Blue ribbons, gold stars, honorable mentions

20 November 2008

Randy Schekman, a professor of cell and developmental biology, was presented last month with the 2008 Dickson Prize in Medicine, given annually by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine to "a leading American investigator who is engaged in innovative, paradigm-shifting biomedical research." The school praised Schekman, who serves as editor-in-chief of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, as "one of the founding fathers of modern cell biology."

Economics and political-science professor Gerárd Roland has been recognized by the American Political Science Association for his 2007 book Democratic Politics in the European Parliament (Cambridge University Press). The work won the Richard F. Fenno Prize as the best book published in the previous year in the field of legislative studies. Roland, who earned his doctorate at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, joined the Berkeley economics department in 2001.

Marti Hearst, an associate professor in the School of Information, has been appointed to the usage panel for the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Hearst, who holds an affiliate position in the Computer Science Division, joins some 200 other educators, writers, and public speakers — including Harold Bloom, Joan Didion, Henry Louis Gates, Antonin Scalia, and Calvin Trillin — who advise the dictionary's authors on difficult or disputed usage.

Mellon Foundation Emeritus Fellowships have been awarded to three Berkeley emeriti: Barbara Shapiro (rhetoric), Ira Lapidus (history), and Wye Allanbrook (music). The one-year fellowships — which provide up to $35,000 for research and related expenses — are intended "to support the scholarly activities of outstanding faculty members in the humanities and humanistic social sciences" who are officially retired but remain active in their fields.

The Albert & Mary Lasker Foundation, which presents the Lasker Awards for distinguished achievement in medical research, has renamed one of its prizes to honor the late Daniel Koshland Jr., a longtime professor of molecular and cell biology at Berkeley and editor of the journal Science from 1985 to 1995. The newly christened Lasker-Koshland Award for Special Achievement in Medical Science went to Stanley Falkow, of — wait for it — the Stanford University School of Medicine. Another Lasker Award, in the category of medical research, was presented to Berkeley alum Gary Ruvkun, now at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, for work on the role played in disease by microRNAs.

Jack McCredie, who spent 16 years as the campus's chief information officer and associate vice chancellor for information technology, has received a Hall of Fame award from the Association for Computer Machinery, the world's largest educational and scientific computing society. ACM's Special Interest Group for University and College Computing Services also recognized Jerry Smith, Berkeley's recently retired director of workstation-support services, with its Penny Crane Award for "significant service to higher education and the computing profession."