Cheers: October 2016

Cheers is a monthly listing of appointments, promotions, and honors and awards received by faculty and staff. Submissions can be emailed to

Bloomberg School of Public Health

Anthony Leung, an assistant professor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, was a finalist for a 2016 ASCB-Gibco Emerging Leader Prize. In its announcement, the American Society for Cell Biology recognized him "for his research on nonmembranous RNA granules and microRNAs."

Carey Business School

Jian Ni, an associate professor, has been selected as a 2017 Marketing Science Institute Young Scholar. This biennial award is given to the most promising young scholars who have received their doctorates in the field of marketing within the past three to seven years. The awardees will gather in January in Park City, Utah, to discuss their work and perhaps investigate research collaborations.

Johns Hopkins Medicine

Redonda Miller, president of Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Paul Rothman, CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, dean of the School of Medicine, and a vice president of the university, were named by Becker's Hospital Review to its 2016 list of 110 Physician Leaders to Know. The list recognizes presidents and CEOs of hospitals and health systems who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and clinical expertise throughout their careers.

Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

Nathan Connolly, the Herbert Baxter Adams Associate Professor of History, was awarded the Southern Historical Association's Bennett H. Wall Award for A World More Concrete: Real Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida (2014). The prize is awarded to the best book published in Southern business or economic history over a two-year period.

Peabody Institute

Meng-Sheng Shen, a Doctor of Musical Arts student of Boris Slutsky's, won third prize in the San Marino Piano Competition in the Republic of San Marino.

Tonar Music released the first solo CD by guitarist and artist diploma candidate Meng Su. Meng includes works by John Williams, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, J.S. Bach, Francisco Tárrega, and William Walton.

Xiao-Hui Yang, a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate and a student of Boris Slutsky's, won the gold medal at the 26th New Orleans International Piano Competition, held in July at Loyola University. The silver medal was won by Re Zhang, also a graduate student of Slutsky's. The students were awarded cash prizes, solo recitals, and performance opportunities with various orchestras, including the Louisiana Philharmonic.

School of Medicine

Steven Cohen, director of medical education for the Pain Management Division, recently received the distinguished service award from the Military Health System Research Symposium. Cohen, a retired Army colonel, received the award in the research category of pain management. The honor recognizes individuals who have contributed significantly to the advancement of military health system research.

J. Raymond DePaulo Jr., University Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, has been named winner of the Ming Tsuang Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics.

Michael Koldobskiy and Cara Rabik, fellows in Oncology, have each received a four-year $248,000 Damon Runyon-Sohn Pediatric Cancer Fellowship Award to support basic science research. Koldobskiy studies the way cancer cells rely on epigenetic modifications, the chemical marks that modify a gene's expression without changing its genetic sequence. Rabik examines how mutations in the WT1 gene result in acute myeloid leukemia.

Susan Lehmann, an associate professor and clinical director of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry, has received the 2016 Scholarly Publication Award from the Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry for an article she co-authored, "Geriatric Psychiatry in the Psychiatry Clerkship: A Survey of Current Education Practices," published in the journal Academic Psychiatry.

Gregg L. Semenza, the C. Michael Armstrong Professor of Medicine, is one of three recipients of the 2016 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award. He and co-winners William Kaelin Jr., of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Peter Ratcliffe, of Oxford University, were honored for "the discovery of essential pathways by which human and animal cells sense and adapt to the presence of oxygen." Read more on the Hub.

Stacy Suskauer, an associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation and of pediatrics, co-director of the Center for Brain Injury Recovery at Kennedy Krieger Institute, and director of the Brain Injury Clinical Research Center at KKI, will receive the 2016 Joshua B. Canton Scholar Award from the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. The award recognizes outstanding research that is judged to be a significant contribution to the field of brain injury rehabilitation. Suskauer's research focuses on better understanding, and improving outcomes after, childhood brain injury.

Yoram Unguru, an assistant professor of pediatric oncology and a core faculty member in the Berman Institute of Bioethics, was recently honored by the Baltimore Orioles as a Birdland Community Hero. He was recognized for his volunteer work at Horizon Day Camp, a free program for children with cancer and their siblings.

School of Nursing

Martha Abshire, a doctoral candidate, won second place in the nursing prize session at the Heart Failure Society of America Conference 2016. Abshire presented her talk, "Depression, Fatigue, and Sleep Quality Are Associated With Quality of Life Among Patients With Ventricular Assist Device," in front of a panel of judges.

Tammy Berwanger, assistant dean for marketing and communications, has been appointed interim associate dean for external affairs. In this role, she will take over the management of the Development and Alumni Relations Office while continuing to oversee Communications and Marketing.

Patricia Davidson, dean, has received the Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers, given annually by the Australia Museum. The award is considered one of Australia's most prestigious scientific awards, and Davidson is the first nurse to receive it. An expert in cardiac health for women and vulnerable populations, Davidson has mentored more than 35 doctoral and postdoctoral researchers. Read more on the Hub.

Laura Gitlin, a professor in the Department of Community-Public Health, served on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Committee on Family Caregiving for Older Adults.

The fifth annual An Evening With the Stars celebrated nursing excellence throughout the university and health system. Among the winners were four from the School of Nursing. Sabianca Delva, a doctoral student, won the Student Star for "her strong leadership promise"; Shawna Mudd, an assistant professor in Acute and Chronic Care, won the Faculty Star, which recognized her role as "an exceptional mentor to nurse practitioner and medical students"; Griely Persia, a clinical instructor, was honored as the Rosenwald Star Nurse Innovator for her "passion for clinical teaching and exceptional way of leadership"; and Kelly Wilson-Fowler, academic program coordinator in Acute and Chronic Care, received the Staff Excellence Award.

Whiting School of Engineering

Sharon Gerecht, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has been named director of the Institute for NanoBioTechnology, effective Jan. 1, 2017. She succeeds Peter Searson, INBT's founding director. Hai-Quan Mao, a professor in the departments of Materials Science and Engineering and of Biomedical Engineering, will serve as INBT's associate director, succeeding Denis Wirtz, vice provost for research. Mao also has an appointment in the Translational Tissue Engineering Center at the School of Medicine. Read more on the Hub.

Suchi Saria, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science, and Rebecca Schulman, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, have been recognized as "rising research stars" by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The Young Faculty Award winners will each receive $500,000 in DARPA funding for their research projects. Saria's project is titled "Continuous Learning of (Causal) Models From Streams"; Schulman's is titled "Self-Targeting Biotic-Abiotic Interfaces." In addition to funding, the award provides mentoring and networking, helping connect recipients to industry and Department of Defense contacts. Its goal is to develop the next generation of engineers, mathematicians, and academic scientists who will focus a significant portion of their careers on national security issues.

Saria also has been named to Popular Science's Brilliant 10, the magazine's annual list of the "brightest young minds in science and engineering." She was recognized for her work using computer-based approaches to develop diagnoses and treatments specific to individual patients. Her recently published research has focused on identifying patients at risk of septic shock, an approach that allows clinicians to begin treatment early and prevent organ failure. Read more on the Hub.

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