News On Campus
Homicide History
Porter Power
New Res College
Auschwitz Art Online
New Name for
 Women's Studies

Gown v. Town
High Marks

Lab Notes

Rags to Riches
Cancer-Diabetes Link
Final Thoughts
Getting the Lead Out
Gene Journey

Kenneth I. Howard
Arthur Michel (KGSM78)

Gifts and Grants
Cancer Grant



Breaking Ground for Health and Science

Two groundbreaking ceremonies last October will undoubtedly result in medical and scientific advances on the Evanston campus.

After the $60 million Arthur and Gladys Pancoe–Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Life Sciences Pavilion opens next year, biomedical researchers at the 166,000-square-foot facility will perform the much-needed function of advancing biomedical research through the integration of basic scientific discoveries with clinical investigations.

The $29 million Center for Nanofabrication and Molecular Self-Assembly, an 84,000-square-foot structure on the site of the former Vogelback Computing Center, will bring together experts in materials chemistry (the design of materials with specific and desirable properties), nanotechnology (the making of tiny structures on the nanometer scale or macrostructures containing nano-components) and molecular self-assembly (the use of molecules that form complex structures with sophisticated functions when mixed).

The name of the Pancoe-ENH pavilion recognizes a $10 million gift from the Pancoes and a $17.5 million contribution by Evanston Northwestern Healthcare. It will be dedicated to the memory of the Pancoes' granddaughter, Beth Elise Pancoe, a Northwestern student who died in 1999 from acute myelogenous leukemia.

The nanotechnology center is funded by a $14 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a $1 million gift from Leonard (WCAS39, KGMS66) and Mary Ginger for the Leonard and Mary Ginger Laboratory for Chemical Biodiagnostics, and the University.

At the groundbreaking for the new nanofabrication center, from left, Eric Sundquist, dean of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences; Lydia Villa-Komaroff, vice president for research; Mark Ratner, chemistry professor and co-director of the center; Rosemary J. Schnell (WCAS54), a donor to the center; James Ibers, chair and Morrison Professor of Chemistry; Chad Mirkin, George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry and co-director of the center; and Grier Davis, special assistant to President Henry Bienen for government and community relations.

Chicago's Homicide History

  From left, Leigh Buchanan Bienen, senior lecturer; associate law school dean Tom Geraghty; Charles Madigan, Chicago Tribune senior writer; and Chicago alderman Ed Burke
The 11,000 hand-scrawled Chicago police reports in the Illinois State Archives are brief, but for criminologists around the nation, each word is priceless.

The homicide entries, recorded by Chicago police from 1870 to 1930, were discussed at Learning from the Past, Living in the Present: Patterns in Chicago Homicides, 1870 to 1930, a fall conference at the Northwestern University School of Law.

"This is a record of 60 years of enormous growth and social change in Chicago," said Leigh Buchanan Bienen, a senior lecturer at the law school and the event's organizer.

Conference participants covered topics such as judicial corruption, racial and ethnic crime patterns, the availability of firearms and gang activity.

"The highly stylized penmanship and rhetorical flourishes seen in the individual entries are expressive of a period when Chicago was known as the crime capital of America," Bienen said.

The project received support from the Gun Violence Program of the Joyce Foundation and faculty research funds.


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  Porter Power
In the first donation of unused campaign funds Northwestern has ever received, former U.S. Rep. John Porter (R-Ill.) gave $325,000 to the University to be used as a leadership gift establishing a Professorship of Biomedical Research.

Porter (EB57, H99) consistently worked during his 22 years in Congress to further the cause of biomedical research in battling disease. "I can think of no better use for this campaign money than to invest it in health research that will benefit the needs of society," he said.

Porter did not seek re-election last year. Stephen D. Miller, professor of microbiology-immunology and director of the Interdepartmental Immunobiology Center at the Medical School, has been named to the professorship, which will carry Porter's name.

The University hopes to raise $2 million for the endowment.




New Residential College

An alumni couple from the Seattle area have provided the lead gift to help fund construction of the $15 million state-of-the-art Residential College of Science and Engineering.

