Oct. 1, 1998
Vol. 18, No. 1

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    Distinguished group joins the University's faculty

    An unusually distinguished group of scholars has joined the Chicago faculty this year. Among them are eight additions to the Law School who have come to the University as a result of one of the "greatest faculty raids of all time," according to the National Law Journal .

    Dean of the Law School Douglas Baird was especially pleased with the appointments. "At the start of last year, we identified the eight scholars who most fit our needs," Baird said. "We invited only these eight to join us, and happily, every one of them accepted. Now joining us is perhaps the most impressive group ever to come to an American law school in a single year since the Law School itself was founded in 1902."

    Shadi Bartsch is an expert in Latin literature, literary theory and the interpretation and history of classical rhetoric. In June 1998, she left her position as associate professor of classics and rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley, to serve as Professor in Classics and the Committee on the History ofCommittee on the History of Culture at Chicago.

    She has written three books: Ideology in Cold Blood (1998), Actors in the Audience: Theatricality and Doublespeak from Nero to Hadrian (1994) and Decoding the Ancient Novel: The Reader and the Role of Description in Heliodorus and Achilles Tatius (1989). Currently, she is writing a book titled The Mirror of Philosophy: Specularity, Sexuality, and Self-Knowledge in the Roman Empire and co-editing The Oxford Encyclopedia of Rhetoric . In January 1998, she delivered the George Walsh Memorial Lecture at Chicago.

    Alexander Beilinson has been named the first David and Mary Winton Green University Professor. Beilinson has made fundamental contributions to a wide variety of mathematical fields, including the central areas of arithmetic algebraic geometry, representation theory and mathematical physics. He has achieved an original viewpoint that gives rise to a mathematical project known as the "Beilinson Conjectures." These can be expected to be a guiding influence in the areas of number theory and algebraic geometry for many mathematical generations to come.

    A new Chicago faculty member, Beilinson served as a professor of mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1989 to 1998 and as a researcher at Landau Institute of Theoretical Physics at Chernogolovka, Russia, from 1988 to 1998.

    From 1980 to 1988, he did mathematical research at a Moscow cardiological center. Beilinson received the Moscow Mathematical Society prize in 1984.

    Lisa Bernstein is a member of the "New Chicago School" of law, which emphasizes the role social norms have on the legal system. Bernstein, now Professor of Law in the Law School, is nationally recognized for her research on how mercantile norms and commercial law interact.

    Bernstein studies the law and economics of contracts and alternative dispute resolutions and teaches corporate law and corporate governance.

    She is the recipient of a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation to research a book on private commercial law.

    Bernstein came to Chicago from the Georgetown University Law Center, where she was a professor. Previously, she had been an associate professor at Boston University, a visiting professor at Columbia University, a visiting associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a visiting research fellow at Harvard.

    She received her J.D. from Harvard in 1990 and her B.A. in 1986 from the University of Chicago.

    Elliot Gershon joined the University in July as the Foundations Fund Professor and Chairman in Psychiatry. Gershon came from the National Institute of Mental Health, where he had been chief of the clinical neurogenetics branch since 1984. He has also been a medical director in the United States Public Health Service since 1975.

    Before joining the NIMH Biological Psychiatry Branch in 1974, Gershon was director of research at the Jerusalem Mental Health Center in Israel.

    An authority on the genetics of psychiatric disorders, Gershon has been a leader in the search for genes that contribute to the development of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. His colleagues and he have found linkages to bipolar disease on chromosome 18 and to schizophrenia on chromosome 6. He received the Selo Prize of the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders in 1996. Gershon, routinely named in the publication The Best Doctors in America for care of patients with mood disorders, received his B.A. and his M.D. from Harvard. A member of the editorial boards of several psychiatric journals and former president of the American Psychopathological Association, Gershon has edited four books and written more than 300 articles on the neurobiology, genetics and treatment of mental disorders.

    Richard Hudson joins Chicago as Professor in Ecology & Evolution and began teaching in July. Hudson is a theoretical evolutionary geneticist and has developed statistical tests to detect natural selection at the DNA level.

    Previously, Hudson taught ecology and evolution at the University of California, Irvine. He has also worked as a research mathematician for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

    Hudson received his B.A. in physics from the University of California, San Diego, in 1971 and his Ph.D. in biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1982.

