In Brief: May-June 2002

June 1, 2002

 

  • Hydrologist Gabriel G. "Gaby" Katul of the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences was awarded the American Geophysical Union's James B. Macelwane Medal, which recognizes significant contributions to the geophysical sciences by an outstanding young scientist. An associate professor of hydrology and co-director of the Center for Hydrologic Science, he specializes in the transfers of water vapor and carbon dioxide between the biosphere and the atmosphere. He has established a national reputation as an organizer and participant in the AmeriFlux program, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to measure the carbon uptake by large tracts of forest. Working at the FACE (Free-Air CO2 Enrichment) site in Duke Forest, Katul has estimated forest carbon uptake under ambient levels of carbon dioxide.
  • Christopher B. Newgard '78, whose research specialty is metabolic regulatory mechanisms and the development of therapeutic strategies for diabetes management, is the new director of the Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition Center at Duke Medical Center. The former professor of biochemistry and internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas will teach in Duke's departments of pharmacology and cancer biology, and internal medicine. Established in 1988, the Stedman Center develops and delivers nutrition-oriented programs to a range of health-care professionals, patients, and the general public. Newgard earned his doctorate in biochemistry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 1984, where he was later named the Gifford O. Touchstone Jr. and Randolph G. Touchstone Distinguished Chair in Diabetes Research. He became a full professor in the departments of biochemistry and internal medicine, and the Center for Diabetes Research in 1995.
  • Brigid L. M. Hogan was named chair of the department of cell biology at Duke Medical Center, the first woman to be appointed chair of a basic science department there. Hogan was director of the Stem Cell and Organogenesis Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. She is considered a world leader in developmental biology and stem-cell research. She is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator, a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the Royal Society of London. She was the scientific co-chair of the 1994 National Institutes of Health report on human embryo research.
  • Ariel Dorfman, Walter Hines Page Research Professor of Literature and Latin American Studies, was named the recipient of the ALOA prize, one of the most prestigious Danish literary awards. Given annually by the Centre for Literature from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Oceania, the prize recognizes the best book of fiction or nonfiction from these continents published in the previous year (2001). The award was made for the Danish translation of Dorfman's memoir Heading South, Looking North: A Bilingual Journey, already published in ten other languages. Other candidates for the award this year were Michael Ondaatje, Carlos Fuentes, and the Egyptian author Fadia Faqir.
  • William J. Fulkerson Jr., chief medical officer for Duke Hospital and the Private Diagnostic Clinic, was named chief executive officer of Duke Hospital, succeeding Michael D. Israel, who resigned to take the chief operating officer position of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System in New York. Fulkerson, a professor of medicine at the medical school and a nationally renowned specialist in pulmonary and critical-care medicine, was named chief medical officer of Duke Hospital in April 2000; he was also executive medical director of Duke's Private Diagnostic Clinic.
  • The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has announced the 2002 class of 177 fellows and thirty foreign honorary members, including Duke's Robert L. Bryant, professor of mathematics; Anthony R. Means, professor of pharmacology and cancer biology; and Herbert Kitschelt, professor of political science. According to the AAAS, it "has elected the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation, including George Washington and Ben Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth." Current membership includes more than 150 Nobel laureates and 50 Pulitzer Prize winners. A full list of new members is available at www.amacad.org/members/new2002list.htm.