Historic PNC-Riggs Bank Archives
Move to GW | Vice President’s
$2.7 Million Gift Creates New Cardiovascular Institute
| Pulitzer Prize-Winning Biographer
Martin Sherwin Joins GW as Visiting Scholar | ‘Nanoshuttles’
Might Be Used to Fight Cancer | School
of Business Establishes Center for International Business
Education and Research | Zara
Receives Research Grant to Study Optical Imaging Techniques
| Clark Discovery Yields Evolutionary
Connection | Rolls-Royce Donates Engine
for Jet Engine Failure Prevention Research | Florea
Awarded Sloan Fellowship | Dickson
Will Explore Attitudes Toward Democracy in China with NSF
Historic PNC-Riggs Bank Archives Move to
Gift Includes Records Documenting
Personal Finances of Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key, and
Susan B. Anthony.
President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg joins PNC Bank Regional
President Michael N. Harreld to announce PNC-Riggs Bank’s
donation of historical archives to GW.
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., has selected GW’s
Gelman Library as the recipient of a unique collection of
historical records from the Riggs Bank archives valued at
$5.2 million. The collection, which includes ledgers documenting
the accounts of Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key, and Susan
B. Anthony, traces the development of the nation and its capital
through the lens of Riggs Bank and its predecessors. The records
date from the early 1800s to the 1940s. The donation is the
largest single gift ever received by GW’s Gelman Library
“There are few institutions in this great city that
have influenced the development of the District of Columbia
as much as Riggs Bank,” says GW President Stephen Joel
Trachtenberg. “The George Washington University shares
this long legacy in, and commitment to, Washington, D.C. This
generous gift of the Riggs archives by PNC will ensure that
these significant historical records will be well cared for
and accessible to future generations.”
The PNC-Riggs Bank archives will augment the University’s
existing collections highlighting the history of Washington,
D.C., which are housed in the Special Collections Department
of the Gelman Library. Of particular relevance is the library’s
Washingtonia Collection, which documents the city’s
political, economic, social, and cultural history.
“The research potential provided by these records will
be invaluable to any scholar interested in Washington, D.C.’s
commercial history,” says PNC Bank Regional President
Michael N. Harreld. “We are delighted to complement
the Gelman Library’s rich Washingtonia Collection and
are confident that GW has the expertise to protect and preserve
these extraordinary Washington treasures for generations of
scholars to access.”
The collection—which includes records from Riggs Bank,
National Bank of Washington, Farmers and Mechanics Bank, Lincoln
National Bank, and Washington Loan & Trust—documents
the day-to-day operation of the institutions and their influence
on the economic life of Washington, D.C. Riggs Bank customers
included many members of Congress and 23 presidents of the
United States. The archives include the financial records
of numerous 19th-century presidents. Additionally, they underscore
the large role Riggs Bank played in financing local and federal
construction and development projects, including the construction
of the Capitol dome and the development of Georgetown, as
well as documenting the accounts for each of the District’s
The PNC-Riggs Bank archives collection is scheduled to open
to researchers within approximately 18 months of its arrival
at the Gelman Library at the end of January. In the interim,
GW’s Special Collections Department is working to inventory,
process, and create special storage space for the collection.
The PNC Foundation will provide the Gelman Library with a
$125,000 gift to assist in the transfer, preparation, and
installation of the gift.
“These archives greatly expand upon what is already
a substantial collection of Washington history at Gelman Library,”
says Jack Siggins, GW university librarian. “Many social
and economic historians, genealogists, and countless other
researchers will be enthralled by the remarkable times and
achievements encapsulated in this collection.”—
Vice President’s $2.7 Million Gift
Creates New Cardiovascular Institute
Vice President Dick Cheney and Lynne Cheney have
donated $2.7 million to create the Richard B. and Lynne
V. Cheney Cardiovascular Institute at GW.
David R. Boher
Vice President Dick Cheney and Lynne Cheney have donated
$2.7 million to create the Richard B. and Lynne V. Cheney
Cardiovascular Institute at GW.
“Lynne and I have been grateful for the first-rate
care provided by the doctors at The George Washington University
Medical Faculty Associates, and we are pleased to support
their efforts to advance the treatment of cardiac disease,”
says Vice President Cheney.
