University of Pittsburgh
January 10, 2013

News of Note from Pitt

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  • Education Professor Receives National Award for Obesity Research
  • International Corporate Responsibility: A Legal Perspective
  • Professor Named Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers

PITTSBURGH—Behind the larger stories about the University of Pittsburgh are other stories of faculty, staff, and student achievement as well as information on Pitt programs reaching new levels of success. The following is a compilation of some of those stories.

Education Professor Receives National Award for Obesity Research

Professor John Jakicic, chair of the Department of Health and Physical Activity in Pitt’s School of Education, has been honored with a national award for his research in the field of obesity. He received the Albert J. Stunkard Founders Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement in Obesity Research from the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania last month. Jakicic has published three first-authored papers in Journal of the American Medical Association, including a recent paper concerning the intensity of lifestyle modification needed to achieve clinically significant weight loss. Jakicic’s previous work has focused on the use of technology, such as text messaging, to support weight loss efforts. 

International Corporate Responsibility: A Legal Perspective

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., a case that involves a challenge to the Alien Tort Statute. That law has been understood to allow foreigners to sue foreigners, including corporations, for international law violations of the gravest sort—such as crimes against humanity—even if the acts occurred abroad. 

Pitt Professor of Law Vivian Grosswald Curran has written an essay explaining how the understanding of international law, which is vital for resolving the issues in Kiobel, depends in part on understanding foreign national law. She analyzes foreign domestic legal practices and traditions to shed light on how to resolve the issues the Supreme Court is deciding. Curran's essay, “Remarks on the GJIL Symposium on Corporate Responsibility and the Alien Tort Statute,” has been published in the most recent issue of Georgetown Journal of International Law

Engineering Professor Elected Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers

Richard E. Debski, associate professor of bioengineering in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering with a secondary appointment in the School of Medicine’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, has been elected a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He researches the biomechanics of shoulders and knees as director of the Robotics Group in Pitt’s Musculoskeletal Research Center.  

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John Jakicic

Vivian Curran

Rich Debski