May People Notes

Dr. Sawkat Anwer, professor of biomedical sciences and associate dean for research at the Cummings School, attended an international seminar on “Cellular Regulation of Hepatic Bile Acid Transport” at Dhaka University in Bangladesh in February. On March 16, he presented a quantitative analysis module in science for a teacher professional development program at Shrewsbury High School in Shrewsbury, Mass., and he gave the graduation address at the Job Corps Career Academy in Grafton, Mass., on March 23.

Dr. Arlen Avakian, a senior resident in anatomic pathology at the Cummings School, was featured in the March issue of the newsletter of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists following his four-week externship with Boehringer Ingelheim, which is a corporate sponsor of Tufts’ anatomic pathology training program.

Casey Beck, a senior majoring in peace and justice studies, is the recipient of this year’s Wendell Phillips Memorial Scholarship Award in recognition of her speaking ability and devotion to public service. The award, established in 1896 in honor of Boston abolitionist Wendell Phillips, is an annual prize given to a junior or senior from Tufts and one from Harvard. Beck will receive a financial award and speak at the May 19 Baccalaureate ceremony on a topic of her choice. While studying abroad in Mongolia, Beck made a documentary film on illegal gold mining. As a freshman, she co-founded the student organization Pangea, which raises awareness about issues facing the international community.

Dr. Daniela Bedenice, assistant professor of clinical sciences at the Cummings School, has been awarded a grant from the Alpaca Research Foundation for a project titled “Characterization of Immune Responses in Juvenile Alpacas Persistently Infected with Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus.” She gave presentations on “Biosecurity and Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus in Camelids: What Have We Learned in 2006?” and “Humoral Responses to EEE Vaccination in Alpacas” at the Camelid Conference in Corvallis, Ore., March 9-11. She gave a presentation on “An Update on Eastern Equine Encephalitis in South American Camelids” at the First New England Regional Public Health Conference on Arboviral Disease Control in Shrewsbury, Mass., on March 1, and on “An Update on BVDV for Owners and Breeders” and “Rational Antibiotic Use in Alpacas: Do’s and Don’ts” at the North American Alpaca Show in Springfield, Mass., March 29-April 1.

Jeffrey Blumberg, director of the Antioxidants Research Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) and professor of nutrition, presented seminars on nutrition and aging in April at programs organized by the Singapore Health Promotion Board and Centre for Third Age, the Department of Geriatric Medicine at Alexandra Hospital in Singapore and the Subang Jaya Medical Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Dr. Randy Boudrieau, professor of biomedical sciences at the Cummings School, attended the 34th annual conference of the Veterinary Orthopedic Society in Sun Valley, Idaho, March 3-10.

Dr. John F. Cardella has been appointed chair of the Department of Radiology at Baystate Medical Center, a Tufts-affiliated hospital in Springfield, Mass. He succeeds Dr. J. Robert Kirkwood, associate professor of radiology, who retired after serving as chairman for 10 years. Cardella comes to Baystate from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, where he was professor and chair of radiology. Cardella earned his M.D. from the University of Michigan in 1978 and completed a residency in diagnostic radiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. A fellow of the American College of Radiology, he received a Best Doctors in America Award for 2003-04.

Daniel C. Dennett, University Professor and professor of philosophy, is among 14 individuals who will be awarded honorary degrees from McGill University during its spring convocation exercises between May 25 and June 1. Dennett, co-director of Tufts’ Center for Cognitive Studies, will receive an honorary doctor of science degree.

Lucy Der Manuelian, the Arthur H. Dadian and Ara Oztemel Professor of Armenian Art and Architectural History, has been awarded a second $50,000 grant for the restoration of medieval Armenian churches and monasteries in Armenia. She is directing the restoration of 11 internationally significant structures from the 7th to 11th centuries. The architects and stonemasons working on an early 11th-century mountaintop church at Vorotnavank Monastery erected a fountain, inscribed with her name, in appreciation of her preservation work. Der Manuelian presented a slide lecture on “Lost Treasures: Medieval Armenian Art and Architecture” at Colgate University. She prepared documentation for the publication “The Destruction of the Archaeological Complex of Jugha and of the Entire Armenian Cultural Heritage in the Autonomous Republic of Nakhijevan (Azerbaijan).” Azerbaijani soldiers had been caught on film using sledgehammers to destroy the last of the original 10,000 medieval Armenian stone stele.

