, leading a team that works alongside Pacific Island country ministries of health and medical services, using country family safety study data to inform health system programming and ensure the delivery of safe, effective, and sensitive health services for women experiencing domestic violence.

Her interest in this area was evident during her postdoctoral fellowship, from 1999 to 2001, at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, where she focused her clinical, teaching, and research activities on partner violence against women.

Natasha Kyprianou Lexington, Kentucky

Natasha Kyprianou holds the James F. Hardymon Chair in Urology Research at the University of Kentucky Medical Center, where she is also a professor of surgery/urology, molecular biochemistry, and pathology and laboratory medicine, as well as a professor of toxicology at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. A pre-eminent investigator in prostate cancer research, she has published more than 150 articles and authored one book on the mechanisms of apoptosis (cell death) in prostate cancer. Kyprianou is internationally recognized for her pioneering contributions to the identification of apoptosis signaling pathways in endocrine-dependent tumors and their therapeutic targeting in advanced prostate cancer.

She has a long and significant service as a member of several study sections at the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the American Cancer Society, and the American Association for Cancer Research/Stand Up To Cancer Advisory Committee, as well as of numerous international cancer research funding organizations. She has served as president of the Society of Basic Urological Research, and as chair of the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program Integration Panel. The American Urological Association/Society for Basic Urologic Research/Society of Women in Urology honored Kyprianou in 2006 with the inaugural award for the leading female investigator who has made outstanding contributions to urologic research.

A distinguished academic leader and an honored mentor of medical students, graduate students, and physician scientists, she has received additional awards and honors, including the Distinguished Mentor Award from the American Urological Association Foundation in 2008, the Prostate Net "In the Know" Award in 2009 for the impact of her translational research in prostate cancer, and the Dominique Chopin Distinguished Award in Urology from the European Association of Urology/EAU Section of Urological Research in 2010.

Kyprianou was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Urology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center from 1987 to 1990.

Melissa A. McGrath Huntsville, Alabama

Melissa McGrath is the chief scientist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. She is a leader in planetary astronomy, particularly from space. Her research explores the properties of the moons of Jupiter, focusing on the largest one, Io, and has led to a better understanding of the electrodynamic interactions between these moons and Jupiter's magnetic field. She has investigated the nature of the tenuous atmosphere of Io and how this gas fuels the plasma torus about Jupiter. She has been the principal investigator on numerous space- and ground-based observing programs, and has lectured worldwide on the results of her scientific research.

In recent years, she has served in top management positions both at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and at Marshall Space Flight Center, where she was appointed deputy director of the Science and Technology Directorate in 2005. In this position, she supported the director in managing operations and business planning for the organization and helped oversee all Earth and space science activities at the Marshall Center.

McGrath was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins from 1987 to 1991. In 1991, she became an associate research scientist with the department and remained an adjunct professor until 1994. She moved in 1992 to a science staff position at the Space Telescope Science Institute, located on the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus. She remained at STScI for 13 years, becoming head of the Community Missions Office, with responsibilities for overseeing contracts and developing new business ventures.

McGrath is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Astronomical Society and the International Astronomical Union. She is the author or co-author of more than 100 technical publications, primarily focused on atmospheric and planetary studies of other worlds and moons in the solar system. She is an expert in performing astronomical observations of planets, which require special techniques that are different from those used for stars and galaxies, and has had a major role in the success of the Hubble Space Telescope in obtaining planetary observations.

Thomas V. Perneger Geneva, Switzerland

Thomas Perneger is head of the Division of Clinical Epidemiology at University Hospitals of Geneva and a professor at the University of Geneva, where he teaches research methods and works with clinicians to foster effective and relevant research into a variety of medical conditions. In addition to providing methodological support to clinical studies, he and his team develop new methods to analyze study results, measure patient-related outcomes, and enable valid causal inferences. Through these activities, he has helped raise the quality of research not only at his institution but also in Switzerland and beyond. His more than 250 peer-reviewed publications have been cited more than 10,000 times.

After being trained as a physician in Geneva, Perneger sought training in research methods at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he received a Master of Public Health degree in 1989, a Master of Health Science degree in biostatistics in 1991, and a doctorate in epidemiology in 1993. For his doctoral thesis, he designed and carried out the first case-control study of end-stage renal disease.

Following his residence at Johns Hopkins, Perneger turned his interests to the evaluation of health systems and the improvement of quality and safety of health care, and he contributed to the development of rigorous assessment methods and instruments in this field. His work bridges the gap between system-oriented health research and the search to find the best care for the individual patient.

Ren Donglai Nanjing, China

Ren Donglai is a professor of international history and American history at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center in Nanjing, China. Trained as a U.S. diplomatic historian, he worked on the history of U.S.-Chinese relations during World War II. Early in his career, his research explored the cooperation and conflicts between the U.S. government and the Chinese Nationalist government in the context of the anti-Japanese alliance. In the past decade, he has shifted his interests to U.S. constitutional history, particularly Supreme Court history. He has introduced U.S. constitutionalism to Chinese professional and popular audiences by recounting milestone cases and the decisions of prominent justices. His book The American Constitutional Experience, published in 2004, has sold more than 40,000 copies and has become one of the most cited works in the Chinese literature on Western law and constitutionalism.

