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Class Notes

By Decade Winter 2017


James Boyer, of Washington, D.C., a professor of medicine and emeritus director of the Liver Center at the Yale School of Medicine, has been elected to the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars. Internationally recognized as an expert in all aspects of basic and clinical hepatology, he continues conducting National Institutes of Health-funded research. He is a former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ Center for Membrane Toxicity Studies at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. He also headed the Liver Research Laboratory of the Johns Hopkins International Center for Medical Research and Training in Calcutta, India, from 1964 to 1966.


Lewis Becker and his wife, Diane Becker, of Baltimore, continue working full time on the Johns Hopkins faculty—he in the school of medicine, and she in the Bloomberg School of Public Health. They still are receiving National Institutes of Health grants and now are conducting stem cell and genomic research related to thrombosis and cardiovascular disease.


Kenneth Roberts, of Mebane, North Carolina, chairman emeritus of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina, has received the inaugural Lifetime Achievement award from the Pediatric Hospital Medicine Awards. He has served as president of the Academic Pediatric Association and the Association of Pediatric Program Directors, and has been a mentor to numerous pediatric hospitalists throughout his distinguished career. Although he stepped down as chair of pediatrics in 2009, he continues teaching, publishing articles and book chapters, and serving in leadership posts in national pediatrics organizations.


Charles “Chad” Helmick, of Atlanta, has received the President’s Award from the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP) section of the American College of Rheumatology for performing outstanding service in advancing the goals, ideals and standards of the ARHP. Helmick is a retired captain in the U.S. Public Health Service and a medical epidemiologist in the Arthritis Program at the Centers Disease Control and Prevention.


Dennis Rasbach, of St. Joseph, Michigan, a general surgeon with an abiding interest in history, recently published Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and the Petersburg Campaign: His Supposed Charge from Fort Hell, his Near-Mortal Wound, and a Civil War Myth Reconsidered.

Chamberlain, a Union Army hero of the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg and later a Medal of Honor recipient, survived a horrendous gunshot wound to the pelvis and urethra during a charge in the 1864 battle near Petersburg, Virginia, where Gen. Ulysses Grant gave him an on-the-spot battlefield promotion to brigadier general. Rasbach’s meticulous research into the circumstances of Chamberlain’s combat movements and wounding has corrected decades of misinformation and led the Virginia Department of Historic Resources to move its marker commemorating Chamberlain’s actions and battlefield promotion.


Anne Murphy, professor of pediatrics and director of Johns Hopkins’ pediatric cardiology fellowship training program, has been named the recipient of a 2016 Career Achievement Award from the American Heart Association’s Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young. The award recognizes Murphy’s significant accomplishments toward advancing the mission of specialists in the field through education, research and advocacy.


David Martin, of Lewisville, North Carolina, has been named executive medical director of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. He is a professor of orthopaedic surgery at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and former director of sports medicine at the university, where he served as the Demon Deacons’ team physician for 18 years. He remains on the Wake Forest faculty, continues seeing patients and performing surgery, and conducts research on injuries related to running and throwing.


Kenneth Pienta, professor of urology, oncology, and pharmacology and molecular sciences, and director of research for the Brady Urological Institute, received a $1 million research grant from the Movember Foundation-Prostate Cancer Foundation Challenge Awards. The award will fund the efforts of Pienta and his research team to utilize novel single-cell biotechnologies to study dormant tumor cells that reside in the bone marrow of prostate cancer patients and that may eventually reactivate and development into metastases. 


Maura Gillison, of Columbus, Ohio, professor of medicine and head of cancer research at Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been named to the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars. Her laboratory established HPV as a principal cause of a subset of head and neck cancer, and now studies the pathogenesis of this malignancy. A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, she received the 2012 Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Memorial Award from the American Association for Cancer Research.


Alain Bertoni, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention at Wake Forest School of Medicine, has been named to the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars. Focusing his epidemiological research on diabetes, cardiovascular disease and disparities in health and health care, he is the principal investigator or co-principal investigator of several major national research efforts and clinical trials in these fields.