The new multidisciplinary institute will advance research,
education, and the clinical care of patients at GW with cardiovascular
diseases. It will comprise clinicians and scientists in the
departments of cardiology, radiology, cardiovascular surgery,
biochemistry, molecular biology, and pharmacology, among others.
“We are deeply appreciative of this generous gift from
the vice president and Mrs. Cheney, as their charitable contribution
will enable us to do advanced research in cardiovascular disease,”
says Alan G. Wasserman, chair, Department of Medicine, and
president of the Medical Faculty Associates.
The institute is developing two featured programs. The first
involves a partnership with GW’s Institute for Genomic
Research and seeks to identify the genetic markers for heart
disease. The second featured program involves creating a home
blood pressure monitoring pilot program to be conducted in
the District of Columbia, focused on underserved urban patients.
Additionally, the institute is accepting applications for
faculty and fellow cardiovascular research grants, which will
afford opportunities for interdisciplinary research throughout
“It is rewarding to see the institute move forward
with significant research initiatives. Our goal is to
accelerate the pace of scientific discovery, reduce mortality,
and improve the quality of life of people with cardiovascular
disease,” says Richard Katz, director of the institute
and the division of cardiology at GW’s Medical Center.
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Biographer Martin
Sherwin Joins GW as Visiting Scholar
In January 2007, Martin J. Sherwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning
biographer and Walter S. Dickson Professor of English and
American History at Tufts University, joined GW as a visiting
scholar of history and international affairs in GW’s
Elliott School of International Affairs and Columbian College
of Arts and Sciences. Sherwin, an expert on the nuclear age,
is conducting research and teaching a graduate course on the
origins and consequences of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
“The Cold War has shaped American culture and foreign
policy, and a proper understanding of the seminal events and
consequences of this period is crucial as our nation moves
forward,” says GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg.
“The GW community is honored to have such an esteemed
scholar teaching our future policy-makers and global citizens.”
A highly regarded biographer and historian, Sherwin is an
expert in Cold War history. He and co-author Kai Bird won
the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for their biography American Prometheus:
The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer. The
biography about the man known as the father of the atomic
bomb has been lauded for its vast contributions to the study
of the nuclear age. The biography also was awarded the prestigious
National Book Critics Circle Award. Sherwin has written extensively
on the nuclear age and has been an adviser for several films
on the topic, including A History of Nuclear Strategy,
The Day After Trinity: J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Atomic
Bomb, and the 13-part series War and Peace in the Nuclear
Age. He was the National Endowment for the Humanities
project director and co-executive producer of Stalin’s
Bomb Maker: Citizen Kurchatov. At Tufts University, Sherwin
teaches courses on 20th-century history.
‘Nanoshuttles’ Might Be Used
to Fight Cancer
This graphic despicts a section of a virus to scale
next to a gold nanoparticle.
J. Houston Miller
Using cutting-edge nanotechnology, GW Professor of Chemistry
J. Houston Miller and researchers at the University of Texas
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center are exploring how submicroscopic
gold particles can help fight cancer. The team has announced
the invention of a “nanoshuttle,” which has the
ability to locate and possibly kill cancer cells.
A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter; in the “nano”
world, particles are typically bigger than a single molecule
but too small to be viewed with optical microscopes. These
nanoparticles also exhibit unique properties that occur only
at that size—gold nanoparticles, for example, are red.
These properties have applications in an assortment of fields;
in the medical world, researchers are exploring ways to use
nanoparticles to treat diseases. The self-assembling and self-piloting
nanoshuttles are a promising innovation on this front. They’re
made of biologically compatible materials—viruses and
gold nanoparticles—that assemble into a device 1,000
times smaller than a human hair. In nature, the viral particles,
called bacteriophages, infect a specific bacteria. The team
at M.D. Anderson changes their genetic code so that they will
target a specific organ and detect the presence of the disease.
The gold particles emit signals that relay the information.
An important characteristic of gold is that the human body
does not reject it.
Gold nanoparticles also might potentially be used to kill
cancer cells. At the nanoparticle size, some metals, like
gold, exhibit a “surface plasmon,” the ability
to absorb the loose electrons on the surface of the particle.
This phenomenon gives the gold particles a red color, and
it also gives them the potential to heat up and destroy cancer
cells when exposed to infrared light.
