May People Notes

Odilia Bermudez, a scientist in the Dietary Assessment and Epidemiology Research Program at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA), and Cristina Merete, N06, a graduate research assistant, participated in the Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences’ (MANRRS) 20th annual Career Fair and Training Conference March 31 to April 2 in Pittsburgh. They discussed their experiences in community-based food and nutrition research in diverse populations. Each spring, the MANRRS conference brings hundreds of people together to discuss issues regarding diversity in agriculture.

Francie Chew, professor of biology and director of the American studies program, was a panelist at a conference on “Women Scientists on Gender, Race and Nationality” April 30 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The conference was sponsored by the MIT Program in Women’s Studies.

Sing-chen Lydia Chiang, assistant professor of Chinese, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for her book project, Fantasies of Order and Orders of Fantasies: An Inquiry into a Chinese Encyclopedia of Strange Tales. As a Fulbrighter, she will join the ranks of the distinguished alumni of the program, which include 35 Nobel Prize winners.

Matan Chorev, a junior majoring in political science, has been named to USA Today All-USA College Academic Team. The program honors 60 undergraduates as representatives of all outstanding students at the nation’s colleges and universities. Students chosen not only excel in scholarship but also in leadership roles on and off campus. A key element given most weight by the judges is a student’s outstanding original academic or intellectual product. Chorev is a University College Scholar and a concert cellist at the New England Conservatory. He co-founded the New Initiative for Middle East Peace (NIMEP) at Tufts, a student group that undertakes progressive research projects, including traveling to Israel and the West Bank, Iran and Egypt on rigorous fact-finding missions. NIMEP also works on Soliya Inc.’s Connect Program, a web-cam based dialogue among nearly 100 participants from 10 universities in the United States and the Middle East.

Michael Downing, lecturer in English, has published a new book, Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time (Shoemaker & Hoard, 2005). Downing says he is obsessed with daylight saving—the most persistent political controversy in American history—and decided to research what all the hullabaloo was about. The book traces the origins and machinations surrounding the 87-year history of this biannual ritual. No one can say for sure who first proposed springing forward or falling back. Various accounts have narrowed the source to a Pittsburgh industrialist, Woodrow Wilson, a man on a horse in London, a Manhattan socialite, Benjamin Franklin, one of the Caesars or the anonymous makers of ancient Chinese and Japanese water clocks. Downing has been having fun with his latest book, appearing on several national television and radio stations. He is the author of four novels, including Perfect Agreement, Breakfast with Scott and Shoes Outside the Door, a tale of the scandal that rocked the San Francisco Zen Center.

Michael Forgac, professor of physiology, has been invited to chair a session on “Bioenergetics of Cellular pH Control” at the Gordon Conference in Molecular and Cellular Bioenergetics that will be held June 26 to July 1 in Biddeford, Maine. Forgac also has been invited to speak at the FASEB Conference on Transport ATPases: Genomics, Mechanisms and Relevance to Diseases, to be held July 16-21 at the Vermont Academy in Saxtons River, Vt. The title of his talk will be “Structure and Regulation of the V-ATPases.”

Ayesha Jalal, professor of history, has been named a Carnegie Scholar by the Carnegie Corp. of New York. The program’s aim is to build a critical mass of thoughtful and original scholarship around Islam as a religion as well as the cultures and civilizations of Muslim societies and communities. The program emphasizes communication of this research to policymakers and the public to expand the breadth of knowledge necessary to build leadership and guide national and foreign policy. The program annually awards up to 20 fellowships for a period of one to two years and for a maximum amount of $100,000. This year’s scholars were selected from the largest number of nominations to date. As a Carnegie Scholar, Jalal will write the book Partisans of Allah: Meanings of Jihad in South Asia. The book will place the concept of jihad within the framework of Islamic ethics and make this often-misunderstood, yet key concept in Islam intelligible to the public, while providing fresh insights into intellectual developments within Islam. Using historical, legal and literary sources, Jalal’s research traces the development of the idea of jihad from the inception of Islam to the present.

Dr. John Keating, a staff veterinarian and clinical assistant professor at Tufts since 2003, has been appointed an assistant professor of biomedical sciences at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. He received his D.V.M. from Tufts in 1994. After graduating, he completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Southwest Veterinary Specialty Center in Tucson, Ariz., then became an associate veterinarian at the Anne Arundel Veterinary Emergency Clinic/Chesapeake Veterinary Referral Center in Annapolis, Md. In 1999, he started work as a resident in anatomic pathology in a joint program of Angell Memorial Hospital in Boston and Tufts. He is board-certified as a diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Pathology.

Dr. Barry Levy, A66, adjunct professor of public health and family medicine at the School of Medicine, is senior editor of a new book, Preventing Occupational Disease and Injury, published by the American Public Health Association. He is also senior editor of two books that will be published this fall, Social Injustice and Public Health (Oxford University Press) and the fifth edition of the textbook Occupational and Environmental Health (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins).

Alice Lichtenstein, director of the HNRCA’s Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory, has been appointed to the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, Food Forum through December 2007. She also was appointed to the Academy of Finland Committee to Evaluate the Food and Nutrition Science Sectors.

