UChicago faculty members receive named, distinguished service professorships

Eleven UChicago faculty members—Andrew Cleland, Michael Greenstone, M. Todd Henderson, Ali Hortacsu, Wayne Hu, Jeffrey Hubbell, Jonathan Masur, John H. R. Maunsell, Larry Norman, David Rubin and Melody Swartz—have received named professorships, while five UChicago scholars—Victor Friedman, Lenore Grenoble, Chuan He, Ralph Weichselbaum and Luigi Zingales—have been named distinguished service professors.

Biological Sciences Division

John H. R. Maunsell has been named the Albert D. Lasker Professor in Neurobiology.

An internationally recognized neuroscientist, Maunsell has made fundamental contributions toward understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of vision and perception. Known for elegant, rigorous and technically demanding physiological experiments, he recently has focused on understanding how behavioral and cognitive factors, such as attention and learning, influence the way neurons process information in the visual circuits of the brain.

Since 2007, Maunsell has served as editor-in-chief of The Journal of Neuroscience, one of the top peer-reviewed journals in its field and primary publication of the Society for Neuroscience, the largest neuroscientist organization in the world.

Maunsell’s honors include election to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Academy of Arts and Sciences and appointment as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

Maunsell joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2014.

David T. Rubin, section chief of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and co-director of the Digestive Diseases Center, has been appointed the Joseph B. Kirsner Professor in Medicine.

A nationally recognized authority on digestive diseases and investigational therapies, Rubin studies novel therapies for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, colon cancer prevention and clinical medical ethics. He is the principal investigator for multiple clinical research projects and trials of novel therapies, including the first Food and Drug Administration-authorized study of fecal microbiota transplantation for ulcerative colitis.

Rubin is a fellow of the American Gastroenterological Association, the American College of Gastroenterology, and American College of Physicians and an active national leader in the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America.

Rubin has earned many honors and awards in his field, including the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Clinical Research in 2003 and 2013 from the American College of Gastroenterology, and the Rosenthal Award in 2012 from the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. He is an associate editor for the journals Digestive Diseases & Sciences and Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Rubin earned his medical degree with honors from the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine.

Ralph R. Weichselbaum, chairman of Radiation and Cellular Oncology and co-director of the Ludwig Center, has been named the Daniel K. Ludwig Distinguished Service Professor.

A nationally recognized authority on the effects of radiation and on radiation therapy for cancer, Weichselbaum has been a leader in research into the ability of certain types of tumors to resist the lethal effects of radiation, the combination of radiation therapy with chemo- or immune-therapy, and the use of precisely targeted high-dose radiotherapy for patients with a limited number of metastases.

Weichselbaum is a member of many scientific and medical societies, including the prestigious Institute of Medicine, and has served on national committees for the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology, the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology, and the Radiation Research Society. He serves on the editorial boards of several influential journals and on the advisory board of biotech companies.

Weichselbaum came to the University of Chicago in 1984 as professor and chairman of Radiation and Cellular Oncology.

Humanities Division

Victor A. Friedman, PhD’75, a linguist working on languages of the Balkans and Caucasus, has been named the Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Service Professor in the Humanities. He is also director of the University’s Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies. 

Friedman’s publications include more than a dozen books and edited works, as well as more than 300 scholarly articles and book reviews. In addition to his research on the Balkan languages, he has published extensively on Lak grammar, as well as on Georgian, and he has done field work in Daghestan in addition to more than 40 years of field work in the Balkans. His main research interests are grammatical categories, contact linguistics as well as sociolinguistic issues related to standardization, ideology and identity.

Friedman is president of the U.S. National Committee of the International Association for Southeast European Studies. He is a member of the Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Academy of Sciences of Albania, the Academy of Arts and Sciences of Kosova, Matica Srpska and has been awarded the “1300 Years of Bulgaria” jubilee medal. During the Yugoslav Wars of Succession he worked for the United Nations as a senior policy analyst in Macedonia and consulted for other international organizations. 

He has taught at UChicago since 1993.

Lenore Grenoble, an expert on Slavic linguistics and language contact and attrition, has been named the John Matthews Manly Distinguished Service Professor in Linguistics and the College.

She specializes in Slavic and Arctic Indigenous languages, and is currently conducting fieldwork on Evenki (Tungusic) in Siberia, Kalaallisut (West Greenlandic, Inuit) in Greenland, and Wolof (Niger-Congo) in Senegal. Her research focuses on the study of contact linguistics and language shift, discourse and conversation analysis, deixis and issues in the study of language endangerment, attrition and revitalization.

She is the author of numerous articles and books, including Deixis and Information Packaging in Russian and Language Policy in the Former Soviet Union and co-author of Saving Languages: An Introduction to Language Revitalization and a reference grammar for Evenki. Grenoble has co-edited multiple volumes such as Endangered Languages; Language Documentation: Practices and Values and, most recently, Language Typology and Historical Contingency.

Grenoble has taken an active role in promoting indigenous language vitality as coordinator of the Arctic Council’s Arctic Indigenous Languages Vitality project.

She joined the UChicago faculty in 2007.

Larry F. Norman has been named the Frank. L. Sulzberger Professor in Romance Languages and Literatures, Theater and Performance Studies and the College. He is currently chair of Romance Languages and Literatures.

Norman’s research focuses on French and European literature of the 17th and 18th centuries, and theater across the ages. His interests include theater history, book history, intellectual and cultural history, literary criticism and theory, and the relation between the visual arts and literature.

He is the author of The Public Mirror: Molière and the Social Commerce of Depiction, and The Shock of the Ancient: Literature and History in Early Modern France, which received the Jeanne Scaglione Prize for French and Francophone Studies from the Modern Language Association in 2012.

Norman was the University’s inaugural Deputy Provost for the Arts and held that position for two terms. His tenure was marked by the development of major new arts facilities, programs and initiatives. These include the planning, construction, programming and operation of the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts; the creation of the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry; and the launch of the Arts and Public Life initiative and its Arts Incubator in the Washington Park community.

He joined the UChicago faculty in 1995.

Physical Sciences Division

Chuan He, who brings a chemist’s perspective to biological problems, has been named the John T. Wilson Distinguished Service Professor in Chemistry. He’s research contribution spans a broad range in epigenetic, RNA biology, chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, structural biology and microbiology.

With colleagues at UChicago, He’s group is mostly known for the discovery of reversible modification on RNA that significantly affects gene expression regulation analogous to similar effects on DNA. His laboratory also is known for developing enabling technologies to label and sequence recently discovered chemical modifications in mammalian DNA that are particularly important for cell differentiation and development. A particular modification is also highly abundant in the brain. He’s work also has shed light on the roles of metals in biological systems, identified bacterial regulators of virulence and antibiotic resistance, and illuminated mechanisms of DNA repair. He continues to work on understanding how the addition and removal of methyl groups on genetic material and RNA affect genetic regulation.

He, who directs the Institute for Biophysical Dynamics, joined the UChicago faculty in 2002. He holds a joint professorship with Peking University, and guest professorship at several other universities. The recipient of numerous honors, last year he was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.

Wayne Hu, whose research focuses on understanding structure formation in the universe, has been named the Horace B. Horton Professor in astronomy & astrophysics.

Early in his career, Hu gained recognition for his theoretical work on the temperature differences of the cosmic microwave background, the afterglow of the Big Bang. His work has provided important insights on how to use the CMB temperature differences to test cosmological theories and to determine cosmological parameters.

Hu focuses his research on how structures such as galaxies and clusters of galaxies were seeded at the Big Bang and how they related to dark matter—an unknown force that causes the explanation of the universe to accelerate. Hu also uses gravitational lensing (and effect that distorts images of galaxies) to study the physics of dark energy at large scales.

Hu co-leads the dark energy portion of UChicago’s Physics Frontier Center, a $17 million effort funded by the National Science Foundation. He also is a member of the South Pole Telescope and Dark Energy Survey collaborations, and a senior member of UChicago’s Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics. A member of the UChicago faculty since 2000, his many honors include elected membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Social Sciences Division

Michael Greenstone has been named the first Milton Friedman Professor in Economics.

His research focuses largely on the costs and benefits of environmental quality and energy policy. Over the years, Greenstone has worked extensively on the Clean Air Act and examined its impacts on air quality, manufacturing activity, housing prices and infant mortality. He is currently engaged in a large-scale project to estimate the costs of climate change around the world.

Greenstone now heads the interdisciplinary Energy Policy Institute at Chicago (EPIC). Prior to rejoining the faculty at Chicago, where he began his career as an assistant professor, he served as the 3M Professor of Environmental Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 2006 to 2014. He is a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and editor of The Journal of Political Economy. From 2009 to 2010, he was the chief economist for the Obama administration’s Council of Economic Advisors and has been a member of the EPA Science Advisory Board’s Environmental Economics Advisory Committee.

Greenstone joined the UChicago faculty in July.

Ali Hortacsu has been named the Ralph and Mary Otis Isham Professor.

Hortacsu’s research focuses primarily on how supply actually equals demand and he develops mathematical and statistical methods to model, analyze, and optimize real-world market clearing mechanisms. His methods have been used in many contexts, including government securities auctions, central bank refinancing operations, and wholesale electricity markets.

Hortacsu has written or coauthored some of the first academic papers in leading academic journals on online auctions, online dating/matchmaking, and online consumer search behavior. A fellow of the Econometric Society, and research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, Hortacsu is the co-editor of the Journal of Political Economy. He was elected an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow in 2006, and was a recipient of an NSF CAREER grant.

Hortacsu joined the UChicago faculty in 2001.

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Luigi Zingales has been named the Robert C. McCormack Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance.

His research has covered corporate governance, financial development, political economy, the economic effects of culture and the best interventions to cope with the aftermath of the financial crisis. He developed the Financial Trust Index, designed to monitor the degree of trust Americans have in their financial system, with Paola Sapienza of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Zingales’ recent works include “The Values of Corporate Culture,” written with Luigi Guiso, of the Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance, and Sapienza and forthcoming in the Journal of Financial Economics, and “Liquidity and Inefficient Investment,” written with Oliver Hart and forthcoming in the Journal of the European Economic Association. He also has two working papers, “Diagnosing the Italian Disease,” written with Bruno Pellegrino of UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, and “Monnet’s Error,” written with Guiso and Sapienza.