“There are some really unique things that happen to
small particles, and they only happen at the nano level,”
says Miller, who joined GW in 1982. “There’s some
hope that this might be a therapy that can be taken right
to the cancerous cells.”
The M.D. Anderson team published its findings in the online
edition of The Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences in January 2006. Based in Houston, the team
is made up of a number of researchers, including Glauco Souza,
MS ’97, PhD ’04, now a postdoctoral fellow at
the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. During his time at GW, Souza
studied under Miller.
If the nanoshuttle becomes a practical apparatus to treat
malignancy, it could be preferred over existing cancer treatments
since it might avoid some of the painful side effects. The
applications of this treatment also could extend to other
ailments, such as heart disease.
Miller says there is a significant amount of research to
be done before the nanoshuttle is ready for widespread use.
It has to be tested, and it also has to become accepted by
the medical community. “This isn’t just around
the corner,” Miller says.
The results of the team’s work offer exciting possibilities.
The ultra-small nanoshuttle could end up being a giant breakthrough
for the medical community.
School of Business Establishes
Center for International Business Education and Research
Thanks to a $1.37 million grant from the U.S. Department
of Education, GW has established a Center for International
Business Education and Research (CIBER) in the University’s
School of Business.
GW was one of 31 universities to receive the prestigious
CIBER grant, which provides funding for curriculum development,
research, and training on issues of importance to United States
trade and competitiveness.
“Our academic mission is to deliver an outstanding
education, advance knowledge, and provide practical experience
in diverse organizational settings, while leveraging the unique
advantages of our Washington, D.C., location in order to enhance
the capacities of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the
business community to be productive and principled members
of society,” says Susan M. Phillips, dean of GW’s
School of Business. “The CIBER grant proposal, and the
work that will follow, is the school’s mission in action.”
Under the unified theme “Institutions and Development,”
the GW-CIBER is focusing its work in six substantive areas:
global governance; diasporas in development; international
security and crisis management; trade, investment, and labor
issues; business and society in critical countries; and business
The GW-CIBER will include an interdisciplinary summer doctoral
program, initiatives to promote international careers, and
faculty development programs for teaching international business
negotiation and for research and teaching related to the theme
of institutions and development.
“The CIBER grant is a great testament to the strength
of not only GW’s international business and international
affairs programs but also of the outstanding teaching, research,
and community activities of the entire University,”
says Hildy Teegen, professor of international business and
director of GW-CIBER. “The CIBER grant is a truly pan-University
initiative with faculty from every school at GW.”
The GW-CIBER is led by the following faculty members:
GW-CIBER Director: Professor of International
Business Hildy Teegen, School of Business
Diasporas in Development: Associate
Professor Jennifer Brinkerhoff, School of Public Policy and
Global Governance: Professor Stephen
Smith, Columbian College of Arts and SciencesTrade, Investment,
and Labor in Developing Countries: Professor Michael Moore,
Elliott School of International Affairs
Business and Society in Critical Countries:
Assistant Professor Liesl Riddle, School of Business
International Security and Crisis Management:
Professor Robert Weiner, School of Business
Summer Doctoral Program: Associate Professor
Jennifer Spencer, School of Business
Business Languages: Associate Professor
Margaret Gonglewski, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences
Zara Receives Research Grant to Study Optical
Jason Zara, assistant professor of engineering and applied
science in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
has been selected to receive the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation’s
Early Career Translational Research Award in Biomedical Engineering.
He is one of this year’s 23 researchers chosen from
a nationwide pool of applicants.
“We are honored to have Professor Zara’s cutting-edge
research housed here at GW’s School of Engineering and
Applied Science,” says Timothy W. Tong, dean of the
school. “Professor Zara is one of our many talented
faculty, and we are proud to have his work recognized by the
Wallace H. Coulter Foundation.”
The thrust of Zara’s project is to design, fabricate,
and test microfabricated imaging probes for endoscopic optical
coherence tomography, an optical imaging technique similar
to an ultrasound. Zara is using microelectrical-mechanical
systems (MEMS) and microfabrication techniques to develop
new imaging probes that can be produced inexpensively and
with dimensions small enough for endoscopic imaging applications.
“I am pleased to be a recipient of this prestigious
award,” Zara says. “This important funding will
assist my efforts to develop new technologies for optical
imaging that can be used in the clinic to improve the diagnosis
of life-threatening diseases and ensure timely treatment.”
