Faculty members recognized with named, distinguished service professorships

University Communications

Sixteen faculty members have received named professorships or have been named distinguished service professors. Mark Bradley, Young-Kee Kim, J. Keith Moffat, David Nirenberg, Raghuram Rajan and Amanda Woodward received distinguished service professorships; Erin Adams, Christopher Blattman, Oeindrila Dube, Robert L. Grossman, William Mazzarella, Curtis McMillen, Magne Mogstad, James Robinson, James L. Skinner and Nathan Tarcov received named professorships.

Biological Sciences Division

Erin Adams has been named the Joseph Regenstein Professor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the College.

Adams’ research focuses on how events at the molecular level allow the immune system to discriminate healthy tissue from infected or diseased tissue. Her lab studies immune T cells that live in tissues that are typically the initial sites of infection, such as the digestive and reproductive tracts and the skin. These cells are thought to act as a first line of defense, immediately detecting infections and facilitating the downstream cascade of the immune response. The goal is to understand the molecular signals that allow these cells to respond to such events.

She is also the principal investigator for the myCHOICE (Chicago Options In Career Empowerment) program at UChicago, a professional development program designed to educate and prepare graduate students and postdoctoral scholars with biological or health science degrees for their ideal career path.

Adams joined the UChicago faculty in 2005.

Robert L. Grossman has been named the Frederick H. Rawson Professor in Medicine and the College.

Grossman is the chief research informatics officer for the Division of the Biological Sciences, the director of Center for Data Intensive Science, and co-chief of the Section of Computational Biomedicine and Biomedical Data Science in the Department of Medicine. His research focuses on data science, biomedical informatics and cancer genomics. He is principal investigator for the NCI Genomic Data Commons, a next-generation platform that enables unprecedented data access, analysis and sharing for cancer research. The platform provides the cancer research community with a unified data repository that enables sharing across cancer genomic studies in support of precision medicine.  

Grossman joined the UChicago faculty in 2010.

J. Keith Moffat has been named the Louis Block Distinguished Service Professor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the College.

Moffat pioneered the development and use of time-resolved X-ray crystallography—high-speed molecular movies—to understand the short-lived structural changes that accompany all biochemical and chemical reactions and thus underpin the activity of biological molecules.

A founding member of the Institute for Biophysical Dynamics at UChicago, Moffat came to the University in 1990 from Cornell University, where he developed one of the world’s first synchrotron facilities to serve structural biologists. At UChicago, he founded and leads BioCARS—the structural biology component of the multidisciplinary Consortium for Advanced Radiation Sources. He is now a key collaborator in a novel set of X-ray experiments revealing how proteins, the building blocks of life, absorb light—the primary event of processes such as vision and photosynthesis. This is a crucial step in understanding how living systems respond to light in the first few quadrillionths of a second.

Moffat directed CARS from 1993 to 2000, was Deputy Provost for Research from 2002 to 2010, and is on the Board of the France Chicago Center. He serves on the board of governors for Argonne National Laboratory and the Structural Biology Advisory Panel for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Division of the Physical Sciences

Young-Kee Kim has been named the Louis Block Distinguished Service Professor in Physics and the College.

Kim is an experimental physicist who focuses on particle physics to understand how the universe works at its most fundamental level. As an experimental scientist, she attempts to discover and understand elementary particles and the forces acting among them. She also helps design and build more powerful accelerators for future research.

To better understand how particles acquire mass, Kim has studied the two most massive particles—the W boson and the top quark—at the Enrico Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, where she was former deputy director. Currently, she is chair of the Department of Physics.

In 2005, Kim received South Korea's Ho-Am Science Prize for outstanding achievements in basic research. In 2008, Crain’s Chicago Business named her as a “Woman to Watch.” And in 2012, she won an alumni award from the Korean University and a leadership award for Women in Science from the Chicago Council of Science and Technology.

Kim is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Physical Society and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. She was chair of the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics and has served on numerous professional committees. Kim is currently a member of the Large Hadron Collider International Advisory Committee, a board member of the Institute for Basic Science in Korea, chair of the Rare Isotope Science Project’s International Advisory Committee in Korea, and a member of the American Physical Science Council.

Kim joined the UChicago faculty in 2003.

Division of the Social Sciences

Mark Bradley has been named the Bernadotte E. Schmitt Distinguished Service Professor in History and the College.

Bradley is a leader in 20th-century history of the United States in international relations. In addition, his research and teaching focuses on the global history of human rights politics and postcolonial Southeast Asian history.

He is the author of Imagining Vietnam and America: The Making of Postcolonial Vietnam and Vietnam at War. His latest book, The World Reimagined: Americans and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century, gives insight into how we understand international human rights in both legal and cultural contexts.

Bradley serves as faculty director of the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights, as chair of the Committee on International Relations and on a number of university committees. He has received fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities and Fulbright-Hays.

Bradley was a member of the UChicago faculty from 1997-99 and returned to the Department of History in 2007.

