2016 Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars inductees (from left to right, beginning with the top row): Katrina A. Armstrong, Herman L. Bennett, James L. Boyer, Leslie E. Wolf, Alain G. Bertoni, Gary L. Darmstadt, Janine Austin Clayton, Kung-Yee Liang, Howard Markel, Maura L. Gillison, Maureen Y. Lichtveld, Nancy E. Davidson, César Depazo, Frederick L. Ferris III, Jo Ann Hackett, and Vishnu Padayachee.
Sixteen women and men who spent formative parts of their illustrious careers at Johns Hopkins were honored Monday when they were inducted into the university’s Society of Scholars. The event, held at the Peabody Institute, was hosted by JHU President Ronald J. Daniels and Provost Robert C. Lieberman.
The Society of Scholars was created on the recommendation of then-university president Milton S. Eisenhower and approved by the board of trustees on May 1, 1967. The society—the first of its kind in the nation—inducts former postdoctoral fellows, postdoctoral degree recipients, house staff, and junior or visiting faculty who have gained marked distinction in their respective fields.
The 2016 inductees include five individuals co-nominated by two or more Johns Hopkins academic units, and the cohort has produced groundbreaking scholarship in a diverse range of disciplines.
“This year, these contributions take us from the ancient world of the Hebrew Bible to the future of how we treat some of our most widespread and pernicious diseases,” Daniels said at the induction ceremony.
“This is a group that has led global efforts to improve the health of newborns, worked at the leading edge of scholarship on fluid dynamics, and guided research on the health of communities living near hazardous waste sites,” he said, adding that others established the link between human papillomavirus and certain kinds of head and neck cancers, explored how dispossessed peoples navigate our societies’ power structures, and studied pandemics of the past to better understand how to deal with disease outbreaks today.
This year’s inductees include Kung-Yee Liang, president of National Yang-Ming University, a biostatistician who spent nearly three decades on the Bloomberg School of Public Health faculty; and Leslie Wolf, a professor of law and the director of the Center for Law, Health and Society at Georgia State University’s College of Law, who is both the first Greenwall Fellow in Bioethics and Health Policy at Johns Hopkins and the first lawyer and legal scholar to be inducted into the Society of Scholars.
Each year, the Society of Scholars Selection Committee elects a limited number of scholars from among the candidates nominated by Johns Hopkins University faculty. At Monday’s ceremony, the inductees were presented with the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars medallion and an official certificate of membership. Since its inception, 642 individuals have been elected to membership in the society.
The new members are:
Katrina A. Armstrong, MD
Katrina Armstrong is an internationally recognized investigator in medical decision making, quality of care, and cancer prevention and outcomes. She is the Jackson Professor of Clinical Medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of the Department of Medicine and physician-in-chief at Massachusetts General Hospital. Prior to her appointments at Mass General, she was chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine, associate director of the Abramson Cancer Center, and co-director of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Armstrong’s research interests include personalized approaches to breast cancer risk and cancer prevention, as well as innovation in comprehensive primary care. She has developed a novel strategy for personalized breast cancer screening and communications to improve decision outcomes for high-risk women. She has extended this research to examine more broadly the effect of different communication approaches on cancer prevention, treatment, and survivorship behaviors. Dr. Armstrong received an MD from Johns Hopkins in 1991, where she completed the Osler Residency Program in internal medicine and served as chief resident in the Department of Medicine from 1995 to 1996.
Herman L. Bennett, PhD
New York, New York
Herman Bennett is a professor in the PhD Program in History at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, where he is also a faculty member in the certificate programs of Africana Studies, American Studies, and Renaissance Studies. He started his career as an instructor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before moving in 1993 to Johns Hopkins University for a two-year Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, after which he was appointed an assistant professor in Department of History in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Bennett later served on the faculty of Rutgers University before joining the CUNY faculty in 2009. As a student of the early modern African diaspora and a prolific author, Dr. Bennett focuses primarily on how dispossessed peoples navigate power and stake claims within the structures of dominance. At its core, his work engages the earliest formations of blackness, experiences that he views as inseparable from the historical configuration of the West. Dr. Bennett has been the recipient of numerous scholarly awards, including two National Endowment for the Humanities grants and the American Historical Association’s Equity Award.