The Wallace H. Coulter Foundation is a private, nonprofit
foundation dedicated to improving human health care by supporting
translational research in biomedical engineering. It funds
research directed at the transfer of promising technologies
within the university research laboratory to commercial development
and clinical practice.
Clark Discovery Yields Evolutionary Connection
Professor James Clark led a research team in China
that unearthed Yinlong downsi, the oldest known remains
of ceratopsian dinosaurs.
In the Xinjiang province in northwestern China, Professor
James Clark, Ronald B. Weintraub Associate Professor of Biology,
led an excavation team that unearthed a unique and revealing
fossil, the oldest known remains of a ceratopsian dinosaur.
The remains of this creature—Yinlong downsi—share
features with a different type of dinosaur, pachycephalosaur,
confirming an evolutionary connection previously theorized.
Yinlong lived during the Late Jurassic period, about
160 million years ago, making it 20 million years older than
any other known ceratopsian. Of the later ceratopsians, one
of the most recognized is Triceratops, which was
about the size of a car and had three horns on its face and
a large bony frill. Yinlong is much smaller than
later ceratopsians—just over four feet fully grown—and
doesn’t have all of the same pronounced characteristics.
But it does have a triangular-shaped skull and rostral bone,
a distinct beak-like bone at the end of its snout, common
to all ceratopsians.
Clark’s discovery also shares traits with pachycephalosaurs,
such as the placement of low knobs on the back of the skull.
Dinosaurs of this classification, such as Stygimoloch,
had dome-shaped skulls with thickened bones and high foreheads.
Pachycephalosaurs and ceratopsians are two of the most specialized
groups of dinosaurs, and Yinlong is a primitive transitional
form with features that span the two groups.
“Yinlong provides concrete evidence that the
evolutionary relationship is indeed real,” Clark says.
“It shows that the common ancestor of the two groups
had pachycephalosaur features that were then lost with ceratopsians.”
The actual excavation took place in 2004. Clark worked alongside
Xu Xing of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology
in Beijing. This year, Clark and Xing, along with two other
colleagues, published the discovery in the May 17 online edition
of the British science journal Proceedings of the Royal
Society B: Biological Sciences.
Yinlong’s name comes from two unrelated sources.
The first half is rooted in popular film. In Chinese, “yin”
and “long” mean “hiding” and “dragon,”
respectively. The 2000 Taiwanese martial arts movie Crouching
Tiger, Hidden Dragon was filmed in the same area where
the fossil discovery was made. The second part of the name
is a tribute to a deceased colleague, Will Downs, who worked
with Clark and Xing on a number of expeditions.
This is not the first breakthrough for Clark and company
during their efforts in China. In earlier work, they unearthed
the most complete skeleton of a land-based crocodilian from
the Middle Jurassic period, and they also discovered the oldest
tyrannosaur, a distant ancestor of Tyrannosaurus rex.
Clark has conducted digs in Xinjiang since 2001.
Rolls-Royce Donates Engine
for Jet Engine Failure Prevention Research
Rolls-Royce has donated a 501-K5A industrial turbine
to GW’s School of Engineering and Applied Science
for jet engine failure prevention research.
Rolls-Royce, world-leading provider of power systems and
services for use on land, at sea, and in the air, has donated
a 501-K5A industrial turbine to GW’s School of Engineering
and Applied Science. GW engineering students will use the
gas turbine to develop a finite element computer model and
conduct analysis in jet engine failure prevention, as well
as a range of other topics. They also will use digitized data
from the 501-K5A to help create a generic engine model. The
engine will be housed on GW’s Virginia Campus in Ashburn,
Va., at the National Crash Analysis Center (NCAC), a collaborative
effort among the Federal Highway Administration, the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and GW.
“We view this donation as an investment in future engineers
and in the future of engineering,” says Pat Marolda,
MEA ’86, president, Rolls-Royce Naval Marine. “The
501-K5A is a great engine with a wonderful history, and the
School of Engineering and Applied Science has an outstanding
program with a bright future. Together, they’re a perfect
The process began nearly two years ago when Rolls-Royce learned
the school was looking for a gas turbine engine to enhance
the learning experience for its students. Marolda worked with
the Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust in Indianapolis to identify
and refurbish the 501-K5A. Earlier this year, the engine was
shipped to the NCAC and formally unveiled during a dedication
ceremony on June 28 at GW’s Virginia Campus.