William Mazzarella has been named the Neukom Family Professor in Anthropology and the College.

Mazzarella’s professional scholarship has focused on the political anthropology of mass publicity, with special reference to India. His work is located at the intersection of anthropology, media studies and critical theory. He is an expert analyst on the censorship of Indian film, a very heavily regulated industry in the world’s largest democratic country.

In addition to more than 58 scholarly articles, Mazzarella has written three books on the topic of South Asian media policy. His most recent book, Censorium: Cinema and the Open Edge of Mass Publicity, is an analysis of Indian film censorship. Mazzarella’s forthcoming book, The Mana of Mass Society, will be published by the University of Chicago Press in 2017.

Mazzarella joined the UChicago faculty in 2001.

Magne Mogstad has been named the first Gary S. Becker Professor in Economics and the College.

Mogstad has made highly original contributions to large questions in labor and public economics. He has created novel interventions to difficult questions on a broad range of topics, such as peer effects on welfare programs, intergenerational outcomes of childcare and education programs, and productivity effects of technological change. In addition, Mogstad’s methodological innovations can be applied across the field of economics.

He has been awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship and the Fridtjof Nansen Award for Young Scientists, as well as three peer-reviewed research awards from the Research Council of Norway, on topics ranging from the causes and consequences of the rise in disability insurance to a quantitative analysis of early childhood education and childcare.

Mogstad joined the UChicago faculty in 2014.

David Nirenberg has been named the Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Distinguished Service Professor in History, Social Thought, Romance Languages and Literatures, and the College.

Nirenberg is one of the world’s leading scholars of the interreligious community and cultural exchange among Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions. He specializes in the history of Christianity, Judaism and Islam in medieval Europe and the Mediterranean and how these cultures constitute themselves by interrelating with or thinking about each other.

Nirenberg is author of many books, most recently Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages, which is a 20th anniversary edition with a new preface. Previously, he published Aesthetic Theology and Its Enemies: Judaism in Christian Painting, Poetry, and Politics, Neighboring Faiths: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism in the Middle Ages and Today and Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition, which received the 2014 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award.

Nirenberg joined the UChicago faculty in 2006. He has served as dean of the Division of the Social Sciences since 2014.

Nathan Tarcov has been named the Karl J. Weintraub Professor in Social Thought, Political Science and the College.

Tarcov is a scholar of the history of political theory, education and family in political theory, and principles of U.S. foreign policy. In addition to over 65 articles and numerous lectures, Tarcov’s books, including Lockes Education for Liberty, Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy and John Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education and On The Conduct of the Understanding, for which Tarcov provided a concise introduction, a note on the texts and a select bibliography of Locke. In The Legacy of Rousseau, Tarcov explored some fundamental polarities in Rousseau’s thought—nature versus society, self versus other, community versus individual, and compassion versus competitiveness.

In 1997 he won a UChicago Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Tarcov also served as chair of the Classics of Social and Political Thought Core Course in the College from 2011-2015. In this role, he has worked to strengthen the tradition of general education at UChicago. In addition, he has successfully trained several generations of graduate students in the art and practice of effective undergraduate teaching.

Tarcov has held appointments in the John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought and the Department of Political Science since 1992. He is also one of the coordinators of the Political Theory Workshop and the director of the Leo Strauss Center.

Amanda Woodward has been named the William S. Gray Distinguished Service Professor in Psychology and the College.

Woodward is a leader in the field of cognitive psychology. She has pioneered the development of experimental methods to investigate social cognition in infants and young children. Her research has yielded fundamental insights into infants’ social understanding and the processes that support conceptual development early in life.

Woodward has received many awards for her research, including the Ann L. Brown Award for Excellence in Developmental Research, the APA Boyd McCandless Award for an Early Career Contribution to Developmental Psychology and the John Merck Scholars Award. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Association for Psychological Science, and the American Psychological Association.

Woodward joined the faculty in 1993, spent five years at the University of Maryland, and returned to UChicago in 2010. She was a founding member of the Center for Early Childhood Research and previously served as chair of the Department of Psychology. She has held the appointment of deputy dean of faculty affairs for the Division of the Social Sciences since 2015.

Booth School of Business

Raghuram Rajan has been named the Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance.

Rajan was governor of the Reserve Bank of India from September 2013 to September 2016. Between 2003 and 2006, Rajan served as the chief economist and director of research at the International Monetary Fund.

Rajan’s research interests are in banking, corporate finance and economic development, especially the role finance plays in it. He is co-author of Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists and author of Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy, for which he was awarded the Financial Times-Goldman Sachs prize for best business book in 2010.

Rajan is a member of the Group of Thirty and served in 2011 as president of the American Finance Association. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2003, the American Finance Association awarded Rajan the inaugural Fischer Black Prize for the best finance researcher under the age of 40. His other awards include the Infosys prize for the Economic Sciences, the Deutsche Bank Prize for Financial Economics, Euromoney Central Banker Governor of the Year in 2014, and Banker Magazine (FT Group) Central Bank Governor of the Year in 2016.

