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These portraits are part of a treasured gallery of Pitt people who have brought world-class distinction to the University during the past decade. In their steps, we follow.

Lasting Impressions

Pitt Magazine Staff

Photographer Harry Giglio, Pitt Magazine Creative Director Gary Cravener, and the Pitt Magazine staff have collaborated on a photo spread celebrating some remarkable Pitt people. You can download this feature in its original format if you have the free Adobe Acrobat reader.

Strickland, Hales, Derricotte, and Brandom

William E. Strickland Jr., a trustee on Pitt’s board, won a 1996 MacArthur Fellowship, also known as a “genius award,” given for exceptional creativity. Called a “social entrepreneur” by Harvard University—where he has lectured in the business school—Strickland (CAS ’70), is president and CEO of two innovative Pittsburgh learning communities: the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, which he founded, and the Bidwell Training Center. The guild has produced three Grammy Award-winning music albums.

Thomas Hales, who is the Andrew Mellon Professor of Mathematics, won the international 2003 Chauvenet Prize from the Mathematical Association of America for an article describing his computer-based proof of the centuries-old Kepler Conjecture, a long-unsolved mathematical problem. The prize has been awarded since 1925 to some of the world’s most distinguished mathematicians.

Toi Derricotte, professor of English, is an award-winning poet and writer whose honors include a 2004 Guggenheim Fellowship for “exceptional creative ability in the arts.” Derricotte’s memoir, The Black Notebooks, was a 1998 New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

Robert Brandom, Distinguished Service Professor of Philosophy, received—among other honors—the 2004 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award for his contributions to humanistic scholarship. The award is among the largest given for individual academic achievement—$1.5 million.

DeKosky, Mathis, and Klunk

Steven T. DeKosky received the 2005 Ronald and Nancy Reagan Research Institute Award from the national Alzheimer’s Association for outstanding contributions to research, care, and advocacy on behalf of Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers. DeKosky, professor and chair in the School of Medicine’s Department of Neurology, directs the University’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. His work has attracted many honors.

Chester A. Mathis and William E. Klunk were cowinners of the 2004 MetLife Foundation Award for Medical Research in Alzheimer’s Disease for their joint development of “Pittsburgh Compound B,” a chemical substance that makes it possible, using an imaging process, to detect the disease—and its extent—in living patients. Previously, the disease’s presence could only be confirmed through autopsies. This breakthrough, which has won numerous accolades, may enable earlier diagnosis and more effective treatments. Klunk (right) is an associate professor of psychiatry and neurology in the medical school, director of psychiatry in the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, and director of the Laboratory of Molecular Neuropharmacology in the medical center’s Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. Mathis is a professor of radiology and pharmacology in the medical school, a professor of pharmaceutical sciences in the School of Pharmacy, and a senior chemist and director of the University’s Positron Emission Tomography Facility.

  Chang, Cooper, Moore

Rory Cooper was honored for his outstanding rehabilitation research with the 2003 Paul B. Magnuson Award and the 2002 Olin Teague Award, both from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He directs the National Center of Excellence for Wheelchair and Associated Rehabilitation Engineering at Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System. He is the Distinguished Professor and FISA/PVA Endowed Chair in Rehabilitation Engineering in Pitt’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. He is also a professor in the schools of engineering and medicine.

Yuan Chang and Patrick S. Moore were awarded the 2003 Charles S. Mott Prize for discovering the cause of Kaposi’s sarcoma, a deadly cancer commonly found in AIDS patients. The General Motors Cancer Research Foundation bestows the $250,000 prize annually for the most outstanding recent contribution to preventing cancer or finding its cause. In the School of Medicine, Chang is a pathology professor and Moore, who directs the Molecular Virology Program in the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, is a professor of molecular genetics and biochemistry.

National Academy of Engineering

  Cohen and Woo

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) provides engineering leadership to the nation through the knowledge and insights of its members—eminent experts in their fields. Election to the academy is among the highest distinctions in the engineering profession. Two of Pitt’s NAE members elected during the past decade appear here.

Bernard Cohen, professor emeritus of physics, is known for his fundamental contributions to the world’s understanding of low-level radiation. A leading figure in the field of nuclear physics, he developed one of the first radon detectors.

Savio L-Y. Woo is an expert in the biomechanics of soft tissues such as cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. Among his many honors is an Olympic Gold Medal awarded at the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, for his distinguished contributions to sports medicine. He is William Kepler Whiteford Professor of Bioengineering and Mechanical Engineering in the School of Engineering and professor of rehabilitation science and technology in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. Woo also directs Pitt’s Musculoskeletal Research Center and is active in the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.


Herb Boyer  
Michael Chabon  
Wayne Franklin  
Paul C. Lauterbur  
Wangari Muta Maathai  
Lorin Maazel  
William Magwood  
Dan Marino  
Holmes Rolston III  
Trecia-Kaye Smith  
John A. Swanson  

Herb Boyer FAS ’63, ’60, who pioneered recombinant DNA technology, won both the Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine—known as the “Nobel Prize of the East”—and the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research.

