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Epidemiologist with a View

David Cellentano
A window on the world of HIV prevention: David Celentano.

On a clear afternoon, David Celentano's sixth-floor office window lets him see whether he should avoid traffic tie-ups on I-95 South, three miles away. Even on hazy days, his lofty perch lets him peer down at neighborhoods beset with traffic woes of a different kind. "East Baltimore has the highest rate of injection-drug use in the city," Celentano says, "and Baltimore's rate is the nation's fourth-highest in HIV/AIDS."

Celentano's view—professionally, that is—also wraps around the globe to another HIV/AIDS hot spot: Thailand, where he has led HIV/AIDS research and prevention efforts for the past 15 years. Director of the Bloomberg School's Infectious Disease Epidemiology Program, Celentano oversees a collaborative Thai program that involves 15 other Hopkins faculty, the entire health sciences faculty at Chiang Mai University and more than 400 Thai project workers.

In one landmark study on a Thai military base, the researchers recruited soldiers to serve as peer counselors, figuring that young men relied most on peers for information about sexually transmitted diseases. They figured right. "We cut new cases of HIV infection by half," Celentano says, "and knocked the STD rate down sevenfold. Clearly peer-to-peer was the way to go."

"David has been a major collaborator with the Research Institute for Health Sciences ever since the beginning of Thailand's HIV/AIDS epidemic," says Thira Sirisanthana, who directs the institute at Chiang Mai University. "Our research, especially on behavioral intervention in military conscripts, has contributed in a major way to the success of the Thai HIV/AIDS prevention program."

In recognition of his contributions, Celentano has received an honorary PhD from Chiang Mai University. The degree was conferred on him by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn at a ceremony on January 26.

But Celentano's not resting on his laurels. A Thai crackdown on heroin has driven many users to methamphetamines. So far, the HIV/AIDS rate among meth users (most of whom smoke the drug) is just 1 percent, though the former heroin users could spread HIV rapidly through sexual contact. Celentano hopes peer counseling can prevent an outbreak.

Hossein Bahrami, MD, MPH '04, PhD candidate, Epidemiology, was elected to the Governing Council of the American Public Health Association (APHA) for a three-year term (2005-2007).

Susan P. Baker, MPH '68, professor, Health Policy and Management (HPM), was inducted into the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame.

Ron Brookmeyer, PhD, professor, Biostatistics, and chair of the Master of Public Health Program, was named chair-elect of the Statistics Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Terry R. Brown, PhD, professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB), was elected vice president (and president-elect) of the American Society of Andrology. His one-year term began in April and his one-year term as president will begin in April 2007.

George Comstock, MD, DrPH '56, professor emeritus, Epidemiology, was honored at the 10th Annual Meeting of the North American Region of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. Colleagues praised Com-stock's contributions to the understanding and prevention of tuberculosis.

Ciprian Crainiceanu, PhD, assistant professor, Biostatistics, was chosen as the 2006 winner of the Noether Award for junior scientists, given annually by the American Statistical Association to the best young scientist working on non-parametric methods.

Kay Dickersin, PhD '89, professor, Epidemiology, and Kathy Helzlsouer, MD, MHS '88, adjunct professor, Epidemiology and Oncology, were named two of Maryland's Top 100 Women by The Daily Record.

Janice P. Evans, PhD, associate professor, BMB, has received the American Society of Andrology's Young Andrologist Award.

M. Chris Gibbons, MD, MPH '97, assistant professor, Health, Behavior and Society (HBS), and associate director of the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute, was elected president of the International Society for Urban Health.

Andrea Carlson Gielen

Andrea Carlson Gielen, ScD '89, ScM '79, professor, HBS, was elected to the status of Fellow in the American Academy of Health Behavior.

Thomas Glass, PhD, associate professor, Epidemiology, received an award in March for "Outstanding Presentation" from the Risk Assess-ment Section at the annual meeting of the Society of Toxicology.

Diane Griffin

Diane Griffin, MD, PhD, professor and chair, the W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology (MMI), will begin her term as president of the American Society for Microbiology in July. She is also currently chair of the AAAS Medical Sciences Section.

Shelley Hearne, DrPH, visiting scholar, HPM, will receive the 2006 Senator Frank R. Lautenberg Annual Award; she will also deliver the Lautenberg Lecture in Public Health.

Thomas A. LaVeist

Thomas A. LaVeist, PhD, professor, HPM, received the first annual Minority Health Know-ledge Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health, for his efforts to advance knowledge about minority health and the elimination of health disparities.

Tom Louis, PhD, professor, Bio- statistics, was elected president of the International Biometrics Society for 2006-2007.

Ellen J. MacKenzie, PhD '79, MSc '75, Fred and Julie Soper Professor and Chair, HPM, was elected president of the American Trauma Society.

Kenrad Nelson

Kenrad Nelson, MD, professor, Epidemiology, was elected president of the American Epidemiological Society for a year-long term. He also received a Recognition Medal from the U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation for his collaborations with scientists from the Republic of Georgia.

Noel Rose, MD, PhD, professor, MMI, received a Lifetime Achieve-ment Award in March from the Keystone Symposia, "for seminal contributions to the understanding and treatment of autoimmune diseases."

David Sintasath, MSc, a PhD student in International Health, has been awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship Program from the National Science Foundation. The fellowship's $40,000 per year for three years will support his research into cross-species transmission of retroviruses in Cameroon.

Alfred Sommer, MD, MHS '73, dean emeritus of the School, and professor, Epidemiology, received the Gonin Medal, awarded once every four years by the International Council of Ophthalmology and considered the highest honor in international ophthalmology. The Universidad Andres Bello de Chile has also awarded Sommer an honorary doctoral degree.

Barbara Starfield

Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH '63, professor, HPM, received the John G. Walsh Award for Lifetime Contributions to Family Medicine, from the American Academy of Family Physicians. She also received the Avedis Donabedian Award for Leadership in Quality of Care.

Nathan D. Wolfe, DSc, assistant professor, Epidemiology, received a $2.5 million NIH Director's Pioneer Award. Wolfe was also named to Popular Science's fourth annual "Brilliant 10" list.

Albert W. Wu

Albert W. Wu, MD, MPH, professor, HPM, was awarded a Bronze World Medal at the 2006 New York Festivals for his educational video for physicians, "Removing Insult from Injury: Disclosing Adverse Events" (

Barry Zirkin, PhD, professor, BMB, received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Society of Andrology.

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