John Varga, M.D., professor of rheumatology, has been honored as Doctor of the Year by the Scleroderma Foundation.
Varga, a board-certified internist and rheumatologist, is chairman of the foundation’s medical advisory board and a supporter of the foundation’s work.
“His willingness to provide counsel, write or collaborate on articles about scleroderma and his work at the Feinberg School of Medicine made him an easy choice,” said Joseph D. Camerino, Ph.D., the foundation’s board chair. “He is well-versed on the research presently underway in scleroderma and an eloquent advocate of the need for more research money to be raised.”
Varga has served on the National Institute of Health Study Section panels since 1998. He has published more than 180 research articles and published two books focusing on scleroderma.
Scleroderma is a chronic, often progressive, autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own body.
The disease, which literally means “hard skin,” can cause a thickening and tightening of the skin. In some cases it causes serious damage to internal organs including the lungs, heart, kidneys, esophagus and gastrointestinal tract.
Debjani Mukherjee, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation and of medical humanities and bioethics, has received a Fulbright Scholars Award.
She will spend nine months conducting research on the social and ethical dimensions of long-term adjustment to traumatic brain injury in Calcutta, India. She will be affiliated with the University of Calcutta’s department of applied psychology.
Mukherjee is a clinical educator at the Donnelley Family Disability Ethics Program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Her research interests are in psychosocial adjustment to traumatic brain injury, the cultural contexts of medical decisions and ethical dilemmas posed by neurological disorders.
Established in 1946, the Fulbright Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries, through the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the program provides funding for students, scholars and professionals to undertake graduate study, advanced research, university teaching and teaching in elementary and secondary schools.
Before joining the Northwestern faculty in 2004, Mukherjee completed two years of postdoctoral training in clinical medical ethics at the University of Chicago and subsequently spent a year in Paris, helping to start the first Center for Clinical Ethics in France.
The Board of Trustees has approved the appointment of new chairs for several departments.
The chairs and their term of service are as follows:
• L. Catherine Brinson, mechanical engineering (five-year term).
• Gregory S. Carpenter, marketing (two-year term).
• Julius P. A. Dewald, physical therapy and human movement sciences (indefinite term).
• Jeanne Dunning, art theory and practice (three-year term).
• Alice Eagly, psychology (three-year term).
• John Franks, mathematics (three-year term).
• Joseph Hupp, chemistry (five-year term).
• E. Patrick Johnson, performance studies (five-year term).
• Robert C. Kern, otolaryngology, head and neck surgery (indefinite term).
• Laimonis Laimins, microbiology-immunology (indefinite term).
• Charles Larson, communication sciences and disorders (three-year term).
• Richard Lueptow, mechanical engineering (interim, one-year term).
• Elisa Mari-Lopez, Spanish and Portuguese (three-year term).
• Bharat B. Mittal, radiation oncology (indefinite term).
• Brian Moran, civil and environmental engineering (five-year term).
• Gary Saul Morson, Slavic languages and literatures (three-year term).
• Mary Pattillo, sociology (three-year term).
• Nathaniel J. Soper, surgery (acting, indefinite term).
• Jan Van Mieghem, managerial economics and decision sciences (two-year term).
• Jane Winston, French and Italian (three-year term).