Georgia Marakas has joined the medical advancement staff as executive administrative assistant. She holds an MBA from Boston University and a B.A. in management from the University of Massachusetts in Boston. Before taking a leave of absence from work to travel in Greece, she was the staff assistant for the leadership gifts team at Harvard Medical School. Prior to that, she was director of operations at Gatehouse Management Co. and held several managerial positions at General Investment & Development Co.

Margaret S. McMillan, associate professor of economics, was one of four economists to be awarded the prestigious Radcliffe Institute Fellowship for the 2005-06 academic year. McMillan’s research project for the fellowship is titled “Globalization and Labor Market Outcomes Using BEA Micro Data.” The research, funded by the National Science Foundation, investigates the impact of the increase in the mobility of U.S. investment capital on labor market outcomes in the United States and abroad. The fellowship program was founded in 1960 by Mary Ingraham Bunting Smith, president of Radcliffe College, with the purpose of creating a postgraduate center for female scholars and artists. The prestige of the institute and its fellowship has been such that The Boston Globe Magazine has called it “America’s Think Tank for Women,” and The Chronicle of Higher Education described the institute as a place where “lives get turned around, books get written, and discoveries are made, all the result of time spent among intellectual peers.” Since receiving her Ph.D. from Columbia in 1998, McMillan has researched and produced works on international trade and development and globalization and poverty. Her most recent work with James Levinsohn, “Does International Food Aid Harm the Poor?,” was featured in the March issue of the NBER Reporter and is forthcoming in Globalization and Poverty. McMillan was also awarded a grant, with Karen Eggleston, assistant professor of economics, to study the income gradient and health behavior in South Africa.

Dr. Simin Meydani, associate director of the HNRCA and director of its Nutritional Immunology Laboratory, and Sarah Booth, director of the Vitamin K Laboratory, were invited to give presentations at the “Vitamin E: Health Outcomes and Future Research” conference March 7-8 in Bethesda, Md. Meydani discussed “Vitamin E and Immunity,” and Booth spoke on “Vitamin E-Vitamin K: Is There an Interaction?” Meydani discussed “Are Fat-Soluble Vitamins Effective in Enhancing Tumoricidal Cell Activity?” at the Immunonutrition: Enhancing Tumoricidal Cell Activity Workshop on March 23 in Bethesda, Md. She also spoke on “Nutritional Modulation of the Immune Response in the Aged: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Implications” at the University of Illinois-Champaign Nutrition Symposium on March 29-30.

Dr. Jean Mukherjee has been appointed an assistant professor of biomedical sciences at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Mukherjee received an M.S. in 1991 and Ph.D. in 1992 from Yeshiva University and her D.V.M. from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in 1996. After graduating, she returned to Yeshiva University as a research associate in microbiology and immunology and then spent a year as a senior research staff fellow at the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Mukherjee came to Tufts in 1998 as a research assistant professor in biomedical sciences, working with Dr. Saul Tzipori, professor of biomedical sciences, on developing animal vaccines. In 2001, Mukherjee was appointed an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Biologics Laboratories in Jamaica Plain while maintaining an appointment as a clinical assistant professor at Tufts’ veterinary school. She rejoined Tufts in December 2001 as a research assistant professor.

Dr. Ottavio Nardone, clinical instructor of medicine, is the winner of the 2005 Mark Aisner, M.D., Award for Excellence in Teaching Physical Diagnosis at the School of Medicine. Former students, colleagues, patients and friends of Aisner established the award in 1988 in recognition of his distinguished contributions to the medical school as director of the course in physical diagnosis from 1946 to 1977 and his prestigious career in education, research and clinical practice in internal medicine, cardiology and physiology. Nardone has been a preceptor for the medical school’s physical diagnosis course for nearly a decade. His office practice in the North End is a perennial favorite of students, and for the last several years, his practice has been the number-one-sought-after site. “Working with Dr. Nardone, gave me hope that I can really make a difference in my patients’ lives and make a solo practice work,” one student said. “He treats his patients with respect and, at times, with humor; he is a real-life role model.”

Rev. David M. O'Leary, university chaplain, has published a new book, A Study of Josef Fuchs’ Writings on Human Nature and Morality (University Press of America Inc.), which will soon be available for purchase in the University Bookstore.

Wendy Pavlovich, a second-year student at the School of Medicine, is a recipient of the American Medical Association Foundation’s 2005 Leadership Award, which provides training in developing leadership skills. The AMA Foundation honored 66 individuals with the award during its annual Excellence in Medicine ceremony March 13 in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Robert M. Russell, director of the HNRCA, has been reappointed as vice chair of the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board for a term that ends in June 2006. Established more than 60 years ago, the nutrition board addresses issues of safety and adequacy of the nation’s food supply, establishes principles and guidelines for adequate dietary intake and renders authoritative judgments on the relationships among food intake, nutrition and health. Jose Ordovas, director of the HNRCA’s Nutrition and Genomics Laboratory, has also been appointed as a member of the Food and Nutrition Board.

Sharan L. Schwartzberg, professor and chair of occupational therapy, presented a workshop, “Group Therapy with Cognitively Impaired Individuals: Enhancing the Probability of Participation,” at a meeting of the American Group Psychotherapy Association in New York City on March 10.