by Stephanie Gross
Janine Jagger wins genius
Janine Jagger, a U.Va. epidemiologist, had known for almost
a week that she was to be the recipient of one of the nations
most prestigious awards the MacArthur Fellowship.
she answered the phone in her office at 6 p.m. last Wednesday
she was expecting to hear, Youre late. Whats
for dinner? Instead, Jagger was asked if she knew what a
MacArthur Fellow was. When she answered yes, Daniel J. Socolow,
director of the MacArthur Fellows Program, announced that she
really had a difficult time finding something gracious and smooth
to say, Jagger said Tuesday, adding that she was so flustered
she forgot to say thank you and had to call Socolow back.
still was keeping the news from her colleagues. Its
been quite a week.
Jagger joins an elite group of American creative thinkers as one
of this years 24 winners.
as genius awards, the fellowships carry a $500,000
no-strings-attached prize. Jagger says she will have no problem
identifying any number of projects that shes wanted to begin.
The difficulty will not be in spending the money,
she said, it will being in living up to the incredible standards
of this award.
director of the International
Health Care Worker Safety Center at the School
of Medicine, has spent much of her career focusing on how
to protect health care workers from the transmission of blood-borne
diseases. Each year in the United States, she said, more than
half a million workers are stuck by contaminated needles and other
sharp medical devices. She and her colleagues proved that injury
risk was related to device design features, not how workers used
them. Her research continues to guide design engineers in their
efforts to improve the safety of medical devices.
one of a half-dozen medical researchers among the recipients,
is in good company. Socolow calls the winners extraordinary
people doing extraordinary things.
who came here in 1978, is the second U.Va. faculty member to win
the award in a year. Chemistry professor Brooks Pate won the award