Previous works have been published in the Review of Financial Studies, Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Finance, American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of Financial Economics and Quarterly Journal of Economics, among others. He has published three books—Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists, with Raghuram Rajan, also of Chicago Booth, A Capitalism for the People and Europa o No.

Zingales also serves as American Finance Association president, Control Committee and of the Nominating Committee of Eni Spa board members and American Academy of Arts and Sciences member, and is founding director of the Center for Economic Analysis of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. He joined Booth in 1992, and has been the Robert C. McCormack Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance since 2006.

University of Chicago Law School

M. Todd Henderson has been named the first Michael J. Marks Professor.

Henderson’s research interests include corporate law, securities and financial regulation, and law and economics.

With an engineering degree cum laude from Princeton University in 1993, Henderson worked for several years designing and building dams in California before matriculating at the University of Chicago Law School. He was an editor of the Law Review, and captained the law school’s  all-university champion intramural football team.

Upon graduating magna cum laude in 1998, Henderson was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as clerk to the Hon. Dennis Jacobs of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He practiced appellate litigation at Kirkland & Ellis in Washington, D.C., and was an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company in Boston, where he specialized in counseling telecommunications and high-tech clients on business and regulatory strategy.

Henderson joined the UChicago faculty in 2005.

Jonathan Masur has been named the John P. Wilson Professor of Law.

Masur’s research and teaching interests include patent law, administrative law, legislation, behavioral law and economics, and criminal law.

Masur clerked for Judge Richard Posner of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and for Chief Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Masur taught at the Law School as a Bigelow Fellow and Lecturer in Law before joining the faculty as an assistant professor in 2007. He served as deputy dean from 2012 to 2014 and as the Herbert and Marjorie Fried Teaching Scholar from 2011 to 2013.

Institute for Molecular Engineering

Andrew N. Cleland, who specializes in quantum computing, quantum communication and quantum sensors, has been appointed the first John A. MacLean Sr. Professor for Molecular Engineering Innovation and Enterprise.

Cleland led the team that built the first quantum machine—a device whose motion can only be described with the peculiar laws of quantum mechanics. That feat earned Cleland’s team “Breakthrough of the Year 2010” honors from Science magazine. The same work was named a top-ten discovery of 2010 by Physics World.

He also has been developing a quantum computer based on superconducting quantum circuits. Such a computer would be able to process many complete sets of input data at the same time—far exceeding the parallel processing capabilities of modern classical computers.

In the quantum-communication arena, Cleland seeks to provide a means for the completely secure transmission of information, without relying on conventional encryption methods, instead relying on the principles of quantum mechanics.

A member of the UChicago faculty since July, Cleland formerly served as a professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and as associate director of the California Nanosystems Institute at UCSB. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Physical Society.

Jeffrey A. Hubbell, who develops a variety of biomaterial and molecular therapeutics, especially for regenerative medicine and immunological interventions, has been appointed the first Barry L. MacLean Professor for Molecular Engineering Innovation and Enterprise.

Hubbell is an entrepreneurial chemical and biological engineer who has founded three companies based on his academic research: Kuros Biosurgery in Zurich, Switzerland; Anokion in Lausanne, Switzerland; and Focal Inc., of Lexington, Mass. Along with his associates, he holds 88 U.S. patents. Recently he has been designing biomolecules and biomaterials to turn on immune responses to fight infection and cancer, and on the other hand, specifically turn off immune responses in auto-immune diseases such as Type 1 diabetes. He coined the term “immune-modulatory materials” to describe this newly emerging field of research.

Hubbell formerly served as the Merck-Serono Chair in Drug Delivery and acting dean of the School of Life Sciences at Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, where he also had served as founding director of the Institute of Bioengineering. He joined the UChicago faculty in July.

He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and an elected fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Melody A. Swartz, who studies how lymphatic vessels and their transport functions contribute to immunity and cancer, has been appointed the William B. Ogden Professor in Molecular Engineering.

Biomedical scientists typically regard the fluid drainage function of the lymphatic system as mostly important for maintaining tissue fluid balance. Cell transport functions, which regulate immunity, are considered separately. Swartz’s team has revealed new immune functions of lymphatic endothelial cells that are strongly linked to the transport functions of lymphatic vessels.

Her team also is trying to target lymphatic vessels for improved cancer immunotherapy because this is one aspect of the tumor microenvironment that seems to contribute to therapeutic failure. With these new insights, she is attempting to build a new picture of the lymphatic function in which the fluid and cell transport functions of the lymphatic vessels are intrinsically involved in regulating immune responses.

Schwartz previously held joint appointments as a professor of bioengineering and cancer research at Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lusanne and served as director of its Institute of Bioengineering. A 2012 MacArthur Fellow, Schwartz also has received an Arnold and Mabel Beckman Young Investigator Award, and the Wenner Prize, Switzerland’s largest prize for cancer research. She joined the UChicago faculty in July.