Ren's recent essays and reviews have appeared in the Shanghai Review of Books, Reading Books, and Teahouse for Lawyers. He has served as vice president of the American History Research Association of China and as a member of the editorial board of American Studies Quarterly, the official publication of the Institute of American Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and Chinese Association of American Studies.

Ren received his master's degree in international politics from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in 1985 and his doctorate from Nankai University in 1988. He was the first PhD working in U.S. history who was trained in the People's Republic of China. He has been a visiting scholar at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; the Norwegian Nobel Institute; the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.; Johns Hopkins' Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies; and the Drake University Law School.

Geoffrey Schoenbaum Baltimore, Maryland

Geoffrey Schoenbaum heads the Cellular Neurobiology Research Branch at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. After completing his PhD and MD degrees, he received a Research Scientist Award from the National Institutes of Health (1997-2003) to work in the lab of Michela Gallagher in Johns Hopkins' Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, where he began to carve a path for understanding some of the fundamental attributes of the brain used in decision making and adaptive behavior. Since then, his contributions, extending to clinical brain disorders, have become widely recognized. His research has centered on learning processes through which organisms use regularities in their world to predict the consequences of their actions and are adept at noticing changes to modify these predictions and successfully adapt. Notably, Schoenbaum's work isolated key neural circuits in the brains of rodents for these core functions. His work also demonstrated how addictive drugs such as cocaine cause long-term changes to such circuits, even outlasting drug exposure itself and leading to a loss of behavioral control.

Among the recognitions his work has received is the Society for Neuroscience's 2009 Jacob P. Waletzky Award for innovative and seminal studies on the mechanisms of drug addiction.

Robert Udelsman New Haven, Connecticut

Robert Udelsman is the William H. Carmalt Professor of Surgery and chairman of the Department of Surgery at Yale School of Medicine, and surgeon-in-chief at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He is internationally known for his work on minimally invasive endocrine surgery, including thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal procedures. His research involves developing techniques and evaluating outcomes in an effort to improve endocrine surgery. Recently, he has been working on a project to analyze intra-operative hormone data to predict cure rates during surgery.

He is president of the International Association of Endocrine Surgeons and in 2005-2006 was president of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons. Udelsman received his BA from Lafayette College and his MD from the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

At Johns Hopkins, he completed his general surgical residency (1981-89) and a clinical fellowship in gastrointestinal surgery (1989-90). Other fellowships were performed at the Surgery Branch of the National Cancer Institute and the Developmental Endocrinology Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Udelsman's academic surgical career began at Johns Hopkins (1990-2001), where he rose to the rank of professor. He has published 193 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 103 book chapters, and two books. He is also a historian and lectures on the birth of chemotherapy and on the surgeon Harvey Cushing.

Selwyn M. Vickers Minneapolis, Minnesota

Selwyn Vickers is the Jay Phillips Professor and chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Minnesota and the associate director of Translational Research for the Masonic Cancer Center. A nationally recognized leader in academic surgery and pancreatic disease as well as a clinical scientist, he has made significant contributions in both patient care and laboratory investigation. He has more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and a successful track record of grant funding.

After training as a hepatobiliary surgeon and surgical oncologist at Johns Hopkins, he joined the faculty of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he was an active leader in the cancer center and in the development of the UAB Pancreaticobiliary Center, serving as its founding co-director. He was also founding principal investigator of UAB's EXPORT Program, which was funded by the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and co-founder of the UAB Minority Health and Research Center.

Vickers is a member of the Institute of Medicine and a director of the American Board of Surgery. He is currently co-principal investigator of the UAB/UMN SPORE in Pancreatic Cancer, a collaboration with the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is also principal investigator of the Surgical Oncology Research Training Program, co-principal investigator of Enhancing Minority Participation in Clinical Trials II, and the education and training core director for the Center for Health Equity, UMN's P60 National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Center of Excellence.

Rochelle Walensky Boston, Massachusetts

A professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an infectious disease physician at Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women's hospitals, Rochelle Walensky has made tremendous intellectual contributions to the fields of HIV medicine and global health policy. She was the first investigator to assess the cumulative survival benefits of AIDS treatment in the United States, justifying increased investment in research and treatment, and she established much of the evidence base supporting expanded HIV screening and treatment. She has developed a portfolio of model-based assessments of the clinical benefits and cost-effectiveness of expanded HIV screening, improved linkage to care, earlier treatment initiation, and optimal laboratory use. Merging clinical, epidemiological, and economic methods, Walensky has generated a new evidence base to support global priority setting and has achieved research insights that could not be addressed by any of these disciplines alone. Her work has fundamentally changed the care of HIV disease and allocation of funds.

Walensky is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and of the Department of Health and Human Services Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents. She is also one of 12 experts on the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council, a group selected from leading members of scientific disciplines in the United States and appointed by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Walensky received her MD degree from Johns Hopkins in 1995 and trained in internal medicine on the Longcope Firm at Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1995 to 1998.

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