Michael Chabon CAS ’84 won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for his novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. He also wrote the popular Wonder Boys, which was adapted to film.

Wayne Franklin FAS ’72, ’68 received a 2004 Guggenheim Fellowship, which supports advanced professionals in the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, or creative arts.

Paul C. Lauterbur FAS ’62 won the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research that led to the development of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology.

Wangari Muta Maathai FAS ’65 won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her grassroots peacekeeping efforts in Kenya. She’s the founder of the Green Belt Movement, which has planted 30 million trees.

Maestro Lorin Maazel CAS ’50, music director of the New York Philharmonic, won two 2005 Grammys for best orchestral performance and best classical album.

William Magwood FAS ’91 received the 2004 James N. Landis Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for his innovative work with nuclear energy in the international community.

Dan Marino CAS ’83, Miami Dolphins quarterback for 17 seasons, entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005. As a Panthers quarterback, he led Pitt to a 1982 Sugar Bowl championship.

Holmes Rolston III FAS ’68 won the 2003 Templeton Prize and its award of roughly $1.2 million. The prize rewards “progress toward research or discoveries about spiritual realities.”

Trecia-Kaye Smith SHRS ’02G, EDUC ’99 is the reigning world champion in the women’s triple jump after a leap of about 49.5 feet at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki.

John A. Swanson ENGR ’66G received the American Association of Engineering Societies 2004 John Fritz Medal, widely regarded as the highest honor in engineering.

National Academy of Sciences

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is an honorary society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research. Academy members—who include 200 Nobel Prize winners—are elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Election to the academy is one of the highest honors possible for a scientist or engineer. Pitt’s NAS members appear here.

Susan Amara is the Thomas Detre Professor and Chair of Neurobiology in Pitt’s School of Medicine. She codirects the University’s Center for Neuroscience and conducts groundbreaking research in neurochemistry, particularly in relation to addictive and therapeutic drugs.

John T. Yates Jr. is R.K. Mellon Professor of Chemistry and Physics. He is one of the world’s leading experts on surface chemistry, which is important to the development of semiconductor processing. His work has won numerous accolades. He also is founder and director of Pitt’s Surface Science Center.

Robert Drennan, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, is an international authority on the origins and development of complex societies (especially chiefdoms), regional settlement patterns, and household archaeology.

Institute of Medicine

David A. Brent holds the University’s Endowed Chair in Suicide Studies, the first in the United States. His honors include the 2004 Jed Foundation Voice of Mental Health Award and the 2003 American Psychiatric Association Ittleson Award for Research in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He is professor of psychiatry and pediatrics in the School of Medicine and a professor of epidemiology in the Graduate School of Public Health.

Thomas Detre, an internationally respected psychiatrist, has been honored with a campus building that bears his name—Thomas Detre Hall. He is the visionary founder of one of the nation’s top academic health systems—the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center—and he notably strengthened Pitt’s six Schools of the Health Sciences. A talent scout and resource builder, he laid the foundation for the thriving academic medical complex that exists today. He is Emeritus Distinguished Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and Emeritus Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry.

Ellen Frank developed Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy, a groundbreaking treatment for bipolar disorder. She has won numerous awards, including the 2001 Distinguished Researcher Award from the Association of Psychologists in Academic Health Centers. A professor of psychiatry in the medical school and a professor of psychology in the School of Arts and Sciences, she directs the Depression and Manic Depression Prevention Program at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic.

Karen Matthews has won many awards including the 2005 American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Scientific Applications of Psychology. She directs the School of Medicine’s Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine Research Training Program and its Pittsburgh Mind-Body Center. She is a professor of psychiatry in the School of Medicine, as well as a professor of epidemiology in the Graduate School of Public Health and of psychology in the School of Arts and Sciences.

James Roberts holds many honors including the 2004 Duane Alexander Award for Academic Leadership in Perinatal Medicine from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. His academic roles include Elsie Hilliard Hillman Chair in Women’s and Infants’ Health Research and professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive services in the School of Medicine. He is also a professor of epidemiology in the Graduate School of Public Health.

Thomas E. Starzl, transplantation pioneer, recently received the National Medal of Science—the nation’s highest honor for American scientists, awarded annually by the President of the United States. Starzl, a Distinguished Service Professor of Surgery in Pitt’s School of Medicine, is considered the “father of transplantation” for laying the groundwork in this field and for continuing to push beyond known boundaries. Holding more than 200 awards and honors, he is director emeritus of the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC.

Yates, Amara, and Drennan
Front row: Thomas Starzl, Karen Matthews, Thomas Detre, James Roberts. Back row: David A. Brent and Ellen Frank.


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