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Goldberger Boyne Levine Award

Dr. Michael Goldberger, Dr. Lesley Boyne and Dr. Rhea Levine were members of the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy when they tragically died. Dr. Goldberger was a senior faculty, recognized as one of the leaders in spinal cord injury research. Dr. Boyne was a dedicated postdoctoral fellow with a promising career in neuroscience research and teaching. Dr. Rhea Levine was a senior faculty and a leader in the field of muscle structure.

Dr. Michael E. Goldberger joined the faculty of the Department of Anatomy at the Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1973 and was promoted to the rank of full Professor in 1978. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1965, continued his postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania and served on the faculty of the University of Chicago from 1967 to 1973.
At The Medical College of Pennsylvania Dr. Goldberger devoted his main effort to setting up a research group focused on the development of the nervous system and transplantation-related strategies to promote recovery from injury. Dr. Goldberger’s unique contribution lay in his ability to devise sensitive techniques to assess behavioral recovery, which could then be correlated with anatomical evidence for nerve regeneration. His seminal research papers revealed for the first time the capacity of central nervous system axons to sprout or grow into an adjacent denervated area. This classic finding resulted in a series of breakthrough studies leading to promising research on the use of growth factors and fetal transplants to restore function. This research, which he applied to studies of recovery from spinal cord injury, also has important application in brain trauma and neurodegenerative diseases.
Dr. Goldberger has published over 6 scientific papers and presented his research in numerous national and international conferences. He was recognized as one of the leading authorities on spinal cord injury research and served an important advisory committees, grant review study sections and NIH task forces. In 1984 he was awarded the prestigious Javits Neuroscience Investigator Grant Award, given by the NIH to outstanding neuroscientists to support long term funding. Dr. Goldberger was not only a pioneer in his research, he was a unique person whose devotion to equality and justice inspired everyone who knew him. He died in 1992, but his research work on spinal cord injury has endured and continues to evolve in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy.

Dr. Lesley Boyne had been a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at MCP from 1992 to 1996. She started her professional career as a physical therapist with a M.S. degree from the University of Southern California. She continued her studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor where she received her Ph.D. in 1992 studying the effects of extracellular matrix proteins on the development of the nervous system. At MCP she worked under the direction of Dr. Itzhak Fischer studying the role of cytoskeletal proteins in neuronal growth and regeneration. Her research was focused on the mechanisms associated with the ability of peripheral neurons to regenerate and the differences between axon growth during development and in response to injury. In 1993 she was honored by receiving the National Research Service Award from the NIH. Her work was presented at national and international meetings and published in first rate scientific journals. Lesley was not only a dedicated and promising neuroscientist, but also a superb teacher with a keen talent for engaging presentations. She taught Gross Anatomy and Medical Neuroscience in several local colleges to physical therapy students and was a lab instructor and special tutor at MCP to medical students. She was regularly recognized as an outstanding teacher by students and faculty. Lesley died February 7, 1996 at The Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital of complications from ovarian cancer. She is survived by her husband and daughter.

Dr. Rhea Levine, a member of the faculty since 1969, died January 19th, 2002 after fighting cancer for 4 years. Dr. Levine was a graduate of Smith College, obtained her Ph.D. from NYU and did her postdoctoral training at Yale. Her research interest was the structure and function of invertebrate muscle. She served on many of the major committees at the University, including the Faculty Promotion and Tenure committees and the Executive Faculty committee. As a teacher, she was enthusiastic, scholarly and thorough, and always demanded the highest standards from her students. She served as a mentor and role model for many students and junior faculty. Besides her outstanding contributions as a teacher and researcher, she found time to pursue many other interests; she was a gourmet cook, and excellent musician, and still found time to be a devoted mother, wife and grandmother. She also served on the Board of Trustees of the Richard Stockton College and Smith College. Rhea will be greatly missed. Her courage in continuing to teach, research and fulfill all her commitments throughout her illness was an inspiration to all who knew her.


Endowment Awardees:

Goldberger Awardees

1996 – Vijayalakshmi Adipudi
1996 – Huang Lijun
1996 – B. Timothy Himes
1996 – Dongling Ma
1996 – Jon Moul
1996 – Motohide Shibayama
1996 – Jun Xia
1997 – William Kargo
1998 – Duckhyun Kim Yi

Lesley Boyne Travel Awardees

1996 – William Kargo
1997 – Stella W. Chow and Duckhyun Kim Yi
1998 – Yi Liu
1999 – Chris Tobias
2001 – David Devilbiss, Steven Han

Goldberger/Boyne/Levine Award

2004 – Doug Baird – Teaching Award
2004 – Ajay Bakshi – Outstanding contribution to the SC Group
2004 – Louise Bertrand – Outstanding Achievement in Teaching & Res Management
2004 – Vanessa Boyce – Student Award
2004 – Theresa Connors – Outstanding Achievement in Teaching & Res Management
2004 – Candice Drouin – Postdoctoral Fellow Award
2004 – Simon Giszter – Teaching Award
2004 -  Haviva Goldman – Research Award
2004 – Michel Lemay – Teaching Award
2004 – Angelo Lepore – Student Award
2004 – Takahiko Mitsui – Postdoctoral Fellow Award
2004 – Francis Sessler – Outstanding Computer Application and Management Resource
2004 – Jed Shumsky – Outstanding contribution to the Spinal Cord Group
2005 – Melanie Alexander – Student Award
2005 – Roubert Loudon – Postdoctoral Fellow Award
2006 – Lise Rioux (Faculty Award)
2006 – Jeremy Cohen (Student Award)
2008 – Vida Nadar – Student Award
2008 – Birgit Neuhuber – Excellence Award
2008 – Harra Sandrow – Postdoctoral Fellow Award
2008 – Veronica Tom – Postdoctoral Fellow Award