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Faculty Honors 2007
LAS professors bring honor and recognition to the college.
Robert Gennis, professor of biochemistry, biophysics, and chemistry, was invested as a Harry E. Preble Professor. Gennis directs a lab primarily engaged in studying membrane-bound metalloproteins that catalyze electron transfer reactions coupled to the generation of both a voltage and ion gradient across the membrane bilayer.
Maria Todorova, professor of history, was invested as a Gutgsell Professor. Todorova specializes in the history of the Balkans in the modern period. Her current research revolves around problems of nationalism, especially the symbology of nationalism, national memory, and national heroes in Bulgaria and the Balkans.
Carl Woese, professor of microbiology, was recognized for his groundbreaking 1977 discovery of a third domain of life, archaea, through the ceremonial unveiling of a historical marker honoring his research. A molecular biologist turned evolutionist, Woese's primary academic concerns center on the bacteria and the archaea, whose evolutions cover most of the planet's 4.5-billion-year history.
Bob Rauber, professor and acting head of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences, has been recognized by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) for exemplary service in helping the field of Atmospheric Science gain recognition in Congress.
John Gerlt, professor of biochemistry, chemistry, biophysics, and basic medical sciences, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Using tools such as sequence analyses, recombinant DNA methods, enzyme kinetics, and physical organic chemistry, Gerlt studies groups of enzymes whose members catalyze different reactions that diverged from a common ancestor. He is using these studies as the basis for predicting the functions of unknown proteins discovered in genome projects.
Gregory Girolami, professor and former head of the department of chemistry, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Girolami and his research group are primarily interested in the synthesis, properties, and reactivity of new inorganic, organometallic, and solid state species.
Steven Huber, professor of plant biology and crop sciences, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Huber and his lab focus on the identification of biological mechanisms that regulate important plant processes and impact growth and development, including control of nitrate assimilation, intracellular localization of sucrose synthase, and protein kinase specificity.
Stephen Long, professor of plant biology and crop sciences, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Long and his lab primarily research the mechanisms of plant responses to both rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and tropospheric ozone, with particular reference to photosynthesis and relating changes at the molecular and biochemical level to observations of whole systems in the field. See also July.
Yi Lu, professor of chemistry and an affiliate of biochemistry, biophysics, materials science and engineering, and the Beckman Institute, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was elected for pioneering work in biological inorganic chemistry, particularly for design and selection of metalloenzymes and their applications in catalysis, sensing and nanomaterials assembly. See also May.
Ken Paige, professor and head of the Department of Animal Biology, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Paige's interests lie in plant-animal interactions, with an emphasis on understanding the phenomenon of overcompensation from ecological, physiological, genetic and evolutionary perspectives, and from a conservation genetic perspective, the ecological and evolutionary consequences of small population size.
Edmund G. Seebauer, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Seebauer's research focuses on discovering new physical mechanisms for controlling the behavior of defects in semiconductors through chemistry at surfaces, stimulation by light, and irradiation by ions. His work also seeks to apply these discoveries to develop new technologies in integrated circuit manufacture and the design of new catalysts for applications in energy production and environmental remediation. See also May.
Scott Silverman, associate professor of chemistry, biochemistry, and biophysics, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Silverman and his laboratory study fundamental and applied aspects of the nucleic acids, DNA and RNA.
Don Wuebbles, professor of atmospheric sciences and electrical and computer engineering, is being named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Wuebbles, acting director of the School of Earth, Society, and Environment, is best known for his studies of climate change and effects of human activities on atmospheric chemistry and physics, including the ozone layer. As part of his work, Wuebbles developed the concepts of ozone depletion potentials used in most policymaking cases relative to protection of the ozone.
Nina Baym, emeritus professor of English, has received an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Emeritus Fellowship, an award designed to support faculty who have officially retired but continue to be active and productive in their fields. Baym, a prominent scholar of American literature since the mid-'60s, will use the $23,000 of funding over the next two years to continue her newest book: Women Writers of the Old West, 1832-1927.
Arthur F. Kramer, professor of psychology, has been named a Swanlund Chair, the highest endowed title at the University of Illinois. Kramer's work deals with cognitive neuroscience, brain plasticity, attention, perception, human factors, and aging. He is known internationally for his work on improving the cognitive function of older adults.
Gene E. Robinson, professor of integrative biology in the entomology department, has been named a Swanlund Chair, the highest endowed title at the University of Illinois. Robinson is director of the University's Bee Research Facility and the Neuroscience Program. His insight into the behaviors and organization of honeybees is helping us understand how human social behavior is influenced by both heredity and environment.