Alain G. Bertoni, MD, MPH
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Alain Bertoni is a professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention at Wake Forest School of Medicine, where he also has an appointment in the Department of Internal Medicine’s section on general medicine. He joined the Wake Forest faculty in 2001 after completing his medical and public health training at Johns Hopkins. He earned an MD from the School of Medicine and an MPH from the Bloomberg School of Public Health in 1995 and 1999, respectively, and completed an internal medicine residency on the Osler Medical Service and additional postdoctoral training in general internal medicine and epidemiology. Dr. Bertoni focuses his epidemiological research on diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and disparities in health and health care. He is currently the principal investigator or co-principal investigator of several major research efforts and clinical trials related to diabetes, heart failure, and atherosclerosis risk, including the Lifestyle Intervention for Treatment of Diabetes study, the Targeted Analyses of Diabetes and Obesity in the Jackson Heart Study, and the MESA early heart failure study. Dr. Bertoni is also a faculty member of the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity and the Translational Science Institute’s Program in Community Engagement.
James L. Boyer, MD
James Boyer, the Ensign Professor of Medicine and emeritus director of the Liver Center at the Yale School of Medicine, has a broad interest in all aspects of basic and clinical hepatology. His work is supported by a National Institutes of Health MERIT Award and a grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. From 1982 to 1996, Dr. Boyer directed a combined digestive disease section in the Department of Medicine at Yale. He was the founding director of the Liver Center and former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ Center for Membrane Toxicity Studies at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory in Salsbury Cove, Maine, where he was also chairman of the board of trustees. Dr. Boyer is a former chair of the board of the American Liver Foundation and a current member of the board of managers of Haverford College and several other professional boards. He is a graduate of Haverford College and earned an MD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1962. From 1964 to 1966, he was head of the Liver Research Laboratory of the Johns Hopkins International Center for Medical Research and Training in Calcutta, India.
Janine Austin Clayton, MD
Through her research on ocular surface disease, ophthalmologist Janine Austin Clayton uncovered a novel form of disease associated with premature ovarian insufficiency in young women, setting the stage for her commitment to rigorous, thoughtful exploration of the role of sex and gender in health and disease. Since 2012, Dr. Clayton has served as associate director for research on women’s health and director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health. She previously served as deputy clinical director of the National Eye Institute. She is the architect of an NIH initiative requiring researchers to consider sex as a biological variable in order to expand knowledge of male and female biology, better inform clinical studies in humans, and ultimately improve the health of both women and men. She is co-chair of the NIH Working Group on Women in Biomedical Careers and leads the NIH’s efforts to advance women in science. Dr. Clayton received her undergraduate degree with honors from Johns Hopkins University and completed a fellowship in cornea and external disease at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute.
Gary L. Darmstadt, MD, MS
Gary Darmstadt is associate dean for maternal and child health and a professor of pediatrics in the Division of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Previously he was a senior fellow in the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he developed initiatives to address gender inequalities, empower women and girls, and improve health and development outcomes. At the Gates Foundation, he also served as director of family health, leading program development and implementation across nutrition, family planning, and maternal, newborn, and child health. Dr. Darmstadt also served as a senior research adviser for the Saving Newborn Lives program of Save the Children, where he led the development and implementation of the global research strategy for newborn health and survival. He began his career at Johns Hopkins as a resident in pediatrics and continued through 2008 as an associate professor and founding director of the International Center for Advancing Neonatal Health in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Nancy E. Davidson, MD
A renowned breast cancer researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, Nancy Davidson is the Hillman Professor of Oncology, director of the university’s cancer institute, and associate vice chancellor for cancer research. She holds secondary appointments as a professor of pharmacology and chemical biology and a professor in the Clinical and Translational Science Institute. She published key findings on the role of hormones, particularly estrogen, on gene expression and cell growth in breast cancer, and she led several important national clinical trials of potential new therapies, including chemoendocrine therapy for premenopausal breast cancer, with funding from the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. She was elected to the Association of American Physicians and the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Davidson was president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology from 2007 to 2008 and will serve as president of the American Association from 2016 to 2017. She conducted her residency at Johns Hopkins from 1980 to 1982, and served on the Oncology faculty from 1986 to 2009.
César Dopazo, PhD
César Dopazo is a renowned figure in the field of fluid dynamics, the study of liquids and gases in motion. His fundamental research on turbulence and combustion has been of particular importance in improving our ability to accurately predict the fate of pollutant formation and energy efficiency in devices ranging from internal combustion engines to industrial burners and gas turbines. Since 1981, Dr. Dopazo has been a professor at the University of Zaragoza in Spain, where he teaches at the graduate and postgraduate levels. He is a founding academician of the Royal Academy of Engineering of Spain and was the founding director of LIFTEC, one of the main combustion research laboratories in Spain. Dr. Dopazo also served as general director of CIEMAT, the Spanish National Laboratory on Energy and Environmental Research. He earned doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, in 1973, and in aeronautical engineering at Madrid Polytechnic University in 1979. From 1974 to 1976, he was a postdoctoral research associate at Johns Hopkins University in what today is the Whiting School of Engineering.