The Seattle-based Wissner-Slivka Foundation donated $4 million for the new building. Managing trustee Lisa Wissner-Slivka (McC85) and her husband, Benjamin Slivka (McC82, GMcC85), established the private foundation in 1997 to benefit education and children.

Slivka is a member of the University Board of Trustees and formerly was a general manager in the Windows Group of Redmond, Wash.–based Microsoft Corp., where he worked on numerous projects, including the development of the Internet Explorer Web browser. Wissner-Slivka worked for Microsoft as a program and product manager for more than six years.

Scheduled for completion in fall 2002, the Benjamin W. Slivka Residence Hall will house 141 students in air-conditioned, carpeted apartment-style suites that will be a mix of single and double rooms. Residents will have access to a "discovery room" where they can work on science and technology projects. The building also will house a "cybercafe" where students from all over campus will be able to gather to down late-night lattés and plug into the Internet.

Like its res college counterparts, Slivka Hall will have its own faculty master from a specialized field to advise student officers and to assist with academically focused programming.

"It is very rewarding to be able to help Northwestern build this new residential college," Slivka said. "I think it will be a wonderful place to live, and I hope the science and engineering focus will encourage a deeper and broader grasp of these important disciplines by students of all majors."


See this sketch and hundreds of other works of art from Auschwitz online.

Auschwitz Art on the Web

Auschwitz and art are two concepts that would seem destined never to intersect, but actually many Holocaust victims left the world a moving and extensive record of their experience.

Now some 250 works of art from Auschwitz can be seen on a University Web site. The vast majority -- drawings, illustrated diaries, musical manuscripts, painted letters and paintings -- have never before been published.

"Although it was a death and work camp, Auschwitz had an active cultural life, with sculpture, painting and printmaking studios and a museum for the display of cultural artifacts and art," noted David Mickenberg, director of the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art and exhibit curator.

The result of a three-year collaboration between the Block museum and the Information Technology Division, the site makes use of the latest Internet2 technologies. The power of the often chilling artwork is compounded by the site's scholarly essays, videostreamed lectures and performances, virtual reality tours, and biographies and video interviews with artists who survived the concentration camps.

The debut on the Web stems in part from a desire to model how a museum can provide new experiences and media-rich content to a worldwide audience, according to Bob Taylor, director of IT's academic technologies unit.

"The greatest challenge was finding the most respectful, effective balance of contemporary digital media capabilities to treat so somber and painful a subject," he said.



New Name for Women's Studies

Recognizing that it encompasses much more than the one sex, Northwestern's program on women's studies changed its name to gender studies.

"The discussion in academia has been whether it is appropriate to call a program women's studies when programs increasingly do a great deal of work around gender and sexuality as well as women," said Alexandra Owen, new director of the program and associate professor of history and gender studies. Programs on many campuses have adopted the new nomenclature.

Gender studies also plans to increase its faculty by a system of revolving appointments. Each year three faculty members from other schools within Northwestern will be awarded a three-year appointment with the program. "It means we're going to have a lot of new perspectives," Owen said.

In related news, the Northwestern Women's Center, which offers counseling and education directed toward women, expanded to the Chicago campus last fall.


Gown v. Town

Northwestern has filed a federal lawsuit against Evanston challenging the creation of a historic district last year that includes more than 40 properties owned by the University.

Last June the Evanston City Council passed an ordinance establishing a Northeast Evanston Historic District. All proposed exterior changes visible to the public, major or minor, would have to be approved beforehand by the city.

The University contends that Northwestern's inclusion in the district was motivated not by a desire to recognize historically important architecture but by a longstanding animosity stemming from the University's charter granting it exemption from property taxes.

"This is the latest step in a pattern of conduct by the city in retaliation against the University because of its refusal to accede to the city's demands for payment of funds in lieu of property tax," said Eugene S. Sunshine, senior vice president for business and finance. "The city has lost sight of its obligation to treat the University fairly, and the enactment of the district is yet another attempt to force the University to contribute."

