Sept. 27-Oct. 10, 2002
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NEWS COLUMN
Janine Jagger wins “genius” award

$6 million fund to bridge gaps
U.Va. attacking water crisis
Board approves preliminary plans for arena
Med Center board gets construction report

Bonds will help build on aspirations

Presidential Accolades
Africa Consortium to broaden health, humanities projects
Time form, earnings statement show off new look
To the point with Ann Hamrick
Off the Shelf -- recently published books by U.Va. faculty and staff
Blackford planning graceful exit as Quarterly editor
U.S. News ranks U.Va. No. 1 in “Best Values”
Women’s Center is recipient of the PIE award
Academic integrity topic of conference
Indigenous in black-and-white
Library offers rare glimpse into American history
Janine Jagger
Photo by Stephanie Gross
Janine Jagger

Janine Jagger wins “genius” award

Janine Jagger, a U.Va. epidemiologist, had known for almost a week that she was to be the recipient of one of the nation’s most prestigious awards – the MacArthur Fellowship.

When she answered the phone in her office at 6 p.m. last Wednesday she was expecting to hear, “You’re late. What’s 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 was one.

“I 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.

Harder still was keeping the news from her colleagues. “It’s been quite a week.”
Jagger joins an elite group of American creative thinkers as one of this year’s 24 winners.

Known 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 she’s 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.”

Jagger, 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.  

Jagger, one of a half-dozen medical researchers among the recipients, is in good company. Socolow calls the winners “extraordinary people doing extraordinary things.” 

Jagger, 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 in 2001.


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