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2010 DSA Recipient Announced Print Email

January 18, 2010

penning_suit_2The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) will confer the 2010 Distinguished Service Award (DSA) upon Trevor M. Penning, Ph.D., at the NPA's 8th Annual Meeting, to be held March 12-14 in Philadelphia, Pa.

He is recognized in the postdoctoral community as a longtime advocate on behalf of postdoctoral scholars, both on the home and national fronts.

One of his nominators wrote: "In addition to his remarkable work in shaping Penn's own postdoctoral program, Dr. Penning was a force for change at the national level. This commitment to the larger postdoctoral community is a testament to his personal conviction that training the next generation of scientists is a critical part of a healthy scientific enterprise. ... The unflagging support he has given the NPA and his advocacy for improved postdoctoral training in general is deserving of our highest honor, the DSA."

When Dr. Penning learned of his award, he said, "I am both honored and humbled to be in the same company as past recipients."

He is Professor of Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Biophysics, and OB/GYN and the Director of the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology (CEET) at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) School of Medicine. The CEET is an Environmental Health Sciences Core Center funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). He is internationally recognized for his research on steroid hormone enzymology and mechanisms by which polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons cause cancer.

He oversaw the formation of the postdoctoral office at Penn, one of the first in the country, and served as the Director of the Office of Postdoctoral Programs, and Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Research Training, School of Medicine from 1997‐2001, and as Director of Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs (BPP) from 2001‐2005.

When the National Postdoctoral Association formed in 2001, Dr. Penning served on the first Advisory Board and played an influential role in guiding the nascent organization towards independence and national relevance. He was a driving force behind the collaborative efforts between the NPA and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Group on Graduate Research, Education, and Training (GREAT) Group Postdoctoral Steering Committee, a partnership that continues on today.

He served as chairman of the AAMC/GREAT group in 2005-2006 and was instrumental in developing numerous postdoctoral initiatives. A short list of these accomplishments includes a definition of a postdoc, the Compact Between Postdoctoral Appointees and Their Mentors, and the formation of a permanent Postdoctoral Steering Committee within AAMC/GREAT Group.

The DSA award represents appreciation for an individual or entity that has demonstrated either a profound, sustained, or leadership contribution to improving the postdoctoral experience. The award is presented in alternating years to either an individual or entity.

Members of the Nominating Committee were: Walter Goldschmidts, PhD, Cold Spring Harbor Lab; Laurel Haak, PhD, Discovery Logic; Victoria McGovern, PhD, Burroughs Wellcome Fund; and, Joel Oppenheim, PhD, New York University Medical School.

Members of the Award Selection Committee were: Lisa Kozlowski, Ph.D., Chair, Thomas Jefferson University; Lori Conlan, Ph.D., NIH/OITE/Office of Postdoctoral Services; Joan Lakoski, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh - School of Medicine; Caroline Rotondi,, Brigham and Women's Hospital; and Dave Taylor, Ph.D., The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Past recipients are:
2004, Ruth Kirschstein, M.D., Senior Advisor to the Director, National Institutes of Health
2005, National Academies' Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy
2006, Laurel L. Haak, Ph.D., Science Director, Discovery Logics
2007, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
2008, Shirley Malcom, Ph.D., Director, Education and Human Resources Programs, American Association for the Advancement of Science
2009, The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.



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