In Brief: March-April 2004

March 31, 2004
  • Joseph Nevins Ph.D. '76, James B. Duke professor of genetics and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, is the new director of the Center for Genome Technology (CGT), part of the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy (IGSP). He has been the interim director of the CGT since its founding in 1999. CGT develops and applies novel approaches to the analysis of the genome--an organism's complete set of genetic instructions. Nevins investigates the genes that control normal cell growth and the genetic disruptions that lead to cancerous tumor development.
  • Jonathan Wiener, a law professor and director of the Duke Center for Environmental Solutions, received the prestigious 2003 Chauncey Starr Award, presented by the Society for Risk Analysis, which recognizes an individual, age forty or younger, who has made exceptional contributions to the field of risk analysis. He is also a professor of environmental policy at the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences and a professor of public policy studies at the Sanford Institute of Public Policy. His work has focused on how the inescapable interconnectedness of risks challenges and shapes regulatory policy, including the development of the concept, analysis of, and remedies for "risk-risk tradeoffs." His 1995 book, Risk vs. Risk, with John Graham of Harvard, is the leading work in the field of risk-risk tradeoffs, the phenomenon that a decision to reduce one risk may increase other risks or shift risk to another population. Examples include personal choices like taking aspirin for a headache (which may also cause upset stomach); national and international policies such as airbags in cars (which may save adults but harm children); and reducing carbon dioxide emissions (which may increase emissions of other greenhouse gases).