New Academic Chair Created Through a Bequest from the
Family of Walter Annenberg
PA) -- Caryn E. Lerman, PhD, Associate Director
Associate Director for Cancer Control and Population
Services at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University
of Pennsylvania, has been appointed to the first
endowed chair created from a $100 million bequest from
the family of the late Ambassador Walter Annenberg to
the University of Pennsylvania School for Communications
and Public Policy Center.
"Dr. Lerman is the lead scholar on much of the
important work done in collaboration with Annenberg
School faculty to prevent teen smoking. She is among
the shining examples of cross-school collaboration at
Penn," said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Dean of the
Annenberg School for Communications.
Lerman, Associate Director for Cancer Control and Population
Services at the Abramson Center, is Professor of Psychiatry
at Penn's School of Medicine with a secondary appointment
as Professor of Communications at the Annenberg School.
As a specialist in tobacco control research, Lerman
studies the genetic influences on tobacco use and their
implications for developing successful smoking prevention
and treatment programs, and on methods to influence
public policy on tobacco issues. Dr. Lerman oversees
a team of scientists involved in basic, clinical and
epidemiological studies. She and her colleagues have
demonstrated a link between smoking and genetic variants
in the brain's dopamine and serotonin pathways.
In keeping with the tradition of the Annenberg School,
Lerman has been afforded the opportunity to name her
academic chair after an individual whose work she wishes
to honor. She selected Mary Whiton Calkins, the first
female president of the American Psychological Association
and the American Philosophical Association.
"Mary Calkins attended Harvard University in
the late 1800s, but was never awarded a college degree
because she was a woman," Lerman said. "One
reason I chose to honor her was to rectify that old
injustice, as well as to call attention to the contributions
she made to the field of psychology."
The Mary W. Calkins Chair is funded by revenue from
a $100 million endowment to the school
and policy center that was announced September 19, 2002,
by the Walter Annenberg Foundation. Last year's bequest
augmented the Annenberg's previous grant of $120 million.
A newspaper and magazine publishing magnate, Annenberg
founded the prestigious communications school at Penn
Lerman came to Penn in 2001 from the Lombardi Cancer
Center at Georgetown University Medical Center, where
she was a Professor of Oncology, Psychiatry and Pharmacology,
and Associate Director for Cancer Control. She was awarded
her undergraduate degree in psychology from Pennsylvania
State University, and she went on to earn a masters
degree in psychology and a doctoral degree in clinical
psychology at the University of Southern California.
Prior to her work at Georgetown, she was Director of
Behavioral Oncology Research at Fox Chase Cancer Center.
Lerman has received numerous awards for her work, including
the Society of Behavioral Medicine's New Investigator
Award; the Preventive Oncology Academic Award from the
National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes
of Health, and the Award for Outstanding Contributions
to Health Psychology from the American Psychological
Association. She has also served on the Board of Scientific
Advisors of the National Cancer Institute and has co-chaired
its Tobacco Research Implementing Group.
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