February People Notes

Siobhan Houton Arnold, assistant director of public relations at Tufts for the past three years, left Tufts on January 5 to take a position as public relations manager at Houghton Mifflin Co. in Boston.

Dr. Michael Bennish, associate professor of public health and family medicine, has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop informatics in support of research in South Africa.

Dr. Cheryl Blaze, assistant professor of clinical sciences at the School of Veterinary Medicine, and Dr. Maria Glowaski, V95, have published a textbook, Veterinary Anesthesia Drug Quick Reference (Elsevier Saunders). The book fills a longstanding need for an up-to-date, well-organized pocket reference on the rapidly expanding list of drugs available for anesthesia and analgesia in common domestic species. The book also provides suggested anesthesia protocols for animals with various common diseases.

Sarah L. Booth, director of the Vitamin K Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA), has been promoted to associate professor at the Friedman School.

Marcia Boumil, assistant professor of public health and family medicine, gave a presentation on “Partial-Birth Abortion and Reproductive Rights” to the American Medical Women’s Association.

Dr. Roderick Bronson, professor of pathology at the School of Veterinary Medicine, contributed to an MIT Center for Cancer study about Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS), which predisposes affected people to a broad range of cancers. The work was reported in the December 17 issue of Cell. Although LFS is a rare genetic disease, mutations in the p53 gene associated with LFS are also detected in more than 50 percent of all human tumors, including colon, breast, skin and bladder cancers and many cancers of the digestive tract. Consequently, a therapy for LFS specifically targeted at the p53 gene potentially can be applied to a wide range of cancers. An expert in the pathology of aging and the pathobiology of cancer, Bronson’s contributions to the LSF study included identifying tumors containing the specific p53 suppressor gene.

Muriel Calo, a graduate student in the Friedman School, was invited to present an analysis of the collapse of the International Commodity Agreements based on the results of an article, “Fair Trade in Tropical Crops Is Possible: International Commodity Agreements Revisited,” co-authored with Dutch economists Niek Koning and Roel Jongeneel in June 2004. She gave her presentation in Chapecó, Brazil, at a workshop hosted by FETRAF-Sul and other Brazilian farm organizations January 19-24 that focused on mutually supportive agricultural and trade policies. It was the fourth in a series of meetings launched in May 2001 by an international coalition of farm organizations to reflect on the ongoing trade negotiations in agriculture, build common ground, and create strategies for implementation and bargaining power in the global arena.

George Cangiano, assistant director of Dining Services, has been inducted into the Tufts Office of Equal Opportunity’s Hall of Diversity. He represents Dining Services as a member of the university’s Affirmative Action Officers Council. Cangiano says that too often, affirmative action is thought of simply as enforcing hiring quotas. “Too many people think we just hire [a certain number] of minorities,” he says, noting the issue is far more complex. The Affirmative Action Council, he says, works to ensure that hiring managers understand their obligation to obtain a diverse selection of candidates for job opportunities at Tufts, but in the end, the most qualified candidate is the one who is hired. He added that his role is to ensure that minority candidates get access to the hiring process in Dining Services. As assistant director of Dining Services, Cangiano, who has been at Tufts for five years, is involved in the hiring of all service staff, support staff and culinary staff. Dining Services employs more than 100 people. The Hall of Diversity honors those in the Tufts community who have founded or held a leadership position in any Tufts-related initiative aimed at furthering diversity on campus.

John Chambers, manager of advancement technical support at Tufts, has been appointed director of the Tufts Dental Fund. Before coming to Tufts, Chambers managed large numbers of permanent and temporary employees and has significant experience in team-building both at Lend Lease REI/Bovis and Fleet Boston. He also worked for three years in the telefund division of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and had one of the highest success rates among fellow fund-raisers.

Catherine Coleman, adjunct clinical instructor of public health and family medicine, has been appointed editor-in-chief of ProCOR, a global health communications publication.

Grant Curtis, A42, the former dean of financial aid at Tufts, has been named posthumously to the College Scholarship Service Hall of Fame. Curtis, who worked in the financial aid office at Tufts until his retirement in 1986, was recognized by the College Board for his “significant and lasting contributions to the financial aid profession.” Curtis was widely recognized within the financial aid field as being one of the founders of the College Scholarship Service, still used today to distribute millions of dollars of need-based financial aid to deserving students. His induction into the College Scholarship Service Hall of Fame took place at the College Board’s annual forum November 1 in Chicago.

Sai K. Das, a scientist in the HNRCA Energy Metabolism Laboratory, has been appointed an instructor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

Meredith Everson has been hired as the commencement coordinator for the University Commencement Office. She is a graduate of University of Massachusetts at Amherst and earned her master’s degree in communications at the Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania in 2002. Most recently, she worked on a research study at the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, investigating television viewing among adolescents.

