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USC will host a memorial celebration to honor Robert P. Biller on Nov. 30 from 3 to 5 p.m. at Town & Gown.

Biller, professor emeritus of public administration and a longtime USC administrator, died Aug. 29.

In Memoriam: Roger Lyon

Former USC All-American swimmer Roger Lyon ’71, a member of three NCAA national champion runner-up Trojan teams between 1969-71, died in a small plane crash in mid-October during a humanitarian mission in Mexico.

Lyon, an attorney and a conservationist who lived in San Luis Obispo, was piloting the plane with three passengers en route to San Quintin, Mexico, where they were to join others in a volunteer organization called the Flying Samaritans.

He had volunteered with the organization since 1982, providing free medical care to residents in Baja, Calif.

Lyon also was the lead attorney who brokered the deal to preserve 82,000 acres of the central coast at Hearst Ranch from development.

Nurse Practitioner Specialist Honored

Pamela Merriam, a nurse practitioner who runs USC Norris Cancer Hospital’s CARE Team/Pain Medicine program, won the Robert Angarola Excellence in Pain Management Award.

The biannual accolade is given by the Southern California Cancer Pain Initiative, an organization whose mission is to promote pain relief for those with cancer.

Merriam, a current board member, has been involved with the organization for many years. She accepted the award at the organization’s gala on Oct. 9.

USC Researchers Study Rare Skin Disease

David Woodley, professor and chair, and Mei Chen, professor and director of research for the Department of Dermatology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, have been awarded more than $3 million in National Institutes of Health funding to conduct a Phase I/II protein therapy clinical trial for patients with recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa.

The incurable skin disease, which affects an estimated three people in 1 million (there are 700 cases in the United States) is rare but devastating to the lives of those who have the affliction.

Environmental Health Studies Grants Available

The Southern California Environmental Health Sciences Center is seeking applications for 2011 Environmental Health Research Pilot Project grants.

The center awards one-year pilot projects up to $35,000 to support investigators in collecting preliminary data to establish the feasibility of a research project and/or to validate the utility of specific procedures or techniques.

The program aims to advance environmental health research and to enable investigators to seek external funding for larger projects.

Faculty members or graduate students/postdoctoral researchers with a faculty sponsor are eligible. Young investigators particularly are encouraged to apply and will receive funding priority.

Applicants should submit a one-page letter of intent describing their proposed projects by Nov. 29 to Cassandra Sutton at

Applications must be received electronically by Dec. 17.

University of La Verne President to Retire

University of La Verne president Stephen C. Morgan MS ’71 has announced his plan to retire in the summer of 2011. His decision was presented in a letter to the board of trustees at its Feb. 5 meeting.

Morgan became the university’s 17th president in February 1985. Now in his 25th year, he has guided the university through fiscal challenges, growth and change to its present status as a respected institution of higher education.

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