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June 2008 Issue

Drake Medal
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College of Medicine Selects Three for Highest Honors

Published June 2008

A physician, a researcher and a local businessman were recently awarded the College of Medicine’s top honors.

Jack Gluckman, MD, of otolaryngology, and Litsa Kranias, PhD, of pharmacology and cell biophysics, received Daniel Drake Medals—the college’s highest honor awarded to distinguished living faculty and alumni.

Joseph Pichler, former CEO of Kroger Co., was presented with the Dean’s Community Service Award, an honor created in 2007 to recognize those who have demonstrated remarkable service to the college through committee service, motivating others to serve the institution or continued involvement in and support of university activities.


Daniel Drake Medals

Jack Gluckman, MD

Jack Gluckman, MD, professor and chair emeritus of otolaryngology, was born and raised in South Africa and attended medical school at the University of Cape Town. After completing his otolaryngology residency in Johannesburg and Cape Town in 1973, he joined the full-time faculty at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town and subsequently entered private practice for a number of years in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

In 1977, Gluckman moved to Cincinnati for a fellowship in head and neck oncologic surgery and remained on the faculty at UC. He became a tenured professor in 1985 and was named chair of the otolaryngology department in 1991—a post he held through 2004.

Gluckman has served in many leadership roles in the College of Medicine and at University Hospital, including associate dean for clinical affairs and chief of the medical staff.

Gluckman has served as president of the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery and vice president of the Triologic Society. He is a director of the American Board of Otolaryngology. In 1993, the American Cancer Society awarded him a professorship of clinical oncology. He has published 10 textbooks and more than 290 scientific papers.


Litsa Kranias, PhD

Litsa Kranias, PhD, Hanna Professor of Cardiology and chair of pharmacology and cell biophysics, is the leader of an internationally recognized program in molecular cardiology.

A 1966 Fulbright Scholar, Kranias received her doctorate in molecular biology and biochemistry from Northwestern University. She joined the UC College of Medicine in 1978 as assistant professor of pharmacology and cell biophysics.

Kranias has distinguished herself with many notable research discoveries and contributions in molecular cardiology, with special emphasis in heart failure.

Her pioneering research defined the role of calcium cycling genes in the control of heart function and identified novel targets for heart failure treatment. Kranias was also the first to identify human mutations in calcium cycling genes and to show that these may predispose to arrhythmias and heart failure.

Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health for the past 28 years, often with multiple awards.

Kranias has published more than 250 scientific articles and has been invited to organize, chair and speak at numerous scientific meetings. She has also received many national and international awards and honors, and was named one of Cincinnati’s “2007 Leading Women” for women’s advocacy.


Dean’s Community Service Awards

Joseph Pichler, PhD

Joseph Pichler, PhD, is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Notre Dame and has an MBA and a PhD from the University of Chicago. He retired as chairman of the board of the Kroger Co. in June 2004.

He served as chief executive officer of Kroger from 1990 to 2003, chief operating officer from 1986 to 1990 and executive vice president from 1985 to 1986. 

Pichler taught at the University of Kansas School of Business from 1965 to 1980 and served as dean from 1974 to 1980. From 1968 to 1970, he served as special assistant to the assistant secretary for manpower, U.S. Department of Labor.

The businessman is a member of the board of directors of Macy’s Inc., and is a member of the Business Council.
He is chair of the UC College of Medicine Community Advisory Board, cofounder of the Greater Cincinnati Scholar-ship Association, chair of the Xavier University Board of Trustees, an advisory member of the Cincinnati Opera, a member of the advisory board of the Cincinnati Chapter of the Salvation Army, a former chair of the Cincinnati Business Committee and vice chair of the Cincinnati City Center Development Corporation.

Pichler was named a Great Living Cincinnatian for community leadership by the Cincinnati Regional Chamber for 2008. 

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