Accura Pharma has bought the licensing rights of a Tufts patent on the use of serotonin reuptake inhibitors to treat aggression in dogs, which was developed by Dr. Nicholas Dodman, director of the Animal Behavior Program at the Cummings School. A drug for treatment of canine aggression should be on the U.S. market within two years, and a portion of the royalties from the sales of the drug will benefit Tufts.

Dr. Scott Epstein, a 1984 graduate of the School of Medicine, will become the medical school’s dean for educational affairs in May, succeeding Mary Lee, now a full-time associate provost of Tufts University. Epstein, currently director of medical education at Caritas St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, will lead the Office of Educational Affairs, overseeing the development, implementation and evaluation of the medical school curriculum as well as programs designed to enhance teaching and assessment. Epstein has had a long association with Tufts. Following graduation, he served as chief medical resident at Tufts-New England Medical Center. He returned to Tufts and Tufts-NEMC as a member of the faculty and medical staff after completing his fellowship in pulmonary and critical care at Boston University. A nationally respected pulmonary and critical-care physician and an authority on mechanical ventilation, Epstein is a professor of medicine at Tufts. He has been honored 18 times for teaching excellence.

Kevin P. Gallagher, senior researcher at the Global Development and Environment Institute, delivered a lecture on “The Future of the WTO” at Harvard Law School on April 2.

Raina Gay of the HNRCA’s Nutritional Immunology Laboratory won the Hamish N. Munro Postdoctoral Research Award, given annually for outstanding scientific research conducted by a postdoctoral fellow, research associate or visiting scientist within five years of receiving his or her Ph.D. under the mentorship of an HNRCA scientist. The award is named for the first director of the HNRCA.

Jonathan Harris, director of theory and education at the Global Development and Environment Institute, gave a series of presentations in April to Brown University’s Watson Institute Environmental Fellows Program, which brings mid-career environmental professionals from throughout the developing world to study at Brown for a semester. Harris lectured on “Ecological Economics” and “Global Climate Change.”

Susan Harris, a scientist in the HNRCA Calcium and Bone Metabolism Laboratory, completed the 111th Boston Marathon on April 16 as a member of the Tufts President’s Marathon Challenge Team, which raises money for nutrition and medical research at Tufts. She completed the 26.2-mile course in 5 hours, 36 minutes and 33 seconds.

Dr. Cynthia Leveille-Webster, associate professor of clinical sciences at the Cummings School, piloted a presentation to the fifth-grade classes at Grafton Elementary School on March 7. The fifth grade science curriculum is centered on animals, providing a wonderful opportunity for the veterinary school to partner with the community. The presentation, which was formulated with the help of Grafton teachers Trea Byrnes and Donna Trainor, will be expanded to include all 12 fifth–grade classes next year. The presentation meets three state curriculum guidelines, two in the sciences and one in language arts.

Jennifer Luten, senior tri-captain of the women’s tennis team, became the program’s all-time leader in singles victories on April 10 with an impressive 6-4, 6-2 win over Amherst College’s Alicia Menezes. It was the 59th victory of her Jumbo career. Luten surpassed the record of 58 victories held by Iffy Saeed, A03. The vast majority of Luten’s victories have come at the #1 singles spot during her four years with the team.

Rachel Massey, a researcher at the Global Development and Environment Institute, has worked with Heather Angstrom at the Tufts Institute for the Environment to update information on the web about organic turf management at Tufts. This page is now part of the new “Tufts Gets Green” website: Massey is also a co-author of a report released in April by the Investor Environmental Health Network and the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment. The report, “A Fiduciary Guide to Toxic Chemical Risk,” can be found at Go to for information about the project.

