UChicago faculty members receive named, distinguished service professorships

A total of 19 faculty members recently have received named professorships or have been named distinguished service professors. Graeme I. Bell, Philip Bohlman, Eric D. Isaacs and Konstantin Sonin have received distinguished service professorships; and Daniel Abebe, Sian Beilock, Diane Brentari, Kathryn A. Colby, Nicolas Dauphas, Justin Driver, Robert D. Gibbons, Melissa L. Gilliam, Gary Herrigel, Aziz Huq, Michèle LowrieDavid Meltzer, Andrey Rzhetsky, Amir Sufi and Gary Tubb have received named professorships.

Biological Sciences Division


Graeme I. Bell, the Louis Block Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics, has been named the Kovler Family Distinguished Service Professor.

Bell studies the genetics of diabetes mellitus and the biology of the insulin-secreting pancreatic beta-cell. He cloned and characterized many of the genes involved in the regulation of glucose metabolism, including insulin, glucagon, glucose transporters and others.

He has won many honors in the field, including the 2013 Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement from the American Diabetes Association for his pioneering work in understanding the role of genetics in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes. In 2012, he received the Manpei Suzuki International Prize for Diabetes Research. Bell is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

As a core member of the University of Chicago Medicine’s diabetes genetics team, Bell works to personalize treatment based on a patient’s specific genetic defect. Many of these patients are children, and some can be treated with pills that compensate for the genetic defect, rather than with insulin shots. More than 1,500 patients and family members are now participating in genetic studies aimed at improving treatment through a better understanding of genetics.

Bell joined the UChicago faculty in 1986.


Kathryn A. Colby, Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, has been named a Louis Block Professor.

Colby is an internationally renowned corneal surgeon, educator and researcher with expertise in a wide variety of corneal diseases, neoplastic diseases of the surface of the eye, and the implantation of artificial corneas. She has a longstanding interest in Fuchs’ corneal dystrophy, the most common cause for corneal transplantation in the United States and her studies in this area have run the gamut from basic science to clinical trials and novel surgical treatments to improve patient outcomes.

In addition, she has specific expertise in the management of ocular surface tumors, including conjunctival melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Colby spearheaded efforts to improve surgical techniques for a variety of implanted eye devices, including the Boston keratoprosthesis (artificial cornea) and the implantable miniature telescope, the only FDA-approved device to improve vision for patients with advanced macular degeneration.

Colby is an active teacher, who has trained hundreds of medical students, ophthalmology residents, clinical cornea and pediatric ophthalmology fellows, many of whom are leaders in ophthalmology. Colby was the founding director of the pediatric cornea service at Boston Children’s Hospital and is a member of the executive committee of the board of directors of the Cornea Society.

Colby joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2015.


Robert D. Gibbons, Professor of Medicine, Public Health Sciences and Psychiatry has been named the Blum-Riese Professor.

Gibbons is a nationally recognized authority on a range of statistical disciplines, including mental health statistics, environmental statistics, item-response theory and drug safety. Gibbons has led the Center for Health Statistics since it was established in 2010. From its beginning, the center has continuously earned federal funding and acclaim for its work applying complex statistical theory to inform public policy.

Gibbons has authored or co-authored nearly 300 peer-reviewed publications and six textbooks. In addition, he has served on several editorial boards, including the board of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Psychiatry.

Gibbons is a Pritzker Scholar, a fellow of the American Statistical Association and cofounder of its Mental Health Statistics section. He also is an elected member of the International Statistical Institute and the National Academy of Medicine. Gibbons has earned numerous important accolades, including lifetime achievement awards from the American Statistical Association, the American Public Health Association, and Harvard University, as well as two W. J. Youden Awards for outstanding contributions to statistics in chemistry.

He joined the UChicago faculty in 2010.


Melissa L. Gilliam, Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Pediatrics, has been named the Ellen H. Block Professor in Health and Justice.

Gilliam is section chief of family planning and contraceptive research at the University and serves as dean for diversity and inclusion for the University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences Division.