The suit claims that the ordinance creating the historic district is arbitrary and capricious and treats Northwestern differently from other property owners. The city never held hearings on the redrawn district but simply approved it at the same meeting when the council made final changes to the district's boundaries.

Sunshine said the University proposed alternate solutions that ultimately were rejected. "It saddens us that the University is left with no choice but to file this lawsuit," he said.

Despite the legal action, Northwestern hopes it can maintain positive educational and financial relationships with Evanston institutions. "These partnerships benefit the community in many ways, and we will continue to look for ways of strengthening them," Sunshine said.


High Marks
Northwestern students today are posting higher grades than ever before, but some administrators are wondering if students are getting smarter or if good grades are easier to get.

The Office of the Provost reported that the average grade point average of all undergraduates has risen from 2.99 in 1982 to 3.32 in 1998.

The findings are inconclusive, but they show that the higher grades were concurrent with a boost in the academic credentials of incoming freshmen. From 1982 to 1998 the average SAT scores rose from a combined total of 1,210 to 1,365. Also, more freshmen in 1998 entered with credits earned through the Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or similar programs than was the case in 1982.

On the other hand, increased reliance on student evaluations, which might be more favorable if a professor gives out better grades, for issues such as tenure and promotion may be one cause of inflation.

"These data raise issues that the faculty and individual schools must engage," said provost Lawrence Dumas.





















Susan Gapstur

(Photo by Jim Ziv)







Lab Notes
Rags to Riches
Millions of Westerners who give their old clothes to charity and thrift shops might be surprised to learn that nearly half of their donations are sold in the Third World.

Karen Tranberg Hansen, professor of anthropology, researched the topic and found that the secondhand clothing trade has become an important part of the economies of Africa, Latin America and other regions. Hansen published her findings in Salaula (The University of Chicago Press, 2000). The word salaula, meaning "to rummage through a pile," was taken from the Central African language of Bemba.

In North America and Europe the clothes are sorted, compressed and shipped in bales to countries like Zambia, where Hansen has spent considerable time doing research. The items are ultimately purchased by individuals -- not all of whom are poor.

"This goes beyond an economic market," Hansen said in a presentation last fall sponsored by Friends of Anthropology at Northwestern. "How people dress in Zambia reflects their career and class aspirations, and for them being a consumer is very hard work." Faded blue jeans, so sought after in the Western world, are unpopular with the average Zambian consumer, she said, because they aren't spick-and-span.

"Right now wearing a double-breasted suit is not only considered fashionable," Hansen explained, "it means that you recognize the need for family stability and the work ethic."

The secondhand clothing trade is somewhat controversial in developing countries. Many governments have restricted the imports because they are a serious threat to local textile industries. Advocates of salaula respond that these domestic industries are often already moribund because of high tariffs on material.

While she realizes that salaula may not be perfect, Hansen does believe it to be essential to these societies. "It doesn't cure the problem of poverty," she acknowledged, "but it does help people satisfy certain cultural norms. In countries such as Zambia, it allows them to put on clothes that they equate with power and success and that help them to escape their own socioeconomic circumstances."

-- Katie Konrath (J02)

Cancer-Diabetes Link
A Medical School team has for the first time found a link between abnormal blood sugar levels and pancreatic cancer. The study, published in a May issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, analyzed data from an earlier American Heart Association study of nearly 40,000 men and women.

Looking at the occurrence of diabetes among the participants and focusing in on the deaths from and risk factors for pancreatic cancer, researchers found that those with higher glucose levels tended to have a higher risk of developing the cancer.

"Identifying a potential causal association between hyperglycemia and pancreatic cancer could have important preventive and prognosticative implications for this cancer," said Susan Gapstur, assistant professor of preventive medicine and lead author of the article.

Peter Gann, associate professor of preventive medicine; William Lowe, associate professor of endocrinology; Kiang Liu, professor of preventive medicine; Alan Dyer, professor of preventive medicine; and Laura Colangelo, statistical analyst, were co-researchers on the study.