Institute for Molecular Engineering

James L. Skinner has been named the Crown Family Professor in Molecular Engineering.

Skinner joins UChicago after serving for 26 years as director of the Theoretical Chemistry Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and four years as chair of the Department of Chemistry. Skinner is a world leader in the theoretical and conceptual understanding of hydrogen bonding in water, the factor that dominates and complicates water properties. Among many accomplishments, he and his team are noted for their detailed calculations on hydrogen bonding, as well as on the structure, dynamics and vibrational spectroscopy of water.

Skinner will serve as director of the Institute’s Water Research Initiative, leading its development and expansion. The initiative was launched in 2013 in collaboration with researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Argonne National Laboratory.

Skinner, who has published approximately 220 refereed research articles, is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. His many awards include the American Chemical Society Physical Chemistry Division Award in Theoretical Chemistry and the Irving J. Langmuir Award in Chemical Physics from the American Chemical Society.

Harris School of Public Policy

Christopher Blattman has been named the Ramalee E. Pearson Professor, an inaugural named professorship in The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts.

Blattman, an economist and political scientist, studies the causes and consequences of violence, as well as develops and tests social programs to reduce crime, violence and extreme poverty. Most of his research and programs have been in Colombia, Liberia, Uganda and Ethiopia. Some of his recent research has demonstrated the effectiveness of simple cash transfers at relieving extreme poverty, and how cognitive behavior therapy can help young men reduce crime and violence.

His research has been published in journals including The American Economic Review, The American Political Science Review, The Quarterly Journal of Economics and International Organization.

Blattman holds many affiliations that extend The Pearson Institute’s reach and impact. In addition to being a non-resident fellow at the Center for Global Development, he leads the Crime & Violence sector at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Poverty Action Lab and the Peace & Recovery program at Innovations for Poverty Action. He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Blattman joined the UChicago faculty in 2016.

Oeindrila Dube has been named the Philip K. Pearson Professor, an inaugural named professorship in The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts.

Dube is an economist and political scientist who studies conflict and crime, primarily in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her research examines the root causes of violence and sheds light on strategies for promoting post-conflict stability.  For example, her work has demonstrated how economic shocks influence civil war and has shown how reconciling after civil war shapes the psychological and economic development of individuals and their societies.

Her research has been published in leading journals including Science, Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Politics and American Political Science Review.

Dube’s conflict and crime work is enriched by her affiliations with the National Bureau of Economic Research, the International Growth Center, the University of Chicago Crime Lab and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at MIT. She also held the Louis Dyer Peace Fellowship at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution over 2013-2014, and was a recipient of the Rhodes Scholarship in 2002.

Dube joined the UChicago faculty in 2016.

University Professor James Robinson has been named the first Reverend Dr. Richard L. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies.

Robinson is a renowned political scientist and economist and faculty director of The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts. His research focuses on political economy, comparative politics and economic and political development, with a particular interest in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Robinson currently conducts research in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Haiti and Colombia, where he has taught for many years during the summer at the University of the Andes in Bogotá.

He is co-author of Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty, which won the 2013 Eccles Prize awarded by the Columbia Business School. The book also was chosen as one of the Washington Post’s top 10 books of the year for 2012, one of the Economist’s and Financial Times’ “Best Books of 2012,” one of the Christian Science Monitor’s “15 Best Books of 2012,” and one of Businessweek’s “Best Books of 2012.”

Listed by the UK-based Prospect magazine as one of the “World Thinkers 2013,” Robinson was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012. He was a Florence Gould Foundation Fellow at the Paris School of Economics in 2010, a 2007 Walter Channing Cabot Fellow awarded by Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, a Carnegie Scholar in 2002, and a Susan Louis Dyer Peace Fellow at the Hoover Institution from 1999 to 2000.

Robinson joined the UChicago faculty in 2015, appointed a University Professor. He is the 21st person to hold a University professorship, and among eight active faculty members holding that title.

School of Social Service Administration

Curtis McMillen has been named the David and Mary Winton Green Professor at the School of Social Service Administration.

McMillen is a leading scholar in the understanding of children’s mental health, especially for children encountering the foster care system. His research is widely cited and has been viewed as ground-breaking across a variety of disciplines and professions. His work on traumatic experiences and mental health resilience has been especially notable, with his research helping to change the understanding of how people cope and even grow in the aftermath of trauma.

Since arriving at SSA in 2011, McMillen has examined how social service agencies use data to improve performance and how youth and their caregivers can better handle intense emotional episodes. His contributions enrich SSA’s reputation as a leader for research on services for vulnerable children and families. Beyond his scholarly work, McMillen serves as SSA’s deputy dean for curriculum. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.

McMillen joined the University from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. During his career, he has worked in residential, in-patient psychiatric care, foster care and treatment foster care programs.