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David Geffen School of Medicine


Dr. Edward De Robertis, the Norman Sprague Professor of Molecular Oncology, has been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to a lifetime term on the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, a 406-year-old organization of 80 scientists who work to promote the progress of the mathematical, physical and natural sciences. The academy is an international and interdisciplinary body that reports to the Pope. About 30 current members are Nobel Laureates, including theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.

Dr. Eric E. Johnson, chief of Orthopaedic Trauma and the Mullikin Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, has received an Honorary Membership in the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland. He was inducted during ceremonies at the College in Dublin, Ireland.

Dr. Gerald S. Levey, dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and vice chancellor for UCLA Medical Sciences, received the Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science Board Medal of Honor during the school’s commencement in June 2009.

Dr. Areti Tillou, assistant professor of surgery, received the Dennis W. Jahnigen Career Development Scholars Award from the American Geriatrics Society. The award provides a two-year grant to assist young faculty to initiate and ultimately sustain a career in research and education in the geriatrics aspects of his/her discipline.

Dr. Hong Wu, professor of molecular and medical pharmacology, has been named the inaugural David Geffen Chair in Medical Research, a position that will focus on advancing the field of cancer research. Dr. Wu is the associate director for research at the translational Institute for Molecular Medicine (IMED) and also a researcher with the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. She is known for her work with PTEN, the second most frequently mutated tumor-suppressor gene.

Funding agency: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Grant amount: $6.241 million Grant duration: 5 years
Principal investigator: Dr. David Hovda, professor of neurosurgery and molecular and medical pharmacology/director, UCLA Brain Injury Center
Summary: Explores how the brain’s fuel demands are altered after traumatic brain injury (TBI) with the goal of developing new therapies by introducing novel and traditional fuels in new ways.

Funding agency: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Grant amount: $2.566 million
Grant duration: 2 years
Principal investigator: Dr. Gay M. Crooks, professor of pathology/laboratory medicine and pediatrics
Summary: To understand how the immune system develops in young children in order to devise better therapies through the use of stem cells to cure life-threatening diseases.

Funding agency: National Center for Research Resources
Grant amount: $1.89 million Grant
duration: 1 year
Principal investigator: Dr. Arthur Toga, professor of neurology/director of the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging
Summary: Distributed supercomputing for brain mapping to further understanding of the brain in health and disease and to assist in development of scientific approaches for the comprehensive mapping of the brain structure and function.

Funding agency: National Library of Medicine
Grant amount: $1.25 million Grant
duration: 2 years
Principal investigator: Dr. Ricky Taira, professor of radiological sciences
Summary: Development of a system for facilitating the review of clinical data for neuro-oncology patients, intended to promote an orderly process of problem understanding and care. 

Funding agency: U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity
Grant amount: $849,000
Grant duration: 1 year
Principal investigator: Dr. E. Carmack Holmes, professor of thoracic surgery Co-principal investigators: Dr. Erik Dutson, professor of surgery; Dr. Petros Faloutsos, professor of computer science; Dr. T.C. Tsao, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering
Summary: The project will test whether the laparoscopic robot developed by the Center for Advanced Surgical and Interventional Technology can perform telesurgery, telementoring and hands-on teaching at a remote site.


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