April 26, 2001
Vol. 20 No. 15

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    Two members of the faculty receive named professorships

    By Steve Koppes and John Easton
    News Office and Medical Center Public Affairs

    Vladimir Drinfeld

    Two University professors– Vladimir Drinfeld, Professor in Mathematics, and Ralph Weichselbaum, the Harold H. Hines Professor and Chairman of Radiation & Cellular Oncology–received named chairs, effective March 1.

    Drinfeld, whose specialties include algebraic geometry and algebraic aspects of mathematical physics, has been appointed the Harry Pratt Judson Distinguished Service Professor in Mathematics.

    Drinfeld joined the Chicago faculty in 1999. He came to Chicago from Ukraine’s Institute for Low Temperature Physics, where he had worked since 1981. He also has taught at Bashkir University in Ufa in the former Soviet Union and at Ukraine’s Kharkov University.

    In 1990, Drinfeld received the Fields Medal, the mathematics equivalent to the Nobel Prize. The medals are awarded to no fewer than two and no more than four mathematicians under the age of 40 every four years at the International Congress of Mathematicians.

    He currently is working in the Geometric Langlands program, which is a part of algebraic geometry closely related to number theory, automorphic form theory and representation theory.

    Drinfeld received the Soviet equivalent of a Ph.D. in 1978 from Moscow University. He also received a Doctor Sci. degree, which is higher than a Ph.D., from the Steklov Mathematical Institute, Moscow, in 1988.

    Weichselbaum has been named the first Daniel K. Ludwig Professor.

    A nationally recognized authority on the effects of radiation and on radiation therapy for cancer, Weichselbaum also serves as Director of a multicenter radiation therapy program that includes the University, the University of Illinois at Chicago and LaGrange Hospitals. He also is a Senior Biologist at Argonne National Laboratory.

    A leading researcher into the ability of certain types of tumors to resist the lethal effects of radiation, he also studied the regulation of genes responsible for this resistance. Weichselbaum has investigated the role of radiation therapy and chemotherapy on many types of cancer and the use of radiotherapy as an alternative to surgery. He has recently performed pioneering research on the effects of combining radiation therapy of tumors with substances that inhibit the ability of a tumor to grow new blood vessels–a promising approach that is just beginning clinical trials.

    A native Chicagoan, Weichselbaum received his B.A. at the University of Wisconsin and his medical degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

    Following a residency in radiation therapy at Harvard Medical School and research fellowships at the University of Illinois and at the Harvard School of Public Health, Weichselbaum began his teaching career at Harvard and became head of radiotherapy at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital/Dana Farber Cancer Institute in 1977.

    He joined the Chicago faculty as Professor and Chairman of Radiation & Cellular Oncology in 1984.