Good Life

Giving you the business

West Penn Power, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., recently hired 18 line and substation employees from the Power Systems Institute training program.

The Power Systems Institute, which was established in 2012, is a utility training partnership with Westmoreland County Community College in Youngwood. The substation employees are graduates of a similar program at Pierpont Community and Technical College in Fairmont, W.Va.

Marylyn Ritchie, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and the director of the Center for Systems Genomics at Penn State, was named the Paul Berg professor of biochemistry and molecular biology. Her research focuses on identifying and analyzing genes that may increase susceptibility to diseases like cancer, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

The professorship was created in 1995 by an anonymous donor in honor of Berg, who graduated from the university in 1948, was named a distinguished alumni in 1974 and earned the 1980 Nobel Prize for developing a method to map the structure and functions of DNA.

Penn State professor of biochemistry and molecular biology Song Tan recently received the 2015 Penn State Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Life and Health Sciences. The award, established in 1980, recognizes scholarly or creative excellence represented by contributions around a singular theme.

Tan’s research uses structural and biochemical methods to understand how genes are switched on and off in cells. He uses X-ray crystallography to determine three-dimensional assembly of proteins and DNA that make up chromosomes involved in cellular differentiation and cell division.