April 27, 2000
Vol. 19 No. 15

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    Five researchers from University chosen as Alfred P. Sloan fellows

    Five University professors recently were selected to receive 2000 Alfred P. Sloan research fellowships for their exceptional promise to contribute to the advancement of knowledge.

    The Chicago recipients are Fernando Alvarez, Assistant Professor in Economics; Sean Carroll, Assistant Professor in Physics; Austan Goolsbee, Associate Professor of Economics in the Graduate School of Business; Owen Lamont, Associate Professor of Finance in the Graduate School of Business; and Milan Mrksich, Assistant Professor in Chemistry.

    Now in its 45th year, the Sloan Research Fellowship Program has supported more than 3,500 young researchers by awarding nearly $87 million. The five Chicago recipients each will receive $40,000 in unrestricted research funds.

    “The Sloan research fellowships were created by Alfred P. Sloan Jr. in 1955 to provide crucial and flexible funds to outstanding researchers early in their academic careers,” said Ralph Gomory, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, in announcing the awards. “Through the years, these fellowships have helped the research careers of their recipients, and we are very proud to be associated with their achievements.”

    Fellowship candidates are nominated by departmental chairs and other senior scholars familiar with their talents. A committee of distinguished scientists and scholars, including Lars Hansen, the Homer J. Livingston Professor in Economics at the University, reviewed more than 400 nominations for this year’s awards.

    Once chosen, Sloan fellows may pursue whatever lines of inquiry are of most interest to them, and they are permitted to employ fellowship funds in a wide variety of ways to further their research aims.

    Alvarez has research interests in macroeconomics, asset pricing, contract theory and labor. He has written on topics related to unemployment, business cycle, exchange rates and interest rates.

    He received a B.A. in economics in 1989 from the National University of La Plata in Argentina and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota in 1994.

    Alvarez was a member of the faculty of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania before joining the Chicago faculty in 1996.

    Carroll conducts research in theoretical physics, focusing on aspects of particle physics, gravitation, and cosmology, especially the relationships between these fields.

    He received a B.S. in astronomy and astrophysics and a B.A. in the honors program from Villanova University in 1988 and a Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard University in 1993. He joined the Chicago faculty in 1999.

    Goolsbee will use his Sloan fellowship award to study the economics of Internet commerce and the role of government policy in the information age.

    Goolsbee, who received his B.A. and M.A from Yale University in 1991 and his Ph.D. from MIT in 1995, joined the University faculty as an Assistant Professor in 1995.

    Lamont will use the award to conduct research in corporate diversification and the determination of stock market values.

    He received his B.A. from Oberlin College in 1988 and his Ph.D. from MIT in 1994. Before joining the University faculty as an Assistant Professor in 1995, Lamont was on the faculty at Princeton University.

    Both Goolsbee and Lamont also are current recipients of the National Science Foundation’s CAREER grants.

    Mrksich is developing routes toward new bioelectrical systems that combine mammalian cells with electronic circuits. His work will provide new opportunities for fundamental studies in cell biology and for a range of applications in biotechnology.

    Mrksich received a B.S. in chemistry, magna cum laude, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1989 and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1994.

    He joined the Chicago faculty in 1996 and has been the recipient of a Searle Scholar award and a Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award.