Marolda currently is a member of the School of Engineering
and Applied Science National Advisory Council and recently
participated in a panel discussion at the school titled “A
Day in the Life of an Engineer.” He has arranged several
internships for GW students at Rolls-Royce Naval Marine and
has hired a number of graduates to work at the company’s
locations around the world.
“We thank Rolls-Royce and GW alumnus Pat Marolda for
their generous gift to GW,” says Timothy Tong, dean
of GW’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. “This
donation will provide the opportunity for our students to
engage in hands-on research with a gas turbine engine produced
by an industry leader and to conduct research to improve engine
safety for future generations.”
James M. Guyette, president and CEO, Rolls-Royce North America,
says, “This donation to GW is one more way we’re
working to improve education—particularly science education—here
in the U.S.”
Rolls-Royce is an active supporter of education around the
world, especially in those communities where it has facilities.
The company’s regional corporate headquarters is located
in Chantilly, Va., near GW’s Virginia Campus and the
Florea Awarded Sloan Fellowship
Liliana Florea, assistant professor of computer science in
GW’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, has
been awarded the 2006 Sloan Research Fellowship. She is one
of 12 researchers selected from a nationwide pool of applicants
to receive a fellowship in computational and evolutionary
“The School of Engineering and Applied Science is very
proud of Professor Florea,” says Timothy W. Tong, dean
of the school. “She is a talented young researcher,
and we are thrilled that her accomplishments are being recognized
with a Sloan Research Fellowship. GW’s School of Engineering
and Applied Science is home to a significant number of female
faculty members and students, and Professor Florea’s
accomplishment serves as an inspiration to them and to other
female engineers and computer scientists throughout the country.”
The Sloan Research Fellowships were established in 1955 by
the Sloan Foundation to provide support and recognition to
early-career scientists and scholars, often in their first
appointments to university faculties. The fellowships are
awarded in seven fields: chemistry, computational and evolutionary
molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics,
neuroscience, and physics. The Sloan Research Fellowship Program
Committee reviews more than 500 nominations each year to arrive
at a final selection of 116 fellows.
“It is quite an honor to be selected for the Sloan
fellowship,” Florea says. “This grant will help
me greatly in putting some key pieces into place in my computational
biology research efforts.”
Florea, who came to GW in January 2005, applies computational
techniques to solve problems related to biology and medicine.
Her Sloan fellowship will allow her to stay on GW’s
campus and support several activities related to this research,
including the development of tools and methods to analyze
the human hepatitis C virus and bacterial genomes such as
E. coli; efforts to design new, large-scale computational
tools to compare genomes and genes across species; and studies
of gene variations in different tissues or at different stages
of development or disease.
Dickson Will Explore Attitudes
Toward Democracy in China with NSF Grant
Bruce J. Dickson, GW professor of political science and international
affairs, received a grant of approximately $200,000 from the
National Science Foundation to evaluate Chinese entrepreneurs
as potential agents of political change. The project, “Turning
Wealth into Power: The Evolving Political Influence of China’s
‘Red Capitalists,’” will gauge the attitudinal
and behavioral support of Chinese entrepreneurs for democracy
“By examining the socioeconomic and contextual determinants
of support for democratization by Chinese entrepreneurs, policymakers
will have a better understanding of the goals and preferences
of these economic drivers, be able to evaluate the prospects
for political change, and devise proper policies to promote
it,” Dickson says. The study will run through Jan. 2008.
Dickson joined GW in 1993. He teaches courses on China, comparative
politics, and democratization, and currently is examining
the political consequences of economic reform in China. A
frequent commentator for CNN, NPR, BBC, and Voice of America,
Dickson is the author of numerous books including Red
Capitalists in China: The Party, Private Entrepreneurs and
Prospects for Political Change and Democratization in China
and Taiwan: The Adaptability of Leninist Parties.
“The prospects for democracy in China will be one
of the most important issues in the international arena over
the next decade,” said Elliott School of International
Affairs Dean Michael E. Brown. “Bruce Dickson is one
of the leading scholars in the world on the driving forces
behind democratization in China, and his new project will
help us understand this critical issue.”