Frederick L. Ferris III, MD
Epidemiologist and ophthalmologist Frederick Ferris has spent 42 years at the National Eye Institute, where he is currently the clinical director and director of the Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications. He earned his board certification in ophthalmology when he completed his Wilmer residency training at Johns Hopkins in 1978. From 1978 to 1982, he had a unique once-a-week, five-year retinal vascular fellowship under Dr. Arnall Patz, who discovered in the 1950s what was then the most common cause of blindness in premature infants. Through a joint appointment with the NEI, he continued his association with Johns Hopkins as an associate professor of ophthalmology until 1995. Dr. Ferris has participated in numerous clinical trials during his career. Notably, he was project officer of the Diabetic Retinopathy Study, co-chairman of the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study, and chairman of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study. Dr. Ferris has published more than 260 articles in peer-reviewed journals and is actively involved in age-related eye disease studies of macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy clinical research network studies, and multiple intramural clinical studies at NEI.
Maura L. Gillison, MD, PhD
Maura Gillison is a professor of medicine and holder of the Jeg Coughlin Sr. Chair of Cancer Research at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her laboratory established human papillomavirus to be a principal cause of a subset of head and neck cancer and now studies the pathogenesis of this malignancy, from risk factors for oral HPV infection at the population level through the genomics of HPV-positive head and neck cancer and the development of targeted therapeutics. Dr. Gillison received the Clinical Investigator Award from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 2012 received the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Memorial Award from the American Association for Cancer Research. She has published numerous articles in professional journals and recently received the Albert C. Muse Prize for Excellence in Otolaryngology. At Johns Hopkins, Dr. Gillison earned an MD from the School of Medicine and a PhD from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Jo Ann Hackett, PhD
Jo Ann Hackett is a professor of Middle Eastern studies and religious studies at the University of Texas at Austin, arriving there in 2009 after 20 years teaching Biblical Hebrew and Northwest Semitic epigraphy at Harvard University. She was among the first scholars to produce nontheological studies of women in the Hebrew Bible, and she continues to do so today. She spent 1996 to 1997 at Christ Church, Oxford, on a Pilkington grant, and half a year in Jerusalem at the Institute for Advanced Studies. In 2013, she and her husband-collaborator, John Huehnergard, received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to produce an online, open-access update of a century-old dictionary of Biblical Hebrew. In 2006, she received the Everett Mendelsohn award for mentoring graduate students at Harvard, and she was recently honored by her students with a Festschrift celebrating her continued use of new methodologies in the study of ancient texts. Dr. Hackett was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University from 1985 to 1986.
Kung-Yee Liang, PhD
Since 2010, Kung-Yee Liang has been president of National Yang-Ming University, the first university in Taiwan dedicated to biomedical education and research, where he also has an appointment in the School of Medicine’s Institute of Public Health. Dr. Liang served as vice president of the National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan from July 2003 to August 2006, including six months as acting president. He was a faculty member in the Department of Biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for 28 years, serving as the graduate program director from 1996 to 2003. His research interest has been in developing new statistical methods for analyzing correlated data derived from longitudinal and genetic epidemiological studies and developing statistical theory for inference in the presence of nuisance parameters. Among many awards, he shared two—the Snedecor Award and the Karl Pearson Prize—with colleague Scott Zeger, a professor of biostatistics in the Bloomberg School. Dr. Liang has been elected to the American Statistical Association, the Academia Sinica in Taiwan, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, and the National Academy of Medicine.
Maureen Y. Lichtveld, MD, MPH
New Orleans, Louisiana
Maureen Lichtveld has 35 years of experience in environmental public health and is a professor in the Department of Global Environmental Health Sciences at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She holds the Freeport McMoRan Chair of Environmental Policy and is chair of the department. In 1986, after earning her master’s degree in public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr. Lichtveld began her 18-year tenure with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Dr. Lichtveld was one of the highest-ranking environmental health scientists engaged in national environmental health research and policy at the CDC, where she designed research tools and science-driven policies to guide national environmental health studies in communities living near hazardous waste sites nationwide. Dr. Lichtveld’s protocols are now part of environmental health programs in all 50 states. Her research integrates environmental health, health disparities, and disasters, with significant bridging expertise in community-based participatory research, women’s health, environmental policy, and health systems relevant to disaster preparedness, recovery, and resilience.