As an authority on contraception and adolescent health, Gilliam addresses the gynecologic needs of girls and adolescents, especially youth of color, sexual minorities and young people at risk for poor sexual and reproductive health. Gilliam says her work focuses on “marginalized populations, reduction of health disparities through community-based interventions and efforts to increase diversity and improve health policy.” She heads the University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health, also known as Ci3. She cofounded the Game Changer Chicago Design Lab, which develops games and digital media interventions for youth.

In October of 2015, she was elected a member of the National Academy of Medicine, which honors those who have made major contributions to the fields of health and medicine and demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

Gilliam joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2005.


David Meltzer, Professor of Medicine, Economics and Public Policy, has been named the Fanny L. Pritzker Professor.

Meltzer’s research explores problems in health economics and public policy with a focus on the theoretical foundations of medical cost-effectiveness analysis, and the cost and quality of hospital care. In his research, Meltzer uses economic analysis to address problems in health economics and public policy, focusing on the cost and quality of care, especially in teaching hospitals.

He is a national leader in the study of the relatively new specialty of hospital medicine. He heads the Hospitalist Scholars Program at UChicago, which provides training in this field and examines the economic forces that have fueled growth of this specialty. Meltzer also pioneered the development of the Comprehensive Care Physician model, in which physicians provide inpatient and outpatient care for patients who are at an increased risk for hospitalization. The model is designed to leverage the power of the doctor–patient relationship and improve outcomes while controlling costs.

Meltzer also directs the Center for Health and the Social Sciences, and chairs the Committee on Clinical and Translational Science. Meltzer also is director of the University of Chicago Urban Health Lab. In October of 2015, he was elected a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Meltzer joined the University of Chicago faculty in 1996.


Andrey Rzhetsky, Professor of Medicine, has been named the Edna K. Papazian Professor.

Rzhetsky is a pioneer in the development of novel computational strategies that shed light on the complex genetic, molecular and environmental interactions involved in human health and disease.

His research utilizes powerful approaches to extract insights from big data. To harvest as much information as possible, his group runs data-mining projects that involve mathematical modeling and analysis of disparate datasets, such as electronic medical records, scientific texts and high-throughput experimental data. His models require dynamic collaboration with a range of experts in disease phenotypes, genetics, statistical modeling, epidemiology and the sociology of science. Rzhetsky also developed in invented the first automated literature extraction program for the prediction of molecular interactions.

Rzhetsky is the director of the Conte Center for Computational Neuropsychiatric Genomics, and is a senior fellow of both the Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology and the Computation Institute.

He serves as associate editor for numerous high-profile journals, including Nature Scientific Reports and PLoS Computational Biology.

Rzhetsky joined the UChicago faculty in 2007.

Humanities Division


Philip Bohlman, the Mary Werkman Distinguished Service Professor of Music and in the College, has been named the Ludwig Rosenberger Distinguished Service Professor in Jewish History.

An ethnomusicologist, Bohlman studies a wide range of topics related to music and modernity, with a focus on Jewish music and the politics of religion and race in the music of the Middle East and South Asia. His other research interests include Song Loves the Masses (2016) a translation of the musical writings of the 18th-century philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder and the Eurovision Song Contest.

Bohlman is the author of Revival and Reconciliation: Sacred Music in the Making of European Modernity (2013), Focus: Music, Nationalism, and the Making of the New Europe (2011), Jewish Music and Modernity (2008), and World Music: A Very Short Introduction (2002). He also edited The Cambridge History of World Music (2013).

An active performer as well as a scholar, Bohlman is the artistic director of the New Budapest Orpheum Society. The eight-member Jewish cabaret troupe is the ensemble-in-residence of the Division of the Humanities at the University.

The group’s recent projects include As Dreams Fall Apart (2014), a CD that draws on music from Yiddish and German-Jewish films from the 1920s to the post-Holocaust generation of the 1950s, and for which the ensemble received a 2016 Grammy Award nomination. Bohlman and the New Budapest Orpheum Society were the recipients of the 2011 Noah Greenberg Award for Historical Performance from the American Musicological Society.