Sarah Mangelsdorf, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, was invested as the Harry E. Preble Dean of LAS. Mangelsdorf has also served the University as associate provost, and head and professor of the Department of Psychology. She was acting dean of LAS from September 2004 and was named dean in January 2006. Mangelsdorf studies social and emotional development in infancy and early childhood and is the author of numerous articles in developmental psychology. She has also been honored several times for her teaching.
Nancy Abelmann, professor of anthropology and director of the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, was invested as the Harry E. Preble Professor. Abelmann focuses her research on women in East Asia, gender in Korea, Korean society, national identity in Korea, the Korean diaspora, and Japanese modern history. She has taught courses in fieldwork methods and theory, the anthropology of social movements, political anthropology, and autoethnography.
David M. Kranz, professor of biochemistry, was invested as the Phillip A. Sharp Professor of Biochemistry. Kranz researches the molecular basis of antigen recognition by T cells. In the process of pursuing this basic interest, Kranz has developed several innovative molecular tools for exploring and analyzing ligand-receptor interactions. His research has been widely useful for the development of diagnostics and therapeutic interventions.
Ryan Bailey, associate professor of chemistry, was awarded the 2007 National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovator Award. The award recognizes bold ideas from some of the nation's most innovative new scientists. Bailey's award is $1.5 million in direct costs over five years, which he will use to develop an ultrasensitive measurement technology to provide a picture of disease onset and progression at the molecular level.
Jay D. Bass, professor of geology and materials science, has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University Claude Bernard Lyon 1, in France. Bass was recognized for his work on elastic properties of materials of "geological or technological interest, under extreme conditions of pressure and temperature."
Vernon Burton, professor of history and sociology, was awarded the Chicago Tribune's Heartland Society prize for his book, The Age of Lincoln (Hill and Wang, 2007). The prize is awarded annually for a work of non-fiction and a novel that embody the spirit of the nation's heartland.
Adrian Burgos, associate professor of history, has been named as the winner of the first Latino/a Book Award by the selection committee of Latin American Studies Association (LASA) for Playing America's Game: Baseball, Latinos, and the Color Line (University of California Press, 2007).
Virginia Dominguez, professor of anthropology, was named president-elect of the American Anthropological Association, an association with 12,000 members worldwide. Previous presidents of the AAA have included such pioneers as Margaret Mead and Franz Boas. Dominguez is well-known for her work on social, political, and legal history of notions of race in the Americas, peoplehood in the Middle East, and culture in the Pacific. She becomes president-elect of AAA in December 2007 and then president in December 2009.
Lillian Hoddeson, professor of history, has been named the first Thomas Siebel Chair in the History of Science. A PhD in physics, Hoddeson is internationally known and respected by both historians and scientists for her study of the history of 20th century science and technology, specializing in modern physics and "megascience."
Steve Sligar, professor of chemistry, biochemistry, and medicine, has been named a Fellow of the Biophysical Society. Much of Sligar's research involves the development and utilization of novel technologies to understand the central mechanisms of biological function at the cellular and molecular level.
Stephen Long, Robert Emerson professor in plant biology and crop sciences, was awarded a doctor of science (honoris causa) from Lancaster University. Long also gave a special lecture, entitled "Plants Mitigating Global Change via Sustainable Biofuel Production," and the commencement speech at the university. See also October.
Ed Diener, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, recently won the Jack Block award for contributions to personality, given out by the Society of Personality and Social Psychology. Diener's research mainly focuses on the concept of subjective well-being and how it can be measured and influenced by a multitude of factors like personality, income, and culture. Diener has more than 210 publications and, according to the Institute of Scientific Information, has been cited more than 11,000 times in the works of other psychologists. See also May.
John F. Hartwig, professor of chemistry, was awarded the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in Physical Sciences-Chemistry 2007. Hartwig was honored for his work with "catalysis based on late-transition metal complexes, enabling widely applicable organic synthesis and deep mechanistic insight."
Neil L. Kelleher, associate professor of chemistry, received the 2007 Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry. Kelleher was honored for his "pioneering development of mass spectrometry to examine intermediates in natural product synthesis and to characterize of post-translational modifications of proteins."
