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David Geffen School of Medicine

Faculty Notes

Dr. Lori L. Altshuler, professor-in-residence at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, received the 2005 Gerald L. Klerman Senior Investigator Award from the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance for her lifetime contributions to understanding the causes, diagnosis and treatment of depressive and bipolar illnesses.

James W. Bisley, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurobiology, received a 2006 Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, awarded to outstanding researchers in the early stages of their careers. Bisley studies the circuitry in the brain that helps to control what we pay attention to and what we ignore.

Dr. Gerald Buckberg, distinguished professor of cardiothoracic surgery, received two 2005 Freddie awards in the category of Basic and Clinical Science at the International Health andMedicalMedia Awards, aswell as the Surgeon General’s award for“Best Health Professional Entry”at the event for his educational DVD on cardiac anatomy entitled,“The Helical Heart.” 

Genhong Cheng, Ph.D., professor ofmicrobiology, immunology andmolecular genetics, was honored as a Stohlman Scholar fromthe Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for his work on understanding how the immune system balances between normal immune and abnormal inflammatory responses in order to develop novel strategies to enhance the immune systemagainst pathogen infections and tumor challenges while preventing autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. 

Dr. Paul Finn, professor of radiology and chief of diagnostic cardiovascular imaging, was elected president of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, a scientific association of more than 5,500 members that promotes research and continuing education in the field. 

Dr. Patricia Ganz, professor of hematology/ oncology and director of cancer prevention and control at the Jonsson Cancer Center, received the Jill Rose Award fromthe Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Pathfinder Award from the American Society of Breast Diseases. Dr. Ganz is a pioneer in the areas of quality-of-life for cancer survivors, quality-of-care for cancer patients and cancer prevention. 

Thomas Graeber, Ph.D., assistant professor of molecular and medical pharmacology and member of the Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging, received a 2006 Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, awarded to outstanding researchers in the early stages of their careers. Graeber is measuring signaling events within cancer cells to better understand how cancer disrupts normal cell growth, which may help identify new anti-cancer drug targets. 

Dr. Alan Fogelman, executive chair of the Department of Medicine and Castera Professor of Medicine, received the 2006 Sherman M. Mellinkoff Faculty Award. Considered the School of Medicine’s highest honor, the award celebrates an ongoing commitment to patients and medical education. 

Dr. Edward R.B. McCabe, Mattel Executive Endowed Chair in Pediatrics, was elected president of the American Pediatric Society, the oldest and most prestigious academic pediatric organization in North America, dedicated to advancing the study of pediatric diseases, the prevention of illness, and promoting pediatric education and research.

M. Jeanne Miranda, Ph.D., professor-inresidence at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, a national resource for scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on issues related to human health. 

Michael E. Phelps, Ph.D., Norton Simon Professor and chair of molecular and medical pharmacology, received the World Nuclear Association’s Distinguished Contribution Award and the 2006 UCLA Center on Aging ICON Award, recognizing his outstanding contributions to society as inventor of positron emission tomography (PET), which allows the imaging and study of the chemical processes and metabolism in the living body. 

Dr. Antoni Ribas, assistant professor-inresidence of hematology and oncology, and Jonsson Cancer Center member, received a Junior Investigator Award from the Melanoma Research Foundation to study the factors that may improve the response rate and sensitivity of aggressive skin cancer malignant melanoma tumors to immunotherapy. 

Dr. Khalil Tabsh, professor and chief of obstetrics, received a 2005 California Immigrant Achievement Award from The American Immigration Law Foundation for his rich contributions to medicine. Tabsh specializes in the care of pregnant women with maternal and/or fetal complications.

Dr. Dennis J. Slamon, professor of medicine, chief of hematology/ oncology and director of clinical/ translational research at UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center, received the Fifth Aultman Cancer Center Award from Kent State University and the David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award and Lecture at the American Society of Clinical Oncology honoring his work in the development of Herceptin, a molecularly targeted breast cancer therapy. 