Bohlman joined the UChicago faculty in 1987.


Diane Brentari, Professor of Linguistics and in the College, has been named the Mary Werkman Professor.

Brentari, PhD’90, studies sign languages from around the world to better understand their similarities and differences and to illuminate the properties that all languages share. Her work has included projects on phonetics, phonology, morphology and prosody. She has developed the Prosodic Model of sign language phonology.

Currently, her work addresses cross-linguistic variation, particularly the differences and similarities among sign languages. She is also interested in the emergence of language, and is engaged in studies of the cognitive, social and cultural aspects of gesture, homesign systems and well-established sign languages.

Brentari is the author of Sign Languages: A Cambridge Language Survey (2010) and A Prosodic Model of Sign Language Phonology (1998), and editor of Foreign Vocabulary in Sign Languages: A Cross-linguistic Investigation of Word Formation (2001) and Morphology and its Relation to Syntax and Phonology (1998).

She is the director of the Sign Language Linguistics Laboratory and co-director of the Center for the Study of Gesture, Sign, and Language.

Brentari joined the UChicago faculty in 2011.


Michèle Lowrie, Professor of Classics and in the College, has been named the Andrew W. Mellon Professor.

A literary scholar with interests in ideology and forms of expression, Michèle Lowrie traces the history of political concepts and their transmission by figurative means. Her research focuses on Roman literature and political thought and ancient Rome’s continued resonance in modernity.

Her current projects include: the emergence of security as a concept in the wake of the collapse of the Roman Republic; the Roman tradition of representing civil war, in collaboration with Barbara Vinken; the exemplum and exceptional politics from Cicero to Augustus; “Thinking through Tropes,” a faculty seminar funded by the Neubauer Collegium that examines the representational methods for structuring traditions; and transformations in the public sphere between Cicero and Horace.

Lowrie has written two monographs and numerous articles, as well as edited four volumes. She is a recipient of the Burkhardt Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies, a visiting research professorship at the Warburg-Haus in Hamburg, a fellowship from the Research Center for Cultural Theory and Theory of the Political Imaginary at the University of Konstanz, and fellowships from the Center for Advanced Studies at Ludwig-Maximilian’s University in Munich. Lowrie is currently in residence at the American Academy in Berlin as the Dirk Ippen Berlin Prize Fellow. Her sabbatical has received additional funding from the Loeb Classical Library Foundation Fellowship.

Lowrie, who will become deputy dean for the Division of the Humanities on July 1, joined the UChicago faculty in 2009.


Gary Tubb, Professor of South Asian Languages and Civilizations and in the College, has been named the first Anupama and Guru Ramakrishnan Professor.

A leading Sanskrit scholar, Tubb examines the tradition’s poetics, grammatical forms and commentarial traditions. In addition to his scholarship of Sanskrit language and literature, Tubb studies the literary, religious and philosophical traditions of India.

Tubb is the author of Scholastic Sanskrit: A Handbook for Students (2007). He is an editor and primary contributor in the book Innovations and Turning Points: Toward a History of Kavya Literature (2014). Another book, On Poets and Pots: Essays on Sanskrit Poetry, Poetics and Philosophy, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

Alongside his teaching and research, Tubb is the faculty director of the University of Chicago Center in Delhi.

He joined the UChicago faculty in 2007.

Physical Sciences Division


Nicolas Dauphas, Professor of Geophysical Sciences and in the College and the Enrico Fermi Institute, has been named a Louis Block Professor.

A leading isotope geochemist, Dauphas draws upon the analytical and modeling methods of his training as an engineer to develop novel strategies for solving important scientific questions using naturally occurring isotope variations. He founded and directs UChicago’s Origins Laboratory to examine questions pertaining to the early evolution of the Earth and what meteorites reveal about the formation of planets, asteroids and comets.

His research has included an examination of how the rapid formation of Mars makes it more akin to a planetary embryo than a fully grown planet, and the discovery of microscopic remnants in a meteorite of a nearby supernova that exploded before the solar system was formed.

Just last year, a paper Dauphas published was named an Editors’ Choice by Science Magazine. The paper addressed a longstanding problem regarding the origin of Earth’s depletion in silicon and the origin of Earth’s core density deficit. His research bridges the gap between planetary sciences and astrophysics, as attested by his invitation to deliver the 2015 Spitzer lecture in the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University.

Dauphas has received the American Geophysical Union’s Macelwane Medal, the European Association for Geochemistry’s Houtermans Medal, and the Meteoritical Society’s Nier Prize. He also is an American Geophysical Union fellow and a David and Lucile Packard Foundation fellow.

Dauphas joined the UChicago faculty in 2004.


Eric D. Isaacs, Provost and Professor of Physics and in the College, has been named the Robert A. Millikan Distinguished Service Professor.

Isaacs’ distinguished research career as a condensed matter physicist has focused on quantum materials. His early research in developing synchrotron X-ray scattering techniques continues to play an important role in nanoscale scientific research.

Isaacs served as director of Argonne National Laboratory from 2009 to 2014. Under his leadership, Argonne researchers focused on solving the grand scientific and engineering challenges of our time—particularly the vital national priority of developing game-changing sustainable energy technologies. During that period he also played key roles in the creation of the Institute for Molecular Engineering and expanding the impact of the Computation Institute—two joint efforts of the University and Argonne.

From 2003 to 2008 he served as founding director of Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials.

Isaacs has authored or co-authored more than 150 scientific papers and presentations. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and has served on multiple national scientific advisory committees, including the Department of Energy’s Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee.

Isaacs joined the UChicago faculty in 2004 and became University provost in 2014.

Social Sciences Division


Sian Beilock, Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives and Professor of Psychology and in the College, has been named the Stella M. Rowley Professor.

Beilock, whose research focuses on topics at the intersection of cognitive science and education, explores the cognitive and neural substrates of skill learning as well as the mechanisms by which performance breaks down in high-stress or high-pressure situations.

Beilock is one of the world’s leading experts on the brain science behind “choking under pressure” and the many factors influencing all types of performance: from test-taking to public speaking to one’s golf swing. In her laboratory, the Human Performance Lab, Beilock employs a wide range of methods such as measures of performance, physiological measures of stress, and neuroimaging techniques. She also conducts studies in the classroom with students from early elementary school through college.

She has authored two books: How The Body Knows Its Mind: The Surprising Power of the Physical Environment to Influence How You Think and Feel (2015) and Choke: What The Secrets Of The Brain Reveals About Getting It Right When You Have To (2010).

Beilock joined the UChicago faculty in 2005.

University of Chicago Booth School of Business


Amir Sufi, the Chicago Board of Trade Professor, has been named the first Bruce Lindsay Professor of Economics and Public Policy.

In his research, Sufi focuses on finance and macroeconomics. His recent research on household debt and the economy has been profiled in The Economist, the Financial Times, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. He also has presented this work to policymakers at the Federal Reserve, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs, and the White House Council of Economic Advisors. This research forms the basis of his book co-authored with Atif Mian: House of Debt: How They (and You) Caused the Great Recession and How We Can Prevent It from Happening Again, which was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2014.

Sufi also is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and he serves as an associate editor for the American Economic Review and the Quarterly Journal of Economics. His articles have been published in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Finance and the Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Sufi graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University with a bachelor’s degree in economics. As a PhD student in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he received the Solow Endowment Prize for Graduate Student Excellence in Teaching and Research.

He joined the UChicago faculty in 2005.

The College


Gary Herrigel, Professor of Political Science and in the College, has been named the Paul Klapper Professor.

Herrigel’s research interests include comparative political economy and alternative forms of governance in economic process and regulation throughout the developed and developing world. A common thread in his work has been an interest in the changing boundaries of firms and the political arrangements that govern them in Europe (particularly Germany), the United States and Japan.

Herrigel’s most recent book, Manufacturing Possibilities: Creative Action and Industrial Recomposition in the U.S., Germany and Japan, applies pragmatist theories of creative social action to contemporary industrial transformation processes.