Julie Nelson, senior research associate at the Global Development and Environment Institute, taped radio interviews in April with stations WERU (Maine) and KPFA (Berkeley). Also, an article based on her book will be published in the May/June issue of the magazine Challenge.

Dr. Julia Paxson, a resident in clinical sciences at the Cummings School, gave a presentation on “The Safety of IV Plasma Administration in the Management of Failure of Passive Transfer in Alpaca Crias” at the Camelid Conference in Corvallis, Ore., March 9-11.

A provisional patent application has been submitted for a limited data tomography algorithm of Todd Quinto, the Robinson Professor of Mathematics. This patent represents joint work between Tufts and Sidec Technologies in Stockholm. Sidec is testing the algorithm for electron microscopy, including single- and multiple-axis tilts (taking data from multiple directions). The goal is to image small organic molecules more clearly in situ and in vitro. Two books that he co-edited have been published. Integral Geometry and Tomography (American Mathematical Society Contemporary Mathematics Series), edited with Andrew Markoe, includes the proceedings of an AMS special session that Markoe and Quinto organized. The Radon Transform, Inverse Problems and Tomography (AMS Proceedings of Symposia in Applied Mathematics), done with Gestur Olafsson, is a collection of introductory articles on tomography written in conjunction with an introductory course they organized at the 2005 national AMS meeting.

Jack Ridge, professor of geology, has been awarded a $340,000, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Earth Sciences for his proposal titled “Consolidation and Calibration of the New England Varve Chronology: An Annual Continental Record of Ice Dynamics and Terrestrial Change, 18,000-11,500 Years Before Present.” The grant funds will be used to establish a continuous and precise record of glacial and climate change events at the close of the last ice age in eastern North America and a website on North American varve chronology for use by researchers and students around the world.

Four HNRCA scientists were honored by the American Society for Nutrition during its Experimental Biology Meetings on April 29 in Washington, D.C. Dr. Robert Russell, director of the HNRCA, was named a fellow of the American Society for Nutrition in recognition of his distinguished career; Jose Ordovas, director of the Nutrition and Genomics Laboratory, received the 2007 Centrum Award for Nutrition Science for his contributions to the basic understanding of human nutrition. Sarah Booth, director of the Vitamin K Laboratory, received the 2007 Stokstad Award for outstanding fundamental research in nutrition, and Allen Taylor, director of the Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research, received the 2007 Osborn and Mendel Award for outstanding basic research in nutrition.

Susan Russinoff, director of the Critical Thinking Program and senior lecturer in philosophy, conducted a workshop on “Teaching to Promote Critical Thinking” for the SENECA Program for Academic Excellence at Harvard in March. There were 17 participants selected from three campuses of the Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana (UNITEC) in Honduras. SENECA is the result of a partnership between UNITEC and the Instituto Internacional para el Desarrollo de la Innovación Académica (LASPAU, Harvard and CEU, Madrid). Its objective is to equip instructors with interactive teaching tools that promote student-centered learning and the ability to learn on their own.

Sharan Schwartzberg, professor and chair of occupational therapy, co-conducted a workshop on “Ethical Challenges in Education: Tools for Prevention” at the annual meeting of the American Occupational Therapy Association in St. Louis on April 22. She also hosted an alumni and associates reception at the meeting, where she was congratulated for her 21 years of service as department chair and introduced the incoming department chair, Prof. Linda Tickle-Degnen.

Jay Shimshack, assistant professor of economics, has been selected as the 2007 recipient of the Undergraduate Initiative in Teaching (UNITE) Award. The award recognizes those untenured members of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences and Engineering who have demonstrated excellence in teaching and advising, concern for students’ academic and personal growth and the ability to convey passion and enthusiasm for their field of study. Shimshack will receive the award at the faculty meeting on May 16.

Dr. Charles Shoemaker, professor of biomedical sciences at the Cummings School, served on an advisory board for a genome project on Taenia solium, also known as pork tapeworm, which was sponsored by the Mexican government and the National University of Mexico in Mexico City on March 29-30.