Final Thoughts
Northwestern researchers conducted one of the first studies to ask terminal patients about their ideas of "dying well."

The results, published in a September issue of the Journal of Palliative Medicine, found a link between better acceptance of death and higher levels of spirituality and sense of purpose. About 1,000 people drawn from six areas of the country participated in the study.

"If we think of the care that we would like to have, perhaps we have a chance of getting the policy and medical care right," said Linda Emanuel, professor of medicine and head of the research team.


Kimberly Gray

(Photo by Andrew Campbell)











V. Craig Jordan






Getting the Lead Out
Armed with sunflowers, corn, kale, grass and science, professors Helen J. Binns and Kimberly Gray hope to determine the best way to reduce a major health problem facing children in Chicago: lead poisoning from contaminated soil.

The two researchers received a two-year, $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to attack the problem through a process called phytoremediation. Phytoremediation involves planting different kinds of vegetation in hopes that the plants will remove lead from the soil either by root absorption or absorption and transport to above-ground plant tissue. While the risk from interior leaded paint and paint chips from building exteriors is likely higher, lead-contaminated soil is a significant source of lead poisoning in urban areas.

Binns is an assistant professor of pediatrics and a researcher at Children's Memorial Institute for Education and Research, and Gray is an associate professor of civil engineering.

Gene Journey
Joseph S. Takahashi, Walter and Mary E. Glass Professor of Neurobiology and Physiology, has been awarded a five-year, $20 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund the NIH Mouse Mutagenesis Center at Northwestern.

The center, housed at Northwestern but operating in conjunction with Columbia, Duke and the University of Iowa, will utilize mutations in mice to identify genes responsible for memory, vision, circadian rhythms and response to drugs of addiction.

By developing novel databases and tools, the center expects its findings will provide information useful to the Human Genome Project, an international effort to map all human genes, and to the field of biomedicine.

Gifts and Grants
Cancer Grant
The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University is one of only four institutions in the United States to receive a five-year, $13 million grant from the National Cancer Institute.

The grant will help researchers, under the leadership of V. Craig Jordan, the Diana, Princess of Wales Professor of Cancer Research, to conduct multidisciplinary research on improving cancer care and cancer prevention.

The research projects will include six studies examining causes, prevention and therapies for breast cancer, including one study headed by Jordan on drug resistance to antiestrogens.

Jordan has guided the clinical development of the antiestrogens tamoxifen and raloxifene for more than 25 years. Tamoxifen has been shown to increase the survival rate of breast cancer patients and also to prevent the development of breast cancer in high-risk women; an estimated 350,000 women are alive today because of tamoxifen treatment.

The researchers on the other five projects are Larry Jameson, Irving S. Cutter Professor and chair of medicine; Ann Thor, professor of pathology; Robert Chatterton, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and of physiology; Monica Morrow, professor of surgery and director of the Lynn Sage Comprehensive Breast Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital; and Gerald Soff, associate professor of medicine.

The NCI grant will be used in conjunction with a recent $2.2 million grant given by the Avon Products Foundation Breast Cancer Research and Care Program to Morrow (Northwestern, winter 2000).

"Our program has developed from nothing to world-class in seven years," Jordan said. "Our success is a tribute to all the individuals in the community who are committed to conquering cancer."




Kenneth I. Howard, 68, professor of psychology, died Oct. 19 in Chicago.

Mr. Howard, who joined Northwestern in 1967, was a co-founder of the Society for Psychotherapy Research and served as coordinator of outpatient research at Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Stone Institute of Psychiatry.

Survivors include his wife, Sue Taylor Howard, three daughters, three sons, two stepsons, his father, a brother and three grandchildren.

Arthur Michel (KGSM78), 59, associate professor of oncology, died Nov. 4 in Arlington Heights, Ill.

A specialist in breast cancer, Dr. Michel was the first medical director for the Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization. He was named the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Physician of the Year in 1997.

Survivors include his wife, Nancy, two sons, a stepdaughter, a stepson, his father, a brother and four grandchildren.