April 1, 2009

April People Notes

Robyn Alders, associate professor of international veterinary medicine in the department of environmental and population health at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, and Eric Brum, V04, international staff veterinarian in the department of environmental and population health, participated in the third annual FAO Regional Avian Influenza Workshop in mid-February in Pattaya, Thailand.

Astier M. Almedom, professor of the practice at the Fletcher School and director of the International Resilience Program at the Institute of Global Leadership, was one of the speakers at this year’s Skoll World Forum in Oxford in late March. She participated in the session on “Speaking Innovation to Power: The Uses and Abuses of Power in Social Innovation”. The theme of the conference, which is called “the Davos of social entrepreneurship,” was power.

Ekaterini Antonellou has been promoted to associate professor of prosthodontics and operative dentistry at the School of Dental Medicine.

Abhayjit Bedi has been promoted to associate clinical professor of prosthodontics and operative dentistry at the dental school.

Charlene S. Berkman, D78, has been elected the first woman president in the 102-year history of the Alpha Omega International dental fraternity. She practices general dentistry in Forest Hills, N.Y.

Timothy M. Blicharz successfully defended his dissertation, Fiber-optic Microsphere-based Antibody Arrays for Use in Salivary Diagnostics, for his Ph.D. in chemistry on February 26. He specializes in analytical chemistry and has accepted a position as a scientist with the newly formed company Seventh Sense, located in Cambridge, Mass.

Ronald T. Burkman, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, has been named editor-in-chief of The Female Patient, a journal about health issues that affect women. He has served on the publication’s editorial board since 1998. Berkman practices at Baystate Medical Center, a Tufts-affiliated hospital in Springfield, Mass., where he teaches medical students and residents and conducts contraceptive and obstetrical research.

Chung-Jung Chiu, a scientist in the Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts, has been selected to receive first place in the 2009 ARVO-AFER/Merck Innovative Ophthalmology Research Award in the back of the eye category. Chiu was selected based on his manuscript, “Diet, Supplement and Risk of Age-related Macular Degeneration in the Age-related Eye Disease Study.” The award will be presented on May 3 during the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Doug Eng, E84, E87, E90, the men’s tennis coach, was named Pro of the Year by the two major professional tennis coaches associations. In January he was named a regional 2008 Pro of the Year by the U.S. Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) in New England. A week later, he was named Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) 2009 Pro of the Year in New England. He received the award in late March. About five pros are recognized as Pro of the Year annually in New England. USPTA has 15,000 worldwide members, with about 800 in New England. PTR has 14,000 worldwide members, with some 650 in New England. Eng has received Pro of the Year honors four times. Also in December, he was selected to the U.S. Tennis Association National Sport Science Committee, which consists of some of the world’s finest sport scientists, mostly orthopedic surgeons. The committee makes recommendations on training and sport science issues that affect athletes in tennis and other sports. Eng is also the head coach for men’s squash at Tufts.

Kevin Gallagher, a senior researcher at the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), and former GDAE research assistant Melissa Birch contributed a chapter titled “Do Investment Agreements Attract Investment? Evidence from Latin America” to the new book, The Effect of Treaties on Foreign Direct Investment, Karl Sauvant and Lisa Sachs, editors (Oxford University Press, 2009). Read more about the book at the Oxford website.

Jonathan Garlick, professor of oral and maxillofacial pathology and head of the Division of Cancer Biology and Tissue Engineering at the School of Dental Medicine, spoke at an NIH forum on decision-making in translational research held on February 10–11 to identify common problems encountered during the practice of translational research. As chair of the translational technologies and resources component of the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute at Tufts, Garlick presented a lecture on “Engineered 3D Tissue Models: Translational Tools in the Discovery Pipeline.”

Neva Goodwin, co-director of the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), was interviewed for a number of publications. The spring issue of The Green American (formerly the Co-op America Quarterly) published an excerpt called “Redefine Growth.” The full interview is available at http://www.coopamerica.org/pubs/caq/articles/spring2009/goodwin.cfm. Also, the Boston Research Center for the 21st Century has just reissued a 2005 interview with Goodwin on “Contextual Economics and a World of Well-being.” See the Tufts Journal story in the April 1, 2009 issue.

Alicia Harvie, research assistant, and Timothy Wise, director of the Research and Policy Program at the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), published the policy brief, “Sweetening the Pot: Implicit Subsidies to Corn Sweeteners and the U.S. Obesity Epidemic.” Among other coverage, the report was picked up by Grist food editor Tom Philpott, who wrote an in-depth piece on the brief. The policy brief is available at http://www.ase.tufts.edu/gdae/Pubs/rp/PB09-01SweeteningPotFeb09.pdf.