Howard Markel, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, professor and director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan, has been elected to the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars. Also a professor of pediatrics, psychiatry, health management policy, English and history, he is an acclaimed social and cultural historian of medicine, public health and epidemics. The recipient of a Ph.D. in the history of science, medicine and technology from the school of medicine, he is a prolific author and has served since 2006 as the principal historical consultant on influenza pandemic preparedness for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Michael Lim, associate professor and director of brain tumor immunotherapy in Johns Hopkins’ Department of Neurosurgery, has received a $10,000 service excellence award for outstanding patient care from the Healthnetwork Foundation. The foundation is a nonprofit that connects business leaders with leading hospitals throughout the country. Its awards are presented annually to 10 physicians nationwide who have been nominated by grateful former patients for their high levels of integrity and compassionate care.

Alissa Speziale, of Scripps Ranch, California, has been named the 2016 Veteran of the Year for the California State Assembly’s 77th District. She was cited for rendering exceptional service during a tour of duty as a Navy physician in Al Qa’im, Iraq, as well as later training more than 200 physicians as assistant program director for internal medicine and gastroenterology at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego. Now on the staff of the Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group in San Diego and a Navy Reserve commander, she continues to support her detachment, the Office of Medical Readiness, Awards and Health Promotions.   


Stephen Nurse-Findlay, of Geneva, Switzerland, appears as a medical expert on The Cure, a program about health innovations around the world that is broadcast by the Al Jazeera English network in more than 100 nations, reaching a potential audience of 220 million. With the approval of the World Health Organization, he recently hosted a program that was filmed in Niger about the thermostable rotavirus vaccine.

Faculty, fellows and house staff

Roger Stevenson (HS, pediatrics; fellow, metabolic diseases and genetics, 1969–72), of Greenwood, South Carolina, has received the Wake Forest University Medical Alumni Association’s 2016 Distinguished Achievement Award. A specialist in birth defects, intellectual disability, and autism and related disorders, Stevenson, in 1974, co-founded the Greenwood Genetic Center, the first independent center in the nation to provide comprehensive genetic services. The author of numerous publications on genetic disorders, he was named to the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars in 2011.

Frederick Ferris III (HS; fellow; faculty, ophthalmology 1978–95), of Bethesda, Maryland, a 42-year veteran of the National Eye Institute, has been named to the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars. Once a fellow who collaborated with the legendary Johns Hopkins ophthalmologist Arnall Patz, Ferris currently is head of the Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications at the institute. Clinical trials in which he has been instrumental include the Age-Related Eye Disease Study, the Diabetic Retinopathy Study and the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study.

James Vogel (fellow, plastic surgery, 1987–89; part-time faculty, surgery, 1990–present), of Owings Mills, Maryland, has received plastic surgery board certification as a hair restoration physician, a rare achievement in the practice of aesthetic plastic surgery. Vogel is a past president of the John Staige Davis Maryland Society of Plastic Surgeons and the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery.

Janine Austin Clayton (fellow, ophthalmology, 1993–94), of Washington, D.C., has been elected to the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars. Now director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health, her research on ocular surface disease has uncovered a novel form of illness associated with premature ovarian insufficiency in young women. This has led to her commitment to rigorous exploration of the role of sex and gender in health and disease.

Charlene Gamaldo (fellow, neurology, 2006), now associate professor of neurology and medical director of the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center, has been admitted to the inaugural Transforming Leaders Program established by the American Academy of Neurology Institute. Its 10-month curriculum is designed to identify and develop talent among experienced academy members for future leadership roles in the institute and in the neurology field. 

Kathleen Burns (HS; fellow, pathology, 2007–08), has become director of the new Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Physician Scientist Training Program (PSTP). An associate professor of pathology and deputy director for research in that department, Burns is a practicing hematologist who is recognized as an outstanding research mentor. She will design and implement the PSTP in collaboration with residency and clinical fellowship program directors, research faculty members, and basic science and clinical department directors. The PSTP will facilitate the career paths of physician-scientists from the end of medical school through their first years on the faculty.

Gary Darmstadt (HS, pediatrics, 1992), of Stanford, California, associate dean for maternal and child health and a professor of pediatrics in the Division of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine at Stanford University, has been named to the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars. Previously, he was a senior fellow in the Global Development Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he developed initiatives to address gender inequalities, empower women and girls, and improve health and development outcomes. At Johns Hopkins, he was the founding director of the International Center for Advancing Neonatal Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.


Michael Zinner was inaccurately referenced in our fall 2016 issue on p. 41. The magazine regrets the error. The entry should have read: Michael Zinner (HS, surgery, 1971–80; faculty, 1985–88), of Miami, is founding CEO and executive medical director of the Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida.