Faculty members receive named, distinguished service professorships

Fifteen faculty members received named professorships or were appointed distinguished service professors. Sendhil Mullainathan was named the Roman Family University Professor; Elisabeth Clemens, Michael Greenstone, Robert Grossman, Wayne Hu, Jens Ludwig and Larry F. Norman received distinguished service professorships; and Fernando Alvarez, Robert J. Chaskin, Margaret Gardel, Ralph S.J. Koijen, Derek Neal, Russell Reid, Pietro Veronesi and Amy R. Ward received named professorships.

Biological Sciences Division

Robert L. Grossman has been named the Frederick H. Rawson Distinguished Service Professor in Medicine, Computer Science and the College. The Jim and Karen Frank Director of the Center for Translational Data Science at the University of Chicago, he has served as the chief research informatics officer of the Biological Sciences Division since 2011.

He is the principal investigator for the National Cancer Institute Genomic Data Commons, a platform for the cancer research community that manages, analyzes, integrates and shares large-scale genomic datasets in support of precision medicine. The GDC was used by more than 100,000 researchers in the past year. He also has built data commons to support research in other areas, including cardiology, infectious diseases, neuroscience and the environment. His research interests include data science, machine learning and deep learning.

He is a member of the Frederick National Laboratory Advisory Committee for the National Cancer Institute and of the Science Advisory Board for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Russell Reid has been named the first Bernard G. Sarnat M.D. Professor in the Department of Surgery.
Reid is pediatric plastic surgeon who is fellowship-trained in craniomaxillofacial surgery. He has particular expertise in the reconstruction of congenital and traumatic defects of the face, jaw, palate and skull.
An accomplished author, Reid has published book chapters and several peer-reviewed journal articles on a variety of topics, from craniofacial surgery techniques to wound healing. His research interests, inspired by the late Dr. Sarnat, include the regeneration of bone for the repair of complex craniofacial defects, the biology of skull and facial sutures, and genetic expression in craniofacial development. He also studies ways to improve diagnostic testing for craniofacial patients.

Division of the Humanities

Larry F. Norman has been named the Frank L. Sulzberger Distinguished Service Professor in Romance Languages and Literatures and the College.

A renowned expert on 17th- and 18th-century literature, theater and intellectual history, Norman’s research focuses on works that play with social norms and literary expectations in surprising ways. This approach has taken him from Molière and the birth of modern satirical comedy in his first book, The Public Mirror: Molière and the Social Commerce of Depiction, to the creative conflict between ancient literature and early modern ideals in The Shock of the Ancient: Literature and History in Early-Modern France, which won the Modern Language Association’s 2011 Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for French and Francophone Studies.

Norman has also edited or co-edited significant volumes on the history of the book in the age of theater and the visual arts of the Baroque era.

Physical Sciences Division

Margaret Gardel has been named the Horace B. Horton Professor in the Department of Physics and the College.

Gardel investigates how the behaviors of living cells are regulated as the cell goes about its daily functions. Her lab, which blends physics and biology, furthers scientific understanding of how cells sense mechanical forces and respond to those forces with chemical activity. She specializes in understanding the cytoskeleton—the materials inside a cell that provide its shape and allow it to move. Her work could ultimately provide biomedical scientists with the means to devise new therapies for the treatment of cancer and other diseases.

Gardel’s honors include a National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, a Lucille Packard Fellowship and an American Asthma Foundation Early Excellence Award. She is a member of the American Society of Cell Biology, the Biophysical Society and the American Physical Society.

Wayne Hu has been named the Paul Snowden Russell Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics and the College.

Hu’s research seeks to understand how the structure of the universe formed. His models are based on clues from astronomical observation, such as tiny temperature differences in the afterglow of the Big Bang, the clustering of galaxies, and gravitational lensing—the effect that distorts our readings of faraway galaxies. He also develops and tests theories for dark energy and cosmic acceleration.

Hu’s honors include a Packard Fellowship, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and the Warner Prize from the American Astronomical Society. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Social Sciences Division

Fernando Alvarez has been named the inaugural Saieh Family Professor in the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics and the College.

Alvarez is a macroeconomist whose research focuses on dynamic general equilibrium models applied to asset pricing, international trade, labor market search and insurance, holdings of liquid assets, and nominal rigidities in price settings.

During his tenure at UChicago, he has been a visiting research scholar at the Enaudi Institute of Economics and Finance in Rome, the research departments at the Federal Reserve Banks of Chicago, Minneapolis and Philadelphia; and the European Central Bank and the Central Bank of Argentina. Alvarez has received fellowships and or grants from the European Central Bank, European Research Council, National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Tinker Foundation, and Bank of France Foundation. He is an Econometric Society Fellow, an Economic Theory Fellow, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

Elisabeth Clemens has been named the William Rainey Harper Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Sociology and the College.

Clemens’ research focuses on the role of social movements and organizational innovation in political change. Her first book, The People’s Lobby: Organizational Innovation and the Rise of Interest Group Politics in the United States, 1890-1925, was recognized by the American Sociological Association as an exceptional work of both organizational sociology and political sociology. Clemens has co-edited multiple volumes, including Politics and Partnerships: Voluntary Associations in America’s Political Past and Present (2010), which won a research prize from the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action.

Her forthcoming book, Civic Gifts, will examine how benevolence and liberalism shaped the development of the American nation-state.

Clemens is a former president of the Social Science History Association. She is also past chair of UChicago’s Department of Sociology and master of the Social Sciences Collegiate Division. She is currently editor of the American Journal of Sociology.

Michael Greenstone has been named the Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics and the College.