Dr. Hanping Feng has joined the School of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Biomedical Sciences as a research assistant professor. Feng received his B.S. in 1993 from the Hubai Agricultural University in China and his M.S. in 1996 from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. From 1997-98, he was a research assistant, first at the Institute of Biophysics and then at the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Science, in Beijing. In 1999, he moved to a research assistant position at the Children’s Research Center of the University of Arizona in Tucson. Since 2002, he has been a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Blood Research at Harvard Medical School. Feng’s expertise in signal transduction will complement the work of the veterinary school’s infectious diseases division.

Dr. Paul Hattis, assistant professor of public health and family medicine, co-authored a report, “Increasing Workforce Diversity and Addressing Health Disparities: Strategies for Hospitals in Health Professions Educational Practice Partnerships,” which was part of a larger report published by the Sullivan Commission on Diversity in the Healthcare Workplace. The commission, led by Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, former U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services, found that as declining numbers of African-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos and American Indians become doctors, nurses and dentists, the quality and availability of health care services for minorities suffer. The commission notes that minority groups receive poorer quality health care and experience higher mortality rates from heart disease, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, mental health and other illnesses.

Paul Jacques, director of the Nutritional Epidemiology Program at the HNRCA, has been promoted to professor at the Friedman School.

Dr. Erling Johansen, dean emeritus of the School of Dental Medicine, received the 2004 Leif Erikson Day Citation Award in recognition of his contributions “to the advancement of dental science worldwide as a scientist, tutor and a dental ambassador of Norway.” A native of Overhalla, Norway, Johansen came to the United States in 1945 as part of a group of 43 dental students from the University of Oslo. He received his D.M.D. from Tufts dental school in 1949 and returned to Norway as a dental officer in the Norwegian contingent of the Allied Occupation Army in Germany. He was awarded a Fulbright stipend to pursue his Ph.D. at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. After receiving his doctorate in 1955, he served as chairman of Rochester’s Department of Dentistry and Dental Research for 24 years. His research in preventive dentistry led to the development of an oral health management system for cancer patients. Johansen was appointed dean of Tufts School of Dental Medicine in 1978 and served for more than 16 years. The Tufts University Alumni Association honored him with the Distinguished Service Award, its highest honor, and an endowed chair in dental research at Tufts dental school bears his name. Since retiring from Tufts, Johansen has been active in a number of humanitarian causes, particularly as president of the board of directors and chief fund-raiser for the Scandinavian Charitable Society of Greater Boston, which raised more than $3 million to build the Scandinavian Living Center, a retirement home and Scandinavian cultural center in West Newton, Mass.

Dr. Christine Jost, assistant professor of environmental and population health in the international program at the School of Veterinary Medicine, has been inducted into the Office of Equal Opportunity’s Hall of Diversity. Jost has been working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), a country in the midst of a bloody and prolonged civil war, to help establish a system of community-based veterinary services in areas without access to basic animal health services. Jost has been working in the Congo in collaboration with the Feinstein International Famine Center at Tufts and the Africa Union’s Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources. She also has worked in southern Afghanistan, helping conduct a livelihoods analysis of the Koochi pastoralists from the Registan desert. For more than five years, the Registan Koochi have been living in camps for internally displaced people because their sheep economy has been destroyed by years of war and drought. “Tufts University stakes its hat on international and environmental foci,” Jost said. “Through our commitment to the developing world, the international program at the veterinary school is a major contributor to that effort.” The Hall of Diversity honors those in the Tufts community who have founded or held a leadership position in any Tufts-related initiative aimed at furthering diversity on campus.

Dr. Gerard Kugel, professor and associate dean for research at the School of Dental Medicine, earned his Ph.D. in dental materials and their clinical applications from the University of Siena in Italy. He defended his dissertation, “A Study of Tooth Whitening: Safety, Efficacy and Mechanism of Action,” on December 18. His thesis committee included faculty from around the world. His advisor was Dr. Marco Ferrari, and Dr. Robert W. Gerlach, principal scientist for worldwide clinical investigations at Procter & Gamble, was a guest examiner. Acceptance to the Ph.D. program required that Kugel pass a university written exam, which he did three years ago, and he was awarded a full scholarship as a result of his performance on this national exam. The University of Siena, a state institution in central Italy, was founded in 1240.

M. Barton Laws, assistant clinical professor of public health and family medicine, directed a symposium on “Everyone Counts: State Infrastructure and Capacity to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities in New England,” which was sponsored by the New England Coalition for Health Equity in December.

Dr. Janet Martin, V90, has been appointed a research assistant professor in the Department of Environmental and Population Health at the School of Veterinary Medicine. After graduating from Tufts, Martin completed internships in small animal surgery and wildlife and zoological medicine before serving as associate zoo veterinarian and then director of veterinary services at Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, R.I. She organized the first oral rabies vaccine trial for Tufts veterinary school and has provided veterinary services for disaster relief efforts in New York City, St. Thomas and the United Kingdom.