    Anthony Kossiakoff has joined the staff of the Biological Sciences Division as Professor and Chairman in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Co-director in the new Interdivisional Research Institute as the Otho S.A. Sprague Professor of Medical Science. The IRI will bring together physicists, chemists and biologists to study basic science at the biological-physical interface.

    Kossiakoff's own research focuses on the dynamic properties of proteins and how their complex shapes and interactions contribute to their function. He is also interested in working on identifying new targets for drugs. Before coming to the University, Kossiakoff worked at Genentech Inc., a pharmaceutical company in San Francisco, as director of protein engineering. He previously worked at Brookhaven National Laboratories as a biophysicist.

    Kossiakoff received his B.S. in chemistry and mathematics from Davis and Elkins College in 1968 and was awarded his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Delaware, Newark, in 1972.

    Saul Levmore , considered one of the giants in the legal academy, has been appointed the William B. Graham Professor of Law in the Law School. Levmore was previously the Brokaw professor of corporate law and the Albert Clark Tate Jr. research professor at the University of Virginia. In 1997, he made the National Law Journal's wish list of academics that "deans at the nation's best law schools would die for."

    Levmore's research is in corporations, torts, corporate tax, comparative law, commercial law, contracts, insurance, and public choice and the law. Currently, he is writing about why certain groups receive government reparations and others do not. He is a consultant on problems of business organization, taxation, commercial law and development both in the United States and abroad.

    Levmore was a Visiting Professor at Chicago's Law School in 1993 and has also visited at Northwestern, Michigan, Toronto, Harvard and Yale. He joined the Virginia faculty as an assistant professor in 1980 and was appointed professor in 1984. He received both a law faculty research prize in 1997 and a teaching award in 1984 from the University of Virginia.

    Levmore received his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1980, his Ph.D. in economics from Yale University in 1978 and his B.A. from Columbia College in 1973.

    Nikolai Nadirashvili , a research scientist at the Academy of Sciences of Russia in Moscow, joins the faculty as a Professor in Mathematics.

    Nadirashvili specializes in analysis and geometry. He is regarded as one of the greatest experts in the world on elliptic partial differential equations and has made fundamental contributions to both the linear and nonlinear theories. He has worked at the Academy of Sciences of Russia since 1977, first in the Institute for Earth Physics, and then beginning in 1995, in the Institute for Information Transmissions Problems.

    In 1988 and 1989, Nadirashvili also served as a professor at the Moscow Pedagogical Institute. In 1983, he received the Award of the Moscow Mathematical Society, of which he also is a member.

    Thomas Pavel , Professor in Romance Languages & Literatures, began his career in 1962 as a research assistant in linguistics at the Romanian Academy in Bucharest. Since then, he has taught at the University of Ottawa, the UniversitE du Quebec in Montreal, the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Princeton University.

    In 1977, Pavel received the Canadian Jubiliary Medal of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II, and in 1990, France named him a Knight of the Order of Academic Palms. In 1992, his achievements were recognized with the Rene Wellek Prize of the American Comparative Literature Association.

    A prolific writer, Pavel is the author of more than seven books and the editor of eight collections.

    Eric Posner was named a member of the "New Chicago School" of law by the New Yorker . Now Professor of Law at Chicago, Posner studies contracts, bankruptcy and social norms. He is currently writing on international customary law, contract law, corporate reorganization and cost-benefit analysis.

    Posner is finishing a book, Law, Cooperation, and Rational Choice , which examines the relationship between law and social norms. An article on the same subject was recently published in the Journal of Legal Studies .

    Last year, Posner was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at Chicago. Previously, he had been an assistant professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania and an attorney adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel to the U.S. Department of Justice. In 1991, he was a law clerk to Judge Stephen F. Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit.

    Posner received his J.D. from Harvard in 1991 and his M.A. and B.A. in philosophy from Yale in 1988.

    Edward Prescott , a leading expert on business cycles, general equilibrium theory, and methodology and policy, has joined the faculty as a Professor in Economics. He comes to the University from the University of Minnesota, where he was Regents' professor. He is a senior consultant in the research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

    Prescott has published numerous papers and several books, including Recursive Methods in Economic Dynamics with Nancy Stokey, the Frederick Henry Price Professor in Economics, and Robert Lucas, the John Dewey Distinguished Service Professor in Economics. He was co-editor of Contractual Arrangements for Intertemporal Trade .

    He received a B.A. in mathematics from Swarthmore in 1963 and a Ph.D. in economics from Carnegie-Mellon in 1967.

