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Four Alumni Honored with Penn State's Outstanding Science Alumni Award

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03 December 2014

The Alumni with Dean Dan LarsonThe Penn State University Eberly College of Science has selected four alumni to be honored with the Outstanding Science Alumni Award for the year 2014. The Board of Directors of the Eberly College of Science Alumni Society established this award to recognize alumni who have a record of significant professional achievements in their field and who are outstanding role models for students in the college. Receiving this award are:

Eric Freed, '85 B.S. Molecular and Cell Biology
Ann Hornschemeier, '99 M.S. Astronomy and Astrophysics; '02 Ph.D. Astronomy and Astrophysics
John W. Pierce, Jr., '76 B.S. Biochemistry
Kathryn Roeder, '88 Ph.D. Statistics

Eric Freed
Eric Freed
Eric Freed is the deputy director of the HIV Drug Resistance Program (HIV DRP) in the National Cancer Institute's Center for Cancer Research. At the HIV DRP, Freed's research program focuses on understanding how HIV replicates and causes disease, with the goal of developing more effective strategies for treating HIV infections.

Freed joined the HIV DRP as senior investigator and head in 2003. His research there focuses on the molecular aspects of retroviral replication. He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics and a member of the Virology Program at the University of Maryland. Prior to joining the HIV DRP, Freed began his career at the National Institutes of Health as a staff fellow in the Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease in 1992, where he became Senior Investigator in 2002.

Freed was selected as a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Mentor of Merit for his excellence in mentoring and guiding the careers of trainees in cancer research in 2010 and was appointed to the NCI Senior Biomedical Council in 2011. He serves on the editorial boards of numerous journals and is editor-in-chief of the open-access journal Viruses.

After graduating with a bachelor's degree in molecular and cell biology from Penn State in 1985, Freed earned a doctoral degree at the University of Wisconsin in 1990. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at the University of Wisconsin.


Ann Hornschemeier
Ann Hornschemeier
Ann Hornschemeier is the chief scientist for the Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS) program at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). She is also an adjunct faculty member in the Henry Rowland Physics and Astronomy Department at Johns Hopkins University.

As chief scientist, Hornschemeier monitors progress in scientific research and technological development toward achieving the PCOS science objectives, which cover high-energy astrophysics and cosmology. She is responsible for interfacing with the astrophysics community and with NASA headquarters. She also works on future missions as a research scientist at NASA. She serves on the science working group for Astro-H, an X-ray astronomy satellite launching in 2015, and the NuSTAR mission, another space-based X-ray telescope launched in 2012.

Hornschemeier's research focuses on studies of X-ray emission resulting from star formation. This work is carried out using surveys by space-based X-ray, ultra-violet, and infrared observatories as well as ground-based telescopes. She has authored more than ninety publications in refereed journals and has mentored many students and postdoctoral researchers at NASA.

Hornschemeier has been honored with the Annie Jump Cannon Prize from the American Astronomical Society in 2007, a NASA Science Exploration Directorate Fellowship in 2010, and the NASA Early Career Achievement Medal in 2012.

After earning a bachelor's degree in physics and mathematics at Drake University in 1997, Hornschemeier earned master's and doctoral degrees in astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State in 1999 and 2002, respectively.

John W. Pierce, Jr.
John W. Pierce, Jr.
John W. Pierce, Jr. is chief bioscientist at BP. He is responsible for developing strategies to help BP's worldwide businesses gain maximum benefits from the application of biosciences.

Prior to joining BP in 2010, Pierce worked at DuPont from 1982 to 2010. He began as a research scientist in Central Research and Development and culminated his career at DuPont as vice president for DuPont Applied BioSciences and director of Biochemical Sciences

& Engineering, where he had responsibility for DuPont's biotechnology research and development for the production of fuels, chemicals, and materials.

Throughout his career, Pierce has focused on the integration of biology with chemistry, engineering, and materials science to create biotechnological applications in agricultural chemistry, plant genetics, and industrial chemistry. He also works in public policy to increase public acceptance and governmental support of biotechnology.

After graduating with a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Penn State in 1976, Pierce earned a doctoral degree at Michigan State University in 1980 and did postdoctoral research at Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin.

Kathryn Roeder
Kathryn Roeder
Kathryn Roeder is a professor of statistics and computational biology at Carnegie Mellon University. Her work focuses on statistical genetics and the genetic basis of complex disease. Her group has published extensively on methods for gene mapping and the genetics of autism.

Before joining the Department of Statistics at Carnegie Mellon, Roeder spent 6 years on the statistics faculty at Yale University, where she played a pivotal role in developing the foundations of DNA forensic inference. Prior to that, she was a research assistant for the Department of Wildlife Resources, living for a year in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest.

Roeder has been honored with the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award in 1992, the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS) Snedecor Award in 1995, the COPSS President's Award in 1997, the Andrew Carnegie Society Remember Your Professor Award in 2006, and the Janet L. Norwood Award in 2013. She also was named Pittsburgh Statistician of the Year by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Statistical Association in 1999.

Roeder has served as an associate editor of the Journal of the American Statistical Association, Biometrics, and the American Journal of Human Genetics. She is an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.

After earning a bachelor's degree in wildlife resources at the University of Idaho in 1982, Roeder earned a doctoral degree in statistics at Penn State in 1988.


Alum at the lion shrine


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