Dr. Karol Watson, assistant professor of cardiology, received a 2006 Wenger Award from the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease for her significant efforts to help reduce heart disease in women.

Dr. H. Rodney Withers, professor of radiation oncology and Jonsson Cancer Center member, received the Gold Medal from Radiological Society of North America in recognition of his studies on the radiation responses of stem cells in normal tissues and tumors and their relevance to the treatment of cancer.

Dr. Lonnie Zeltzer, professor of pediatrics, anesthesiology, and psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences and director of the pediatric pain program, has been selected as president-elect of the Pediatric Special Interest Group for the International Association for the Study of Pain.


The National Cancer Institute awarded a five-year $10-million grant to the UCLA In Vivo Cellular and Molecular Imaging Center to develop non-invasive quantitative real-time imaging techniques such as positron emission tomography (PET) and optical imaging. The center applies these methods to laboratory studies to track the initiation and spread of cancer and to study new cancer therapies, which then translate to new clinical imaging techniques to help diagnose and treat patients. Dr. Harvey Herschman, Ralph and Marjorie Crump Professor of Molecular Imaging and distinguished professor of biological chemistry and molecular and medical pharmacology, is the director.

The National Institute on Aging awarded a five-year $7.1-million grant to UCLA researchers to study a new brain-chemical marker used with positron emission tomography (PET) to measure the abnormal proteins that build up in the brain due to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Scientists also will gauge the genetic risk and neuropsychological measures of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment and people with normal memory ability. Dr. Gary Small, Parlow-Solomon Professor on Aging and a professor at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, is the principal investigator. 

The Department of Health Services awarded the UCLA-administered IMPACT (Improving Access, Counseling & Treatment for Californians with Prostate Cancer) program with a three-year state contract for $9.75million. IMPACT is the first and only programof its kind nationwide to provide low-income uninsured patients with prostate cancer treatment. The program provides access to free, high-quality treatment through medical providers located throughout the state. Dr. Mark Litwin, professor of urology and health services and a researcher with the Jonsson Cancer Center, is the program director. 

UCLA received $4 million from The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, for work in developingmicrobicides, products that can be applied to vaginal or rectal mucosa in order to prevent or reduce the transmission of sexually transmitted infections like HIV. Researchers at UCLA and the University of Oxford, UK, are working with aptamers, sequences of RNA molecules known to bind with proteins to reduce a biological response such as viral infection. Dr. Ian McGowan, principal investigator and associate professor of medicine, will evaluate several aptamers for their ability to inhibit infection with the hope that this could lead to development of a microbicide.

In Memoriam

Dr. Marcel Krauthammer
, a pulmonologist and adjunct professor of medicine for 23 years at UCLA and the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, died on Jan. 17, 2006. He served as director of the medical intensive care unit at the VA Medical Center at Sepulveda for 17 years, and received many awards for his commitment to excellence in teaching, patient care and academics. 

Douglas Yale Longshore, associate director and principal investigator at the UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs and adjunct senior behavioral scientist at Rand, Corp., died Dec. 30, 2005. His research interests included interventions for drug-using criminal offenders and motivation for drug abuse and recovery. He evaluated California’s Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000, also known as Prop. 36, which gives adults arrested for nonviolent drug-related offenses the option of treatment as opposed to incarceration. 

Charles H. Sawyer, distinguished emeritus professor of neurobiology and member of the National Academy of Sciences, died June 20, 2006. An influential pioneer of neurobiology, his research was among the first to pinpoint how the brain controls the secretion of hormones from the pituitary gland and link it to reproductive function. His findings laid the groundwork for the development of the birth control pill and infertility treatments. 

Dr. Marvin Weiner, an associate clinical professor of radiology and a member of the radiology faculty for 27 years, died on Nov. 1, 2006. An undergraduate at UCLA, he remained a Bruin fan throughout his life, joining the UCLA faculty in 1964 after serving with the U.S. Army in Korea. He was the first section chief of gastrointestinal radiology.

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