    Marta Ptaszynska , Professor in Composition, has had her works performed at several world-renowned festivals across Europe as well as in Israel and Mexico. She has 12 recordings to her credit as well as three books. She also has studied music in Warsaw, Paris and Cleveland.

    Ptaszynska began her teaching career as an instructor at Lycee of Music in Warsaw, Poland. In 1974, she became a professor at Bennington College in Bennington, Vt.

    She later taught at the University of California, Berkeley; the University of California, Santa Barbara; the University of Cincinnati and Northwestern University. Before coming to the University of Chicago, she was a professor in composition at Indiana University. Julie Roin , newly appointed as Professor of Law in the Law School, is a tax specialist. Her research is on federal income taxation, taxation of new financial transactions and taxation of international transactions.

    Roin came from the University of Virginia, where she had been the Henry L. and Grace Doherty charitable foundation professor of law since 1996. She was the class of 1963 research professor of law at Virginia from 1992 to 1995 and a professor of law there since 1990.

    Roin was a Visiting Professor of Law at Chicago's Law School in 1993. She was the Pritzker visiting professor of law at Northwestern in 1998 and also held visiting professorships at Michigan, Harvard and Yale. She was an associate at Caplin & Dysdale, Chartered, in Washington, D. C. and clerked for the Hon. Patricia M. Wald of the U. S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, in 1980.

    Roin received her J.D. from Yale in 1980, where she was editor of the Yale Law Journal , and her B.A. from Radcliffe College in 1977.

    Saskia Sassen , who has done pioneering work in globalization, has joined the faculty as a Professor in Sociology. She comes from Columbia University, where she had been a professor of urban planning.

    Sassen is the author of several books, including Losing Control? Sovereignty in an Age of Globalization (1996), The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo (1991) and The Mobility of Labor and Capital: A Study of International Investment and Labor Flow (1988). A collection of selected essays by Sassen, titled Globalization and Its Discontent (1998), has also recently been published.

    Sassen received two years of undergraduate education at the Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires in Argentina and the Universita degli Studi di Roma in Italy respectively. She then moved immediately to graduate school, receiving a Ph.D. in economics and sociology from Notre Dame in 1974. She did postgraduate work at the UniversitE de Poitiers in France and at Harvard.

    L. Ridgway Scott , who began his career at Chicago as an L.E. Dickson Instructor in Mathematics, returns to the faculty as a Professor in Computer Science.

    Scott is conducting research in computational biomolecular design, electron microscope image reconstruction for structural biology, computational fluid dynamics using advanced algorithms and software techniques, and software tools used to automate parallel programming in scientific simulations.

    He comes to Chicago from the University of Houston, where he had served as the M.D. Anderson chair of computer science and mathematics since 1995 and as the director of the Texas Center for Advanced Molecular Computation since 1992.

    Scott taught computer science and mathematics at Pennsylvania State University from 1986 to 1989 and mathematics at the University of Michigan from 1978 to 1986. He also worked as a mathematician at Brookhaven National Laboratory from 1975 to 1978.

    Sangram Sisodia joins the Chicago faculty as Professor and Chairman in the Pharmacological & Physiological Sciences. Sisodia comes from Johns Hopkins University, where he was a professor in neuroscience and pathology and a faculty member in the cellular and molecular medicine program.

    A recognized authority on the molecular biology of Alzheimer's disease and ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), Sisodia has created transgenic models for both diseases. He has pioneered the study of the role of genes for presenilin 1 and 2, which can cause the early onset of forms of Alzheimer's disease.

    This year's recipient of the Metropolitan Life Foundation Award for Medical Research, Sisodia received his B.A. from the College of Wooster (Ohio) and his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. He completed his postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins and taught there from 1988 to 1998.

    Michel-Rolph Trouillot , a leading authority on the dynamics of power across cultural boundaries, has been named a Professor in Anthropology. He was previously the Krieger/Eisenhower distinguished professor of anthropology and director of the Institute for Global Studies in Culture, Power and History at Johns Hopkins.

    He is the author and co-author of a number of books, including Open the Social Sciences (1996), Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995), Haiti: State against Nation: The Origins and Legacy of Duvalierism (1990) and Peasants and Capital; Dominica in the World Economy (1988).

    His current work examines histories and how they are used to promote power. He also is studying the historical evolution of Caribbean peasantries, their inconsistent integration in the world economy and their role in the building of nationhood.

    Trouillot received a B.A. in Caribbean history and culture from the City University of New York in 1978 and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Johns Hopkins in 1985.