Currently, he is completing a book on recursivity and governance in the globalization of German manufacturing. He also is beginning a project to explore the intersection of public and private governance architectures in environmental, health and safety regulation in the Norwegian offshore oil industry.

In the face of pessimism regarding the future of manufacturing in developed countries, Herrigel aims to understand and identify possibilities for continued growth and employment by conceiving of contemporary manufacturing in a globally interactive way.

In addition to the books Herrigel has authored and co-edited, he has written numerous articles and book chapters and has edited a special issue of the journal Enterprise and Society.

Herrigel joined the UChicago faculty in 1989.

Harris School of Public Policy Studies


Konstantin Sonin, Professor of Public Policy, has been named the John Dewey Distinguished Service Professor.

A prominent scholar of Russian, Sonin’s research interests include political economics, development and economic theory and political economy. In recent years Sonin has focused on applying behavioral microeconomic concepts to an array of social and political phenomena, including corruption, dictatorship and the inequitable distribution of property.

His academic work has earned him three medals from the Global Development Network, best economist awards from the Russian Academy of Science in 2002-03, and the 2008 Ovsievich Memorial Prize in Mathematical Economics, given annually to a distinguished Russian scholar under 40.

Sonin’s papers have been published in leading academic journals of economics such as the Quarterly Journal of Economics, American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Review of Economic Studies and political science such as the American Political Science Review and American Journal of Political Science.

Sonin joined the UChicago faculty in 2015.

University of Chicago Law School


Daniel Abebe, Professor of Law, has been named the Harold J. and Marion F. Green Professor of Law.

Abebe’s research interests focus primarily on the relationship between the constitutional law of U.S. foreign relations, public international law and international politics; international courts and the structure of international organizations; and cyber warfare and presidential power.

He has taught foreign relations law, public international law, conflict of laws, international trade law, legal issues in international transactions, and refugee and asylum law, among other courses and seminars.

He is a contributor to a forthcoming book Why Comparative International Law Needs International Relations Theory, (Oxford University Press 2016) and two of his papers, “Cyber War, International Politics and Institutional Design” and “International Human Rights Law in Africa: Are Courts Effective,” will be published in the University of Chicago Law Review and the Virginia Journal of International Law respectively.

Abebe’s articles have appeared in the Chicago Journal of International Law, the Vanderbilt Law Review, the Stanford Journal of International Law, the Supreme Court Review, and the Michigan Journal of International Law.

Abebe clerked for Judge Damon J. Keith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

He joined the UChicago Law School faculty in 2008.


Justin Driver, Professor of Law, has been named the Harry N. Wyatt Professor of Law.

Driver’s principal teaching and research interests include constitutional law, constitutional theory, education law and the intersection of race with legal institutions.

His writing has appeared in publications such as the University of Chicago Law Review, Yale Law Journal, Columbia Law Review, Supreme Court Review, Harvard Law Review, and the New Republic.

His paper, “The Constitutional Conservatism of the Warren Court” (published in the California Law Review), was awarded the 2012 William Nelson Cromwell Article prize for the best article in American legal history published by an early career scholar.

Driver served as a law clerk to Judge Merrick B. Garland, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Justice Stephen Breyer of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Driver joined the University of Chicago Law School faculty in 2014.


Aziz Huq, Professor of Law, has been named the Frank and Bernice J. Greenberg Professor of Law.

Huq’s teaching and research interests include constitutional law, criminal procedure, federal courts and legislation. His scholarship concerns the intersection of institutional design and individual rights and liberties.

He has been published in both leading law reviews and peer-reviewed journals. His recent research articles have won the Association of American Law Schools’ Junior Scholars Paper Competition Award in Criminal Law and have been selected for the Harvard/Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum. His co-edited volume “Assessing Constitutional Performance” is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press this year.

Prior to UChicago, Huq litigated cases in both the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court. He also was a senior consultant analyst for the International Crisis Group, researching constitutional design and implementation in Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka.

He clerked for Judge Robert D. Sack of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Huq joined the UChicago faculty in 2009.