Four Tufts Dental students were recognized during the 2007 Yankee Dental Congress in Boston. Ryan Smart, D07, received the American College of Dentists Award; Farbod Parvinjah, D07, and Melissa Bouvier, D07, received the MDS Foundation/GE Healthcare Financial Services Louis J.P. Calisti Scholarship. Caroline Young, D07, received the Massachusetts Dental Society Matthew Boylan Scholarship, given to a Massachusetts resident and dental student who has provided distinguished service to organized dentistry and the community.

Rabbi Jeffrey Summit, executive director of Tufts Hillel and associate professor of music, was invited to deliver a faculty seminar last fall in the Department of Ethnomusicology at Indiana University titled “Coffee, Music and the Commodification of Peace in Uganda.” He also delivered the opening lecture this year for Indiana University’s Judaic studies program on “The Music and Culture of the Jews of Uganda.” He delivered a paper, “Technology and the Transmission of Oral Tradition in the Contemporary Jewish Community,” at a conference on “Sacred Music in Transition” sponsored by Yale University and Amherst College.

Jeff Taliaferro, associate professor of political science, delivered a lecture on “Realism and U.S. Foreign Policy: The Primacy of Power” at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies at Ohio State University on April 25. He has just begun a three-year term as an editorial board member of the International Studies Review, a publication of the International Studies Association. (The title of the publication was incorrectly reported in a previous issue of the Journal.) On April 18, he was elected to a five-year term on the Budget and University Priorities Committee, a faculty committee of Arts, Sciences and Engineering.

Dr. Pacifico Tuason Jr., a pediatric anesthesiologist and instructor in anesthesiology at the School of Medicine; Dr. Lisa Banta, a clinical associate in anesthesiology; Beth Popolizio of Tufts-New England Medical Center’s Department of Anesthesia; and Dr. Andrew Burchard of Tufts-NEMC joined Medical Missions for Children on a medical mission to Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines in February. From March 24 through April 1, Tuason, Dr. Michael Leeman, clinical instructor in anesthesiology; Dr. Arnold Lee, assistant professor of otolaryngology; Dr. Mariah Salloum, clinical associate in otolaryngology; and Monica Soares, a Tufts-NEMC recovery room nurse, were in Guayaquil, Ecuador, with Medical Missions for Children. In the Philippines and Ecuador the team of doctors, nurses and volunteers performed surgeries for cleft lip and cleft palate on children whose families cannot afford this type of surgery. They showed local surgeons and nurses new surgical and anesthetic techniques for cleft lip and cleft palate surgery. In the Philippines, a young patient and his mother walked five hours through rice fields and rode a bus for another five hours to receive treatment, Tuason reports.

Caitlin Vincent, V09, has received a National Institutes of Health summer student research award for her project “The Cardiovascular Effects of Dobutamine Infusion in Healthy, Adult, Anesthetized Alpacas.”

The policy brief, “Industrial Livestock Companies’ Gains from Low Feed Prices, 1997-2005,” by Timothy Wise, deputy director and researcher at the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), and Elanor Starmer, research assistant at GDAE, was featured on the cover of the prominent weekly industry magazine Feedstuffs (March 26, 2007). The article was based on an extensive interview with Wise and included the estimates of the gains to individual corporate livestock firms from feed priced below cost. The article comes at a time of active debate in Washington over the Farm Bill and over the recent increases in feed prices due to the ethanol-driven run-up in corn prices. The article can be found at: The policy brief can be found at: Wise was in Washington, D.C., on April 13 as an invited member of a working group on U.S.-Mexico agricultural issues organized by the Woodrow Wilson Center. Wise gave a presentation at the public forum in the morning and then participated in the working group discussion in the afternoon with U.S. and Mexican farmer and government representatives.

Lyuba Zarsky, a senior fellow at the Global Development and Environment Institute, has been named associate professor of global environmental policy at the Monterey Institute for International Affairs.