John Rogers, professor of chemistry and founding professor of materials science and engineering, will be honored with the 2007 Leo Hendrick Baekeland Award for the American Chemical Society, at an upcoming symposium. Rogers is renown for his multidisciplinary work in developing soft materials for molecular electronics, flexible "macroelectronic" circuits, nanophotonic structures, microfluidic devices, and microelectromechanical systems. He has published more than 175 papers and has nearly 60 patents, more than 30 of which are licensed or in active use.
Ben McCall, assistant professor of chemistry and astronomy, was awarded the 2007 Cottrell Scholar Award from the Research Corporation. McCall's research interests lie in the areas of high-resolution molecular spectroscopy and interstellar chemistry. McCall was awarded for his grant proposal, "New Approaches to Research and Teaching in Astrochemistry: Carbocation Spectroscopy and a Novel Laboratory Course."
Yi Lu, professor of chemistry, received the Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry's first Early Career Award. The multiple fields of research that Lu has contributed to include long-range electron transfer processes, bioenergetics, mixed valency in coordination chemistry, and the distribution and speciation of metal ions and other chemicals in biological systems. See also October.
Ken Suslick, professor of chemistry, received the 2007 Sir George Stokes Medal from the Royal Society of Chemistry. Suslick is best known for his major contributions to the understanding of chemical effects of ultrasound. His work has helped create the first FDA-approved intravenously administered echo-contrast agent for echocardiography.
Gary Parker, professor of geology, received the first Selim Yalin Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association of Hydraulic Engineering and Research. Parker's fields of specialty are sediment transport, river engineering, river morphodynamics, and sedimentation processes. He has served as a consulting engineer on river intake and bridge problems.
Richard D. Braatz, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, was invested as the Millennium Chair. Braatz focuses his research on the modeling, design, and control of complex and multiscale systems, with applications in microelectronics, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology. He has created methods that find applications in materials, medicine, and computers, where the control of events at the molecular and nanoscopic scales is critical to product quality.
Deborah E. Leckband, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, was invested as the Reid T. Milner Professor. Leckband has advanced the method of surface force measurements in order to study cell adhesion, molecular recognition, and the mechanical properties of proteins. Her goal is to determine the design rules for controlling cell and biomolecular interactions with materials.
Edmund G. Seebauer, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, was invested as the James W. Westwater Professor. Seebauer has focused his research on surface chemistry and transport in semiconductor-based microelectronics, nanotechnology, and catalysis. His work seeks to develop this fundamental science base, while simultaneously applying the findings to practical applications. See also October.
Renée Baillargeon, professor of psychology, was invested as the Alumni Professor of Psychology. Baillargeon focuses her research on two areas of infant cognition: physical reasoning and psychological reasoning. Her findings have helped challenge the traditional characterization of infants as limited sensorimotor processors incapable of thought, and suggest that skeletal causal frameworks guide, from the start, infants' reasoning and learning about physical and psychological events.
Edward Diener, professor of psychology, was invested as the Joseph R. Smiley Professor. Diener researches the measurement of well-being; temperament and personality influences on well-being; theories of well-being; income and well-being; and cultural influences on well-being. See also June.
Lawrence Hubert, professor of psychology, statistics, and educational psychology, was invested as the Lyle H. Lanier Professor. Hubert has focused his research on the extensive development of what is now commonly referred to in literature as combinatorial data analysis. These methods have the generality to encompass an enormous variety of inference and analysis tasks relevant to the varied types of data collected in the behavioral and social sciences.
Todd J. Martinez, professor of chemistry, was invested as the Edward William Gutgsell and Jane Marr Gutgsell Endowed Chair. Martinez has interests in the area of theoretical chemistry, specifically in the development and application of new methods for accurately and efficiently capturing quantum mechanical effects, which are crucial in understanding chemical bonding, molecular transformations, and reactions involving light.
James L. Best, professor of geology and geography, was invested as the Threet Professor of Sedimentary Geology. Best has worked internationally pioneering research in the interactions between turbulent flows, sediment transport, and the resultant shape of the beds of rivers, lakes, and the deep sea. His research has applications in both contemporary environmental management and the interpretation of ancient sedimentary successions.
Jeffrey S. Moore, professor of materials science and engineering in the Department of Chemistry, was invested as the Murchison-Mallory Endowed Chair in Chemistry. Moore is internationally recognized for his work in the field of organic materials and polymer chemistry. Among the significant advances Moore and his coworkers have made, is the synthesis of the largest known pure hydrocarbon and a class of helical foldamers that are the most versatile and extensively studied to date.