Howard Markel, MD, PhD
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Howard Markel is the George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine and director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan. He is also a professor of pediatrics, psychiatry, health management and policy, English, and history. Since 2006, Dr. Markel has served as the principal historical consultant on influenza pandemic preparedness for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His research helped inform strategies employed by the World Health Organization, the CDC, the Mexican Ministry of Health, and numerous health departments around the globe during the 2009 influenza pandemic. An acclaimed social and cultural historian of medicine, public health, and epidemics, Dr. Markel is the author of Quarantine!, When Germs Travel, and the nationally best-selling An Anatomy of Addiction. Among his many honors, Dr. Markel was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2015. After receiving an MD from the University of Michigan, Dr. Markel completed postdoctoral training in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins and earned a PhD in History of Science, Medicine, and Technology from the School of Medicine in 1994.
Vishnu Padayachee, PhD
Johannesburg, South Africa
Vishnu Padayachee is a Distinguished Professor and holds the Derek Schrier and Cecily Cameron Chair in Development Economics in the School of Economic and Business Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He is also a professor emeritus in the School of Built Environment and Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. In 1996, President Nelson Mandela appointed him to the board of directors of the South African Reserve Bank on which he served for nearly 12 years, completing his third term as a nonexecutive director in September 2007. Although trained in Keynesian macroeconomics, his research and graduate teaching fall within the confluence and traditions of political economy, economic history, and development studies. His current research interests include South African monetary history, theory, and policy; the political economy of restructuring South Africa; a historical study of South African capitalism; and an analysis of the origins and evolution of the African National Congress’ economic and social policy from 1943 to the present. Among many international appointments he was a visiting professor at the Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in 1986.
Leslie E. Wolf, JD, MPH
Leslie Wolf is a professor of law and director of the Center for Law, Health and Society at Georgia State University’s College of Law. She conducts research in health and public health law and research ethics, and has taught courses on medical liability, human subjects research, public health law, HIV/AIDS and the law, and bioethics. Her research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Cancer Institute, the National Human Genome Research Institute, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Greenwall Foundation. She has served on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Ethics Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee to the Director, and as a peer reviewer for the Department of Defense. Professor Wolf taught at the University of California, San Francisco, where she served on the institutional review board and advisory committee regarding stem cell research. She earned a JD from Harvard Law School in 1991, and in 1996 was selected as one of the first Greenwall Fellows in Bioethics and Health Policy at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and Georgetown universities. During her postdoctoral fellowship, she earned a master’s degree in public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
February 24, 2016
For Immediate Release
Contact: Leah Ramsay, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.642.9640
Clinical Community Has Crucial Role to Play In the Future of Mitochondrial Replacement Techniques, Say Experts
There is a unique role for the United States medical community to play in determining the future application of, and ethically acceptable approach to, mitochondrial replacement techniques (MRTs), according to a commentary published online by the New England Journal of Medicine.
The United States has a different process for regulating any potential clinical use of MRTs than the United Kingdom, which has also recently addressed policy issues with MRTs, and so the commentary authors emphasize that medical professional organizations, societies, and practitioners will be crucial to determining the ethically acceptable path forward for clinical application of MRTs.
The commentary authors were members of the Institute of Medicine committee which recently released a report commissioned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “Mitochondrial Replacement Techniques: Ethical, Social, and Policy Considerations,” and include committee chair Jeffrey Kahn, PhD, MPH, of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.
MRTs, which have not yet been performed in humans, are envisioned as a method to prevent a mother from passing on certain debilitating diseases related to mutated mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). The techniques would replace her mtDNA with that of another woman, while still passing on her own nuclear DNA. Mitochondria are inherited solely from the mother.
“If and when initial investigations are undertaken, critical safety and efficacy questions will remain before regulatory approval or clinical use can occur,” the commentary states.
Decisions on how to proceed with initial research uses of MRTs in humans could have a ripple effect for other highly specialized treatments and techniques. “Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) disease may the poster child for highly targeted, ‘personalized’ medicine,” the commentary states.
Though MRTs could provide a previously unavailable reproductive option, the authors are careful to note what it cannot achieve. “MRTs would have no health benefits for people who already have mtDNA diseases, nor would they prevent the occurrence of newly arising mtDNA mutations.”
“The first use of MRTs in humans is uncharted scientific territory, and requires caution and commitment to the safety of any potential offspring born through use of the techniques,” says Kahn, the Levi Professor of Bioethics and Public Policy at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. “Any path forward must assess and avoid not only health risks, but take account of psychological effects for the individuals born as a result of these techniques, as well as the social implications of such reproductive technologies.”
The authors highlight two key points made in the IOM report: that safety for the individual conceived by the procedure is the primary ethical concern, and that risk to the human germline through heritable changes should be avoided by limiting initial clinical investigations to transfer of male embryos only. This could change, Kahn notes, as knowledge is gained, and depending on the outcome of ongoing international debate about germline genetic modification.
# # #
Media Contact: Leah Ramsay, email@example.com, 202.642.9640