Dr. Simin N. Meydani, director of the HNRCA Nutritional Immunology Laboratory, was invited to speak on “Scientific Basis for Use of Immune Function as a Biomarker to Assess the Benefits of Probiotics” at the third Danone International Probiotics conference December 2-3 in Paris, France.

Jacqueline Mitchell has joined the Office of Publications as a senior health sciences writer and will be a contributor to the Tufts Dental Medicine and Tufts Medicine alumni magazines, the Tufts Journal and other university publications. Mitchell has written for Sky & Telescope magazine and worked for the PBS science series “Scientific American Frontiers” and “NOVA.” She earned her M.S. in science journalism from Boston University and her undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College.

Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, adjunct instructor in public health and family medicine, co-authored an article, “Fish Intake and Risk of Incident Atrial Fibrillation,” which was published in the journal Circulation.

P. Kirstin Newby, a scientist in the HNRCA’s Epidemiology and Dietary Assessment Research Program, has been appointed an adjunct clinical instructor at the Friedman School.

Martin Obin, a scientist in the HNRCA’s Obesity and Metabolism Laboratory, has been promoted to associate professor at the Friedman School.

Jose M. Ordovas, director of the HNRCA Nutrition and Genomics Laboratory, has been appointed director of the Cell and Molecular Nutrition Program at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. He also has been appointed to the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Nutrient Relationships in Seafood: Selections to Balance Benefits and Risks and as a member of the Life Sciences Research Office, Center for Emerging Issues in Science expert panel on nutrigenomics.

Susan Peecher has joined Tufts as associate director of development for the School of Dental Medicine. She has 12 years of experience in advancement at Simmons College, most recently as senior major gifts officer, and she is a registered dental hygienist. Prior to her fund-raising position, Peecher was director of alumni relations at Simmons for three years. In both of these positions she had a significant role in engaging alums nationwide and building financial support for The Campaign for Simmons, the most successful in the college’s 100-year history. She is an alumna of Simmons, where she received her undergraduate degree in biology.

Dr. Ronald Perry, associate clinical professor of restorative dentistry and director of the Gavel Center for Restorative Research at the School of Dental Medicine, has returned from a trip to Asia, where he presented lectures in Hong Kong, Jakarta, Indonesia, and Pune, India. He gave his lecture, an overview of how research plays a vital role in direct/indirect restoratives, November 28 at the Hong Kong Dental Association’s joint scientific meeting; December 1 to the Indonesia Dental Society and December 4-5 to the FDI World Dental Federation/Indian Dental Association.

Rosalie Phillips, executive director of the Tufts Health Care Institute, has assumed management responsibilities for the School of Medicine’s Office of Continuing Education following the retirement of Ruth Glotzer after 27 years of service. The continuing education office will remain under the direction of Dr. Harris Berman, dean of public health and professional degree programs and chairman of the Department of Public Health and Family Medicine.

Connie Putnam, the architect of the nationally prominent Tufts men’s cross country program, was selected as the 2004 NCAA Division III New England Region Coach of the Year during the team’s trip to the national championship race in Colfax, Wisc. The award is sponsored by the U.S. Track Coaches Association and Mondo, a leader in track and field surfacing. For the second straight year, Putnam’s Jumbos won the regional cross country “Triple Crown” by racing to victory in the NESCAC, ECAC and NCAA Division III championships in 2004. Putnam’s men then earned the program’s best-ever finish in school history at the NCAA national championship, with a sixth-place effort. Tufts was also sixth at the Open New England Championships, featuring area teams from all divisions. The Jumbos were the top Division II/III finisher. Tufts was ranked fifth in the final NCAA Division III poll, released on November 16. The head coach at Tufts since 1984, Putnam has developed the Jumbos into the finest program in New England. The squad has qualified for the NCAA championship race six times during his tenure, and has had either team or individual representation at the meet every year since 1994. The 2004 season was the most successful of Putnam’s 21years at Tufts. He was also chosen as the NESCAC Co-Coach of the Year.

Dr. Alison Robbins, V92, has joined the veterinary school’s Department of Environmental and Population Health as a research assistant professor. After graduating from Tufts, she worked as a research associate in Tufts’ Department of Clinical Sciences and was co-director of the veterinary school’s Cape Cod Oral Rabies Vaccination Program. She also assisted with a study of common loon toxicology, lectured and mentored summer student projects at the veterinary school.

Carolyn Rolfe has joined the Advancement Division as associate director of the Tufts Fund, with responsibility for the student telefund. She takes over the reigns from Chris Grugan, who is now an associate director of development for Arts, Sciences and Engineering. Rolfe is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, where she got her start in managing telefunds. While a student, she supervised 33 student callers and helped develop training sessions for them. She served as an assistant director of the Clark Fund at Clark University, where she managed a telefund with 50 student callers. Prior to joining Tufts, Rolfe was responsible for developing a coordinated mail and telemarketing program for the annual fund at Endicott College.