Greenstone directs the Becker Friedman Institute and the interdisciplinary Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago. His research appears in leading economics and scientific journals and has influenced policy globally. The primary motivation of his research is the global energy challenge that aims to balance society’s need for inexpensive and reliable energy for robust economic growth, without unduly harming human health or the environment or increasing the probability of disruptive climate change. Recently, he created the Air Quality Life Index®, which enables people globally to understand the impact of air pollution on life expectancy.

He previously served as the chief economist for President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, where he co-led the development of the U.S. government’s social cost of carbon. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the Econometric Society and a former editor of the Journal of Political Economy

Derek Neal has been named the William C. Norby Professor in the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics and the College.

Shortly after arriving at UChicago, Neal began work on a series of papers that document the causes and consequences of basic skill gaps that develop between black and white youth as they progress through childhood and early adolescence. Over the past decade, he has worked on the design of incentive and accountability systems for educators. In 2018, he published Information, Incentives and Education Policy (Harvard University Press). His current work explores how U.S. criminal justice policy impacts black-white inequality.

He is a past president of the Midwest Economics Association, a fellow of the Society of Labor Economists, and a former editor of the Journal of Human Resources, the Journal of Labor Economics and the Journal of Political Economy.

Booth School of Business

Ralph S.J. Koijen has been named the AQR Capital Management Professor. Koijen’s research focuses on finance, insurance and macroeconomics. His research has been published in the American Economic Review, Econometrica, the Journal of Political Economy, the Journal of Finance, the Review of Financial Studies and the Journal of Financial Economics. His research has been covered in popular media, such as the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Economist.

Before joining Chicago Booth in 2018, Koijen was a professor of finance at the London Business School and NYU Stern, and an assistant and associate professor of finance at Chicago Booth.

Koijen is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a research fellow of the Center for Economic Policy Research. He serves as an editor of the Review of Financial Studies. 

Sendhil Mullainathan has been named the Roman Family University Professor. His current research uses machine learning to understand complex problems in human behavior, social policy, and especially medicine, where computational techniques have the potential to uncover biomedical insights from large-scale health data.

Mullainathan’s research spans broad areas of economics: behavioral, labor, public economics and corporate finance, and most recently has focused on the intersection of machine learning and public policy. He recently co-authored Scarcity: Why Having too Little Means so Much..

In 2012, Mullainathan was designated a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum; he also was labeled a Top 100 Thinker by Foreign Policy Magazine, and named to the “Smart List: 50 people who will change the world” by Wired Magazine (UK). Mullainathan helped co-found the non-profit organization ideas42, which applies behavioral science to positively change lives; and co-founded Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, a center to promote the use of randomized control trials in development.

In 2002, he received a MacArthur Fellowship and serves on the board of the MacArthur Foundation. Mullainathan is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Pietro Veronesi has been named the Chicago Board of Trade Professor. Also deputy dean for faculty at Chicago Booth, he conducts research that focuses on asset pricing, stock and bond valuation under uncertainty, bubbles and crashes, return predictability and stochastic volatility.

Most recently, he has been interested in studying, both theoretically and empirically, the interaction between government interventions and the behavior of asset prices. He is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a research fellow of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Additionally, he is a former director of the American Finance Association and co-editor of the Review of Financial Studies.

His work has appeared in numerous publications, including the Journal of Political Economy, American Economic ReviewQuarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of FinanceJournal of Financial Economics and Review of Financial Studies. He is the recipient of several awards, including the 2015 AQR Insight award, the 2012 and 2003 Smith Breeden prizes from the Journal of Finance; the 2008 WFA award; the 2006 Barclays Global Investors Prize from the EFA; the 2006 Fama/DFA prizes from the Journal of Financial Economics; and the 1999 Barclays Global Investors/Michael Brennan First Prize from the Review of Financial Studies

Amy R. Ward has been named the first Rothman Family Professor. Ward’s research expertise is in the development and analysis of stochastic process models that help promote efficient operations in service firms. This requires tools from probability, queueing theory, simulation, optimization, statistics, game theory and decision analysis. Her recent work investigates the interplay between employee incentives and operational efficiency. Other recent work provides a methodological framework for scheduling requests from heterogeneous and impatient customers. 

Ward serves as the Stochastic Models Area Editor for the journal Operations Research. She is the Service Management Special Interest Group Chair for the INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and Management Science) Manufacturing and Service Operations Management Society and she served as the chair of the INFORMS Applied Probability Society from 2016 to 2018. 

Harris School of Public Policy

Jens Ludwig has been named the Edwin A. and Betty L. Bergman Distinguished Service Professor.

Ludwig is a recognized expert in urban policy. He is director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, which works with government to reduce crime and improve the criminal justice system. Crime Lab research has informed policy in Chicago, New York and other cities, and was credited as one motivation for President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative.

His recent work focuses on using machine learning tools to improve policy decisions. He has also studied gun violence prevention, how social conditions affect schooling outcomes, and the federal Moving to Opportunity demonstration, which helped low-income public housing families move to less distressed neighborhoods.

Ludwig is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Neurobiological and Socio-behavioral Science of Adolescent Development and Its Applications, and is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.

School of Social Service Administration

Robert J. Chaskin has been named the McCormick Foundation Professor in the School of Social Service Administration.

Chaskin’s research focuses on social policy and community practice in the areas of public housing and urban poverty. He examines theories of community and social policy responses to urban poverty, strategies used to guide community change, especially participatory planning and democratic governance at the grassroots level, and how research can inform community practice and policy.

His study of Chicago’s housing reform efforts examined mixed-income public housing redevelopments, recommended improvements and won acclaim for its comprehensive insights. Globally, Chaskin is studying slum clearance, and housing policy in Mumbai and conducted research on civic and political engagement of urban youth in Belfast, Dublin and London. His work in India, Ireland, the U.K., China, Hong Kong and Korea transformed SSA from a school with limited global social welfare activity to one that is a major player among social work institutions.