Faculty members receive named, distinguished service professorships

Five UChicago faculty members—Leora Auslander, Daniel Diermeier, Yang-Xin Fu, Lucia Rothman-Denes and Benoît Roux—have received named professorships, while two UChicago faculty members—Andrew A. Chien and Jean Decety—have been named distinguished service professors.


Yang-Xin Fu, professor in the Department of Pathology and member of the Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been named the Fanny L. Pritzker Professor.

Fu is one of the nation’s leading investigators in the targeted treatment of tumors via local radiation, antibodies and immunotherapy. He has published more than 150 papers in these fields, many in high-impact journals, including Science, Nature Immunology and Nature Medicine. He recently has focused on translational medicine, especially on ways to mobilize the immune system to help treat cancer and infectious diseases.

Fu is a member of the American Association of Immunologists and the American Society of Clinical Pathology, and has served as an associate editor for several immunology journals. He is the primary investigator or co-investigator on numerous major National Institutes of Health grants.

He joined the University of Chicago faculty in 1998.

Lucia Rothman-Denes, professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology and the college, has been named the A. J. Carlson Professor.

Rothman-Denes is best known for her pioneering work on a system to study how bacterial viruses take over the molecular processes of their hosts. Combining genetic, biochemical, biophysical and structural approaches, she has yielded fundamental insights into viral-host interactions and identified new mechanisms of regulation of gene expression at the transcriptional level. Her laboratory also focuses on further elucidating these viral-host interactions and exploiting them to discover new targets for antibacterials.

Rothman-Denes is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. She is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the American Academy of Microbiology. She has taught a rigorous graduate class in molecular biology for decades, and her outstanding mentorship of both graduate and undergraduate students in her laboratory has cultivated the careers of numerous successful scientists.

She joined the University of Chicago faculty in 1974.

Benoît Roux, professor in the Departments of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Chemistry, Institute for Biophysical Dynamics and the College, has been named the Amgen Professor.

Roux has made seminal contributions to the field of theoretical and computational approaches toward molecular structure and function. He is a pioneer in the study of integral membrane proteins, using molecular dynamics and atomic models to help interpret and predict experimental results. His work has bridged theory and experiment in biophysics and has been critical to understanding the properties of fundamental biological systems at the physico-chemical and atomic levels.

Roux is a recipient of the prestigious Rutherford Memorial Medal in Chemistry, awarded by the Royal Society of Canada. He is a fellow of the Biophysical Society and serves on the editorial boards of numerous top journals.

Roux joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2005.


Andrew A. Chien has been named the William Eckhardt Distinguished Service Professor in Computer Science in recognition of his leadership in growing the scale and excellence of the Computer Science Department.

Chien’s research interests include cloud computing, system software and architecture, and computer architecture for exascale computers, which would far exceed the capabilities of today’s petascale computers. He is founding director of the new CERES Center for Unstoppable Computing, which pursues new approaches to reducing fragility and complexity in computing while increasing efficiency and lifetime.

Also a senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory and a senior fellow of the Computation Institute, Chien served as vice president of research at Intel Corporation, leading long-range and “disruptive technologies” research at Intel Research, and leading worldwide government and higher education programs.

Chien also has held academic positions at the University of California, San Diego, and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At the latter, he held a joint appointment at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. While at UCSD he was the SAIC Chair Professor and founding director of the Center for Networked Systems. He also founded Entropia, an early grid computing company, and served as Chief Technology Officer.

He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers.

Chien joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2011.


Jean Decety has been named the Irving B. Harris Distinguished Service Professor.

Decety is a leading scholar on the social and developmental neuroscience of empathy, moral judgment, motivation for justice and prosocial behavior. His work has led to new understandings of the socioemotional and cognitive processes involved in social cognition in typically developing children and adults, as well as criminal psychopaths.

Decety is professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Chicago and the College. He is the director of the Brain Research Imaging Center at the University of Chicago Medical Center, head of the Social Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory and director of Child NeuroSuite. He is president of the Society for Social Neuroscience and the founding editor of the journal Social Neuroscience.

In 2013, he was awarded the Jean-Louis Signoret Neuropsychology Prize of the Fondation Ipsen, honoring his research on new understandings of empathy, affective processes and moral decision-making in children and adults.

Decety joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2006.

The College

Leora Auslander, professor of Modern European Social History, has been named the first Arthur and Joann Rasmussen Professor in Western Civilization.

Auslander’s primary national focus is modern France, though she is most intrigued with research problems that are best treated transnationally. Her research and teaching interests span a broad array of fields: material culture, memory and commemorative practices, gender history and theory, the history and theory of the everyday, of race, of citizenship and the nation, and Jewish history. She maintains an active interest in the history of European colonialism and post-colonial Europe.

Her most recent book, Cultural Revolutions, is a study of Britain, North America and France. Her current manuscript, Strangers at Home, is a comparative analysis of Jews in Paris and Berlin in the 20th century. Two further book projects, Commemorating Death, Obscuring Life? The Conundrums of Memorialization and Race and Racism in the Twentieth Century Atlantic World (with Tom Holt) are also transcontinental in scope. She serves on the editorial committee of the leading French gender history journal, Clio: Femmes, Histoire, Genre; an issue she edited entitled Objets et fabrication du genre, came out in December.

Auslander has held fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study and at the Center for the Study of the Behavioral Sciences, as well as visiting professorships in France and Germany. At Chicago, she was the founding director of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality and is also a member of the Center for Jewish Studies.

She joined the University of Chicago faculty in 1987.

Public Policy Studies

Daniel Diermeier, has been named the Emmett Dedmon Professor.

Diermeier’s teaching and research focus on formal political theory, political institutions, the interaction of business and politics, text analytics, public perception, as well as crisis and reputation management. He has published two books and over 80 research articles in academic journals, mostly in the fields of political science, economics and management, but also in other areas ranging from linguistics, sociology and psychology to computer science and applied mathematics.

Diermeir now heads the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. Prior to joining UChicago on Sept. 1, 2014, he taught at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University as the IBM Professor of Regulation and Practice in the Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences, and served as director of the Ford Motor Company Center of Global Citizenship. He also held appointments in Economics, Political Science, Linguistics and the School of Law.

Diermeier is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research. His research has been featured globally in media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Business Week, the Financial Times, Fortune and The New York Times.

During his time at Northwestern he won 13 teaching awards and he was named among the World’s 50 Best Business School Professors. Diermeier also was the 2007 recipient of the Faculty Pioneer Award from the Aspen Institute named the “Oscar of Business Schools” by the Financial Times.