David Hastings, adjunct professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, has taken on a number of pro-bono projects for five nonprofit organizations as part of his management consulting company, Managing Excellence. The projects range from board development to financial sustainability to strategic planning. He is donating 80 hours of pro-bono work to each, and says he is gaining a lot by being able to help out in these tough economic times.

Diane McKay, assistant professor at the Friedman School, and Heather McMorrow, distance learning specialist, spoke at the sixth annual Health Sciences Mini-Symposium for Teaching and Learning, titled “Innovative Teaching with Technology at Tufts.” As panelists for the workshop “Using Course Sites Effectively,” they demonstrated and discussed the online course in general nutrition they developed for the Friedman School’s distance-learning program with Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates. The mini-symposium was organized by University Information Technology.

Jocelyn Grupp Mueller, G09, successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation in biology on March 11. Her advisor is Astier Almedom. She also presented a paper at the Society for Applied Anthropology annual meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in mid-March. Her presentation was titled, “Including Local Voices in Global Discourse: Case Studies from Boumba, Niger.”

James P. Murphy, D09, received the American College of Dentists Award at the annual luncheon at Yankee Dental Congress on January 31. The award is given to a senior student identified by the school’s administration as “most representative of the American College of Dentists’ principles of high achievement, strong leadership and high ethical standards.” Dean Lonnie H. Norris, DG80, attended the event and introduced Murphy.

Athena Papas, the Erling Johansen Professor of Research and a professor in the department of general dentistry at the School of Dental Medicine, is the 2009 recipient of the Pharmacology/Therapeutics/Toxicology Research Award from the International Association for Dental Research. The award was presented at the IADR 87th General Session & Exhibition in Miami on April 1. The award is one of the 16 IADR Distinguished Scientist Awards and is one of the highest honors bestowed by IADR. It is given for outstanding and sustained peer-reviewed research that has contributed to knowledge of the mechanisms, efficacy or safety of drugs used in dentistry and consists of a monetary prize and a plaque. Papas has had a distinguished research career in multiple areas of dental drug and device therapy. Her major focus has been as principal investigator on clinical trials involving various aspects of dry mouth (xerostomia), including drug therapy for patients with Sjögren’s syndrome, a disease that causes a person’s immune system to attack and destroy the salivary glands. She also has conducted research on devices to stimulate salivary flow and on understanding why patients with dry mouth are susceptible to tooth decay. She has spearheaded numerous other areas of therapeutic research that have included studies on tooth sensitivity, effects of implants in restoring nutrition in the elderly and ways of improving the oral health of head and neck cancer patients who receive radiation therapy.

Kent E. Portney, professor of political science, delivered the keynote address at the 2009 annual dinner of the Greater Manchester (N.H.) Chamber of Commerce on February 10. His talk, “Shades of Green: Sustainability and the Business Community in American Cities,” presented an overview of the many ways local businesses and business leaders are working with city governments to address issues of the environment and climate change. On February 11, Portney led a roundtable discussion for business, government and nonprofit leaders in the Manchester area to help build a strategy for future action.

Judy Ribaya-Mercado, an adjunct professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, was asked by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Division of the Human Health, Nutritional and Health-Related Environmental Studies Section in Vienna, Austria, to serve as a reviewer of an FAO-IAEA distance learning module on “Stable Isotope Methodology to Assess Vitamin A Status.”

Ayron Strauch, G10, a biology department graduate student, presented a paper at the Society for Applied Anthropology annual meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in mid-March. His presentation was titled, “Using Aualitative and Quantitative Methods to Assess the Effectiveness of Traditional Resource Management (TRM) on Reducing Contaminants in Surface Water Resources in Rural Tanzania.”

Michael Thompson was recently promoted to professor of general dentistry.

Vangel R. Zissi, D62, DG66, clinical professor of endodontics and director of continuing education at the dental school, received the International College of Dentists (ICD) 10th annual Distinguished Fellow Award at Yankee Dental Congress 34. Zissi became a fellow of the ICD in 1971, and by 2005 was president of its USA Section. He currently is deputy registrar of the USA Section and deputy secretary general and councilman of the College at Large. In 1990, he received ICD’s Spark Plug Award for “unselfish and dedicated service to the USA Section.”

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