Carmen Castaneda Sceppa, a scientist in the Nutrition and Exercise Physiology Laboratory at the HNRCA, has been promoted to associate professor at the Friedman School.

Dr. Ernst J. Schaefer, Distinguished University Professor and director of the Cardiovascular Research and Lipid Metabolism laboratories at the HNRCA, in collaboration with Margaret E. Brousseau, Alice H. Lichtenstein, Nirupa Matthan, Bela F. Asztalos and Jose M. Ordovas of Tufts and Dr. James Shepherd of the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow, Scotland, has received a $2.4 million, four-year grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to examine the interaction of genetics and diet in determining the benefits of statins in lowering cholesterol and heart disease risk in the elderly. The research involves studying genetic variation at gene loci affecting plasma lipoproteins as well as heart disease risk, and examining plasma high density lipoprotein subspecies and plasma markers of cholesterol production (lathosterol) and intestinal absorption (beta sitosterol) in the 5,885 participants in the Prospective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly (PROSPER) trial. The research will be carried out in the Cardiovascular Research Laboratory and n the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts. Schaefer has had a long interest in the prevention of heart disease with diet and medications, and served on the first and second adult treatment panels of the National Cholesterol Education Program, which formulated U.S. guidelines for cholesterol management. Schaefer is also the director of the Lipid Metabolism Laboratory at the HNRCA, where he and Susan Roberts and Lichtenstein just completed a five-year, NIH-funded study on the effects of dietary fat content and glycemic index on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factors in obese subjects under calorically restricted conditions.

Marva Serotkin, assistant clinical professor of public health and family medicine, is chair-elect of the Massachusetts Extended Care Federation, a professional group that represents long-term care facilities.

Nancy Sloan, a perinatal and nutritional epidemiologist with extensive experience in Latin America, Asia and Africa, has joined the medical school’s Department of Public Health and Family Medicine as an assistant professor. Sloan’s expertise is in the design and evaluation of maternal, infant and child health care and nutrition intervention programs. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University School of Public Health, and her career has been dedicated to advancing public health policy and programs, particularly those that address the health consequences of poverty. She developed the so-called Helen Keller food frequency method, which is now used by numerous organizations to identify areas where vitamin A deficiency exists. This spring, she is teaching an epidemiology course and plans to develop a course in perinatal epidemiology for the fall. Sloan also serves as the leader for the epidemiology/biostatistics concentration for students in the MPH degree program.

Paul Stanton, dean of Student Services, received the Somerville Rotary Club’s Paul Harris Fellowship on January 20—the most prestigious award given to a Rotarian. Paul Harris was the founder of Rotary International, and Rotary clubs around the world honor him by bestowing the fellowship on those who best exemplify the Rotary motto: Service Above Self.

Allen Taylor, director of the Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research at the HNRCA, is a recipient of the Johnson & Johnson Focused Giving Award 2004 for setting new directions in science and technology. His research focuses on protein quality control mechanisms in the etiology of eye diseases, including cataract and age-related macular degeneration, and on nutritional means to delay these age-related conditions. He recently presented results from HNRCA-derived research at the National Institutes of Health. The title of his talk was “Ubiquitin Functions in the Eye: Control of Protein Quality and Cell Cycle.” The Nutrition and Vision Research Laboratory also has received two gifts that will be used for further investigation into the etiology of—and nutritional and dietary ways to delay the onset or progress of—age-related macular degeneration and cataract in the elderly.

Katherine Tucker, director of the Epidemiology and Dietary Assessment Research Program at the HNRCA, has been promoted to professor at the Friedman School.

William H. Waller, research associate professor of astronomy, has been awarded observing time with the recently deployed Spitzer Space Telescope. Waller and his colleagues will use the $700 million infrared telescope to study the nebular birthplaces of hot massive stars. Previous infrared observations of these so-called “galaxian starburst regions” have revealed copious amounts of complex organic molecules. The inter-relationships between the newborn hot stars and nebular chemistry are of special interest, as similar feedback processes may have prevailed during the formation of the solar system. Waller’s article on “Redesigning the Milky Way” made the cover of the September issue of Sky & Telescope magazine. Reviews of Waller’s book, Galaxies and the Cosmic Frontier (Harvard University Press), co-authored with Paul W. Hodge of the University of Washington, have appeared in Sky & Telescope, Choice, London Times Education Supplement, Physics Today, Astronomy Education Review and on Amazon.com. The reviews agree that the book fills an important niche for readers who have learned some basic astronomy and are interested in delving a little deeper into the subject of galaxies and the evolving universe. The book is available at www.hup.harvard.edu and from online distributors.