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Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

John Harvard's Journal

Brevia

January-February 2006

Another Nobelist

Thomas C. Schelling
University of Maryland

Joining Mallinckrodt professor of physics Roy J. Glauber ’45, Ph.D. ’49, and MIT chemist Richard R. Schrock, Ph.D. ’72, as Nobel honorands this year (see “Premier Physicist,” November-December 2005, page 57), was Littauer professor of political economy emeritus Thomas C. Schelling, Ph.D. ’51, who was named a co-winner of the prize in economics. Schelling was recognized for his work in applying game theory to problems such as arms control, drug addiction, and racial segregation. A professor of economics from 1958 to 1990, he was a founding faculty member of the Kennedy School of Government, with which he was associated from 1969 to 1990.

Junying Yuan
Harvard School of Public Health

Singular Scientist

Among the 13 recipients in the second annual round of Director’s Pioneer Awards, conferred by the National Institutes of Health in support of exceptionally promising research by younger scientists, was professor of cell biology Junying Yuan, of Harvard Medical School. With the accompanying $500,000 of research funds annually for five years, Yuan will explore the cellular mechanism for detecting and remov-ing misfold-ed, neurotox-ic proteins. She seeks better understanding of Alzheimer’s and of Huntington’s disease. (Her work was described in “Brainy Women,” May-June 2002, page 36.)

The Corporation, Completed

Patricia King
Photograph by Leslie E. Kossoff / LK Photo

Patricia A. King, J.D. '69, Carmack Waterhouse professor of law, medicine, ethics and public policy at Georgetown University Law Center, was elected to the seven-member Harvard Corporation on December 4, succeeding Conrad K. Harper, J.D. '65, who resigned last July. King, at Georgetown since 1974, has studied such issues as human subjects of biomedical research and stem cells. A Wheaton College alumna, she chaired its board of trustees from 2000 to 2005; her Harvard service begins this May. A fuller report will appear in a future issue.

Aid Amendment

The University’s policy on contributing to humanitarian relief efforts has changed. Following a program of matching faculty, student, and staff donations to tsunami and Hurricane Katrina relief (see “Katrina’s Ripples,” November- December 2005, page 62), which suggested an open-ended financial commitment to such efforts in the wake of disasters, President Lawrence H. Summers announced a new paradigm on November 4. In response to student and faculty concern about the South Asia earthquake, he said, Harvard will henceforth coordinate information about community relief efforts, financial or otherwise, and make “various kinds of support available” as individual and group plans are formulated “to assuage the needs of disaster victims.”

Interdisciplinary

Photograph by Justin Ide / Harvard News Office

As this issue was going to press, professor of English and American literature and language Elisa New and President Lawrence H. Summers, an economist, were scheduled to be married on December 11, 2005, in a private ceremony for family members and friends at Elmwood, the president’s residence in Cambridge, followed by a reception at the Fogg Art Museum.


Nota Bene

Budget brief. The University’s annual Financial Report (previewed in “Better-than-Balanced Books,” November-December 2005, page 56) has been published and is available at http://vpf-web.harvard.edu. One tidbit not disclosed before: Harvard spent about $90 million acquiring property during fiscal year 2005, adding six properties, totaling 382,000 square feet, to its Allston holdings.

Brenda Bernier
Harvard University Library

Photographic protector. Senior photograph conserv-ator Brenda Bernier, who joined the Weissman Preservation Center on October 1, will lead the University Library’s efforts to care for Harvard’s photographic holdings—an estimated 7.5 million-plus items throughout the University. Bernier formerly worked at the National Archives and Records Administration and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Development director debuts. Shortly after the resignation of economist Mark R. Rosenzweig as director of the Center for International Development was disclosed (see “Brevia,” November-December 2005, page 68), the Kennedy School announced his successor: Ricardo Hausmann, professor of the practice of economic de-velopment. Hausmann was formerly chief economist of the Inter-American Development Bank and minister of planning of Venezuela. While the Kennedy School seeks permanent endowment funding, the office of the president provided additional support to underwrite the center’s research and fellowship grants.

Institute inductees. Five Harvard Medical School faculty members were named in October among 64 newly elected members of the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academies: professor of medicine David W. Bates, chief of general medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital; professor of medicine Troyen A. Brennan, president and CEO of Brigham and Women’s Physician Organization; professor of medicine Barbara B. Kahn, chief of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Coates professor of neurologic diseases Dennis J. Selkoe, co-director of the Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women’s; and Grousbeck professor of pediatrics Leonard I. Zon, who is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

Design development. The Graduate School of Design’s new associate dean for external relations is Hannah T. Peters, formerly of Harvard Business School. She will oversee all development and alumni-relations efforts.

Meir J. StampferWalter C. Willett
Harvard School of Public Health

Scientists cited. ISI Essential Science Indicators calculated that professor of nutrition and epidemiology Meir J. Stampfer and Stare professor of epidemiology and nutrition Walter C. Willett, both at the Harvard School of Public Health, were the two most-cited scientists in clinical medicine during the past decade.

Lights out at the Brattle? After 52 years of repertory film screenings, including countless replays of Casablanca during reading periods, the Brattle Theatre’s nonprofit film foundation had to raise $400,000 by December 31 to pay down back debt before negotiating a new lease on its building. Anyone eager to sing “La Marseillaise” again someday with the gang at Rick’s can learn more at www.brattlefilm.org.

HIV assessment. Harvard School of Public Health associate professor of epidemiology George Seage will be principal investigator for a five-year, $30-million study funded by the National Institutes of Health to study the long-term health of children whose pregnant mothers received antiretroviral drugs in an attempt to prevent mother-to-infant transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Health beat. Three Nieman Fellowships in global-health reporting—one each from the United States, Europe, and the developing nations—will be funded annually beginning in the 2006-2007 academic year, under a $1.2-million grant awarded jointly to the Nieman Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Each fellowship will conclude with four months of fieldwork in a developing country.

Health and HLS. Harvard Law School has established a Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics with a $10-million gift from the Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation and Joseph H. Flom, LL.B. ’48. Petrie professor of law Einer Elhauge will serve as faculty director of the center, which will support fellows, conferences, and research on topics ranging from medical ethics to access to healthcare.

Miscellany. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, M.P.A. ’71, was elected president of Liberia, making her the first woman elected to lead an African nation.…President Bush conferred a National Humanities Medal on Mary Ann Glendon, Hand professor of law, on November 10.…Harvard Medical School’s center for health and the global environment conferred its 2005 Global Environmental Citizen award on former vice president Al Gore Jr. ’69, LL.D. ’94.…The new chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, Ben S. Bernanke, received his A.B. in 1975 summa cum laude; an economics concentrator, he has taught at Stanford and Princeton.

Big Step

Photograph courtesy of the Harvard Dance Center

The Harvard Dance Center, successor to dance facilities reclaimed by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, debuted October 20. Included in the complex at 66 Garden Street—formerly part of a basketball court at the Quadrangle Recreational and Athletic Center—are a 4,100-square-foot studio that converts to a 200-seat performance venue; a smaller teaching and rehearsal studio; and support spaces, such as dressing rooms, costume storage, and a box office.