Nov. 21, 2002
Vol. 22 No. 5

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    Graeme Bell, the Louis Block Professor in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Medicine and Human Genetics and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University, has been awarded the J. Allyn Taylor International Prize for Medicine.

    Taylor, for whom the prize is named, is a Canadian business leader and philanthropist and one of the founders of the Robarts Research Institute, an independent research institute affiliated with the University of Western Ontario and London Health Sciences Centre. The award, which has been presented annually since 1985, honors scientists who make significant contributions to a field of basic or clinical research. Recipients each receive $10,000.

    Bell has been a leader in the use of molecular biology and genetics to understand the causes of diabetes. In 2000, his research team identified the major susceptibility gene for type 2 or non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, or NIDDM, in Mexican Americans.

    The discovery marked the first time a genome-wide approach successfully led to the identification of a susceptibility gene responsible for a common, genetically complex disorder. It revealed an unexpected biochemical pathway leading to diabetes, suggesting novel approaches to prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

    David Faxon, Chief and Professor of Cardiology in Medicine, and the current president of the American Heart Association, has received the association’s Distinguished National Leadership Award.

    Faxon and two association volunteers, Lawrence Sadwin and Gayliss Ward, received the award, which recognized their leadership during the 2001-02 fiscal year.

    As president of the American Heart Association, Faxon played a prominent role in organizing a multi-year drive to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health. He also spearheaded a joint effort between the association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to call attention to heart attack and stroke warning signs and the need to call 9-1-1. He continued his longtime efforts for integrating programs and science into the daily practice of medicine.

    James Heckman, the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and the College, and 2000 Nobel laureate, received the 2002 Statistician of the Year award from the Chicago Chapter of the American Statistical Association.

    Following an award presentation on Tuesday, June 18, at the East Bank Club, Heckman gave a short speech on causality.

    David Meltzer, Associate Professor in Medicine and Economics, received the inaugural Eugene Garfield Economic Impact of Medical and Health Research Award, presented by The Board of Directors of Research!America, an alliance for discoveries in health.

    Meltzer, whose research has been published in the Journal of Health Economics, is being honored for his work across the disciplines of medicine and economics. Meltzer has developed methods to help decision makers use the tools of medical cost-effectiveness analysis to assess the potential benefits of biomedical research. Such methods could be used both to prioritize research projects and to help identify when further spending on research might be expected to yield substantial returns.

    Research!America is a not-for-profit education and advocacy alliance dedicated to making medical and health research a higher national priority. The alliance comprises more than 450 members across the nation in academia, industry, independent research laboratories, professional and scientific societies, voluntary health organizations and philanthropies.

    Darren Roulstone, Assistant Professor of Accounting in the Graduate School of Business since 2000, has been named the second recipient of the School’s Ernest R. Wish Accounting Research Award.

    The award is given annually for the best paper written by a junior member of the GSB Accounting faculty. Wish (M.B.A., ’71), chairman of Wish Enterprises and former managing partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, established the award through a gift from himself and his former firm.

    A committee of senior accounting faculty selected Roulstone for his paper “The Relation Between Insider Trading Restrictions and Executive Compensation.”

    Roulstone’s paper finds that contractual restrictions on insider trading are positively associated with the level of executive compensation–more stringent controls on insider trading are, on average, accompanied by higher levels of compensation.

    Gopal Thinakaran, Assistant Professor in Neurobiology, Pharmacology & Physiology, recently received two awards for his contributions to Alzheimer’s disease research.

    Earlier this year Thinakaran received the 2001 Ruth Salta Junior Investigator Achievement Award from the American Health Assistance Foundation, which had previously awarded him a two-year research grant to support his project titled “Psi-Nicastrin Interaction and Role in Trafficking.”

    Thinakaran also has been awarded a 2002 Zenith Fellow Award from the national Alzheimer’s Association. The research grant will support his work on a new study titled “The Role of Presenilins in Membrane Protein Biogenesis, Assembly and Trafficking.”

    The Zenith Fellow program supports both basic and clinical research, and since the program’s inception 12 years ago, 40 researchers have been honored with fellowships.

    Dingxin Zhao, Assistant Professor in Sociology, received two awards from the American Sociological Association for his book The Power of Tiananmen, which explores the origins of the bloody confrontation in Beijing that took place June 4, 1989.

    For his exhaustive account of what is perhaps the largest student movement in human history, Zhao has received the ASA’s 2002 Collective Action/Social Movements Outstanding Book Award and its 2002 Asia and Asian American Outstanding Book Award.

    Multiple awards go to faculty members in the Department of Chemistry

    Seven faculty members in the Chemistry Department have received or are about to receive awards from a variety of scientific and philanthropic organizations.

    Ka Yee Lee, Associate Professor in Chemistry and the College, has received the 2002 J. & J. Neubauer Faculty Development Fellowship for excellence and innovation in teaching. Lee plans to use the $5,000 fellowship grant to support undergraduate research and for course development.

    Milan Mrksich, Associate Professor in Chemistry, the Institute of Biophysical Dynamics and the College, has received the Cope Young Scholar Award from the American Chemical Society. The ACS presents the award annually to two scholars under the age of 35 to recognize and encourage excellence in organic chemistry. The award carries an unrestricted research grant of $40,000, and the recipient delivers an address at the Arthur Cope Symposium at the ACS fall meeting.

    David Mazziotti, Assistant Professor in Chemistry and the College, has received one of 11 2002 New Faculty Awards from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. The award carries an unrestricted research grant of $40,000 to provide funding for new faculty members at the start of their research and teaching activities.

    Viresh Rawal, Professor in Chemistry and the College, has received the Cope Scholar Award from the American Chemical Society. The ACS presents the award annually to four scholars between the ages of 36 and 49 to recognize and encourage excellence in organic chemistry. The award carries an unrestricted research grant of $40,000 and the recipient delivers an address at the Arthur Cope Symposium at the ACS fall meeting.

    Stuart Rice, the Frank Hixon Distinguished Service Professor in Chemistry and the College, will receive the Hirschfelder Prize in Theoretical Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin’s Theoretical Chemistry Institute. Rice will deliver lectures at the Institute on Oct. 28, 29 and 30 in connection with the prize.

    Hisashi Yamamoto, the Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor in Chemistry and the College, served as the Tetrahedron Chair at the Belgian Organic Synthesis Symposium this July in Namur, Belgium, in recognition for his work regarding Lewis acid catalysis.

    Nien-Chu Yang, the Gustavus and Ann Swift Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in Chemistry and the College, is in the second year of a two-year Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Senior Scientist Mentor Initiative award. The award carries $20,000 in support of undergraduate research that is guided by faculty emeriti in the chemical sciences.