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Class Notes

By Decade Winter 2016

Edward Laws, of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, professor and director of Harvard’s Pituitary/Neuroendocrine Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, received an honorary fellowship in the College of Neurosurgeons of South Africa at a ceremony in Cape Town last May.

Wilfred Fujimoto, of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, a professor emeritus of medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, received the 2015 Yutaka Seino Distinguished Leadership Award from the Asian Association for the Study of Diabetes in Hong Kong. This is the association’s highest honor.

Jack Roth, of Houston, has been named the American Society for Radiation Oncology’s 2015 Honorary Member, the highest honor the society bestows on distinguished cancer researchers, scientists and leaders in disciplines other than radiation oncology, radiobiology or radiation physics.

Robert Ludmerer, of St. Louis, has been selected to receive the 2016 Distinguished Service Award from the Washington University Medical Center.

Charles “Chad” Helmick, of Atlanta, was recognized with a 2015 NIH Director’s Award for his exceptional performance as a member of the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Pain Strategy Group. The group’s report was due to be released in January.

Kenneth Ellenbogen, of Richmond, Virginia, has received a Distinguished Teacher Award from the Heart Rhythm Society.

Kenneth Kinzler, of Baltimore, co-director of the Ludwig Cancer Research Center at Johns Hopkins, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Academy members, chosen by their peers for their accomplishments, advise the U.S. government on medical and health issues.

Alan Partin, of Baltimore, professor and director of the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute and urologist-in-chief at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, has been elected to the University of Mississippi’s Alumni Association Hall of Fame. Partin, who received his Johns Hopkins Ph.D. in pharmacology and molecular systems in 1988 and his medical degree in 1989, was a 1983 summa cum laude graduate of Ole Miss, where he was an Academic All-American as a player on its football team.

Laura Balcer, professor of neurology, population health and ophthalmology at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, is one of three Johns Hopkins-affiliated recipients of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s 2015 Barancik Prize for Innovation in Multiple Sclerosis Research. She and Peter Calabresi, professor of neurology and director of both the Johns Hopkins Division of Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis Center, and Elliot Frohman (HS, neurology, 1991–94; fellow, ocular-motor neurophysiology, 1994–95) have collaborated for a decade on novel, groundbreaking research on the anatomy and biology of the retina and other eye structures of MS patients. The MS society says that they literally have “written the book” on applying optical coherence tomography, a common, easy-to-use eye scanning technique, to study MS.

Sanjay Marwaha, of Sacramento, California, has been named physician-in-chief of Kaiser Permanente’s medical offices in California’s Central Valley area. A head and neck surgeon, Marwaha will oversee more than 2,300 physicians and support staff members in the medical offices that provide health care for more than 295,000 Kaiser Permanente members.  

Randy Hebert, of Highland Park, Pennsylvania, has been named chief medical officer for the Allegheny Health Network’s home health, palliative care and hospice programs. Before joining the Allegheny Health Network in 2008, he worked at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center as a palliative medicine physician.

Tamara Elias, of Larchmont, New York, has been appointed vice president of strategy for Becton Dickinson’s corporate strategy and business development office. In this newly created role, she will be a member of the company’s leadership team and work to advance the overall direction and growth of its medical segment.

R. Shay Bess, of Rye, New York, has been appointed chief of the adult spinal deformity service in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at New York University’s Langone Medical Center’s Hospital for Joint Diseases. Bess will also serve as director of spinal deformity research and as an associate professor of orthopaedic surgery in the university’s school of medicine. He previously was director of the pediatric scoliosis service at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children and Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center in Denver.

Mark Bicket, of Boston, a fellow in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, has been named the 2015 Fellow of the Year by the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine. Bicket was nominated for the award by Steven Cohen, professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins, where Bicket served as chief resident in the department. Cohen described Bicket as a “compassionate” physician who “displays superb judgment and astute observational skills, is empathetic, and epitomizes the consummate team player.”

Faculty, Fellows and House Staff

Peter Dans (HS, medicine, 1961–63; faculty, medicine, 1978–99), of Baltimore, has published a new children’s book, Sergeant Bill and His Horse Bob. It recounts the true-life story of Baltimore police sergeant William McKeldin, brother of former Baltimore mayor and Maryland Gov. Theodore McKeldin, whose career as a mounted traffic policeman in the city’s Inner Harbor between 1937 and 1955 led to many colorful encounters—including one with President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s dog, Fala. Dans’ previous children’s book, Perry’s Baltimore Adventure: A Bird’s-Eye View of Charm City, about a peregrine falcon who flies about the metropolis from his perch on a downtown skyscraper, has been used in city schools to teach urban geography.

Clarence “Buck” Brown III (HS, medicine, 1966–68; fellow, hematology, 1970–72), of Orlando, Florida, who retired in 2012 as president/CEO of MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando, has published Cancer Care in Central Florida and the Emergence of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando: A Historical Perspective. In 2012, Brown was appointed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott to the board of trustees of the University of Central Florida, the second largest university in the country. In addition, he is on the board of the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts in Orlando.

Reed Pyeritz (HS, medicine, 1977; faculty, medicine and pediatrics, 1977–1993), of Radnor, Pennsylvania, has been elected chair of the University of Pennsylvania Faculty Senate. He delivered the faculty commencement address to more than 6,000 Penn graduates in May. Currently, he is the William Smilow Professor of Medicine and Genetics at the Perelman School of Medicine, where he has been conducting research in cardiovascular genetics and biomedical ethics since 2000.

Charles Wiener (fellow, respiratory medicine, 1987–1991; faculty, medicine and physiology, 1991– ) has become medical director and vice president of academic affairs for Johns Hopkins Medicine International.

Peter Kilmarx (HS, medicine, 1990–1993; fellow, infectious diseases, 1993–1994), an expert in infectious disease research and HIV/AIDS prevention, has been named deputy director of the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The center uses innovative and collaborative programs and training to advance NIH’s mission through international partnerships.

Julia McMillan (faculty, pediatrics, 1991–2016), of Baltimore, has retired as vice chair for education for the Department of Pediatrics and as associate dean for graduate medical education. Since accepting the associate deanship in 2004, she has been responsible for more than 1,200 residents and fellows in nearly 90 training programs.

Ira Skolnik (HS, dermatology, 1998–2001), of Concord, Massachusetts, has been elected to a three-year term as president of the Massachusetts Academy of Dermatology. The academy represents nearly all of the state’s more than 300 practicing dermatologists. Skolnik previously served as chairman of the division of dermatology at Emerson Hospital in Concord. He is one of only three dermatologists in the state who is board certified not only in general dermatology but also in pediatric dermatology, as well as general pediatrics.