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Indiana University names 10 faculty members distinguished professors

For Immediate Release Dec 12, 2018
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Ten Indiana University faculty members have been appointed as distinguished professor, the university’s highest academic rank for scholars and researchers.

The appointments were approved Dec. 6 by the IU Board of Trustees.

IU Bloomington appointees are Arnaldo Cohen, Rudy Professor of Music in the Jacobs School of Music; and five from the College of Arts and Sciences: Eduardo S. Brondizio, professor of anthropology; Elisabeth A. Lloyd, the Arnold and Maxine Tanis Chair of History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine; Kenneth P. Mackie, the Linda and Jack Gill Chair of Neuroscience and professor of psychological and brain sciences; Catherine A. Pilachowski, professor and the Daniel Kirkwood Chair in Astronomy; and Samrat Upadhyay, the Martha C. Kraft Professor of Humanities in the Department of English. Another IU Bloomington appointee, Kirsten A. Grønbjerg, is also affiliated with IUPUI; she is professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IU Bloomington and Efroymson Chair in Philanthropy at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI.

Appointees from the School of Medicine at Indianapolis are Michael J. Econs, the Glenn W. Irwin Jr. Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism; Sharon M. Moe, the Stuart A. Kleit Professor of Medicine and professor of anatomy and cell biology; and Michael A. Weiss, the Robert A. Harris Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

“Indiana University’s distinguished professors are scholars and researchers who are recognized by their peers as some of the very best anywhere in the world,” IU President Michael A. McRobbie said. “These remarkable men and women continue to set the highest standards with their teaching, scholarship, innovation and leadership, while also educating our students at the highest levels. This rank is reserved for only the most highly acclaimed and accomplished IU faculty. Among our more than 10,000 faculty, there are fewer than 100 who have been appointed distinguished professor, which truly celebrates those faculty who have transformed their fields of study and have earned worldwide recognition.”

Distinguished Professor Symposia to honor the 10 will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. March 18 in Bloomington in Presidents Hall in Franklin Hall and from 4 to 6 p.m. March 19 in Indianapolis in Hine Hall Auditorium. Below are brief biographies, with links to longer profiles on the University Honors and Awards website:

Eduardo S. Brondizio

Eduardo S. Brondizio’s work focuses on the study of human-environmental interactions in the Amazon and is at the forefront of current discussions about climate change, biodiversity, sustainability, institutions and governance. He is considered a pioneer on the integration of ethnographic methods, surveys and remote sensing in anthropological research, and a leading authority on multi-scalar analysis. His work has contributed to understanding the mechanisms connecting household decisions and regional landscape change, rural-urban social networks and interactions between global commodity chains and small farmers.

Brondizio has served on numerous international scientific boards in the Americas, Europe and Asia and contributed leading roles in international global environmental change and sustainability research initiatives. He is currently the co-chair of the United Nations’ Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, the most comprehensive assessment to date of biodiversity, ecosystems and their contributions to society.

Arnaldo Cohen

Arnaldo Cohen was born in Brazil and completed bachelor’s degrees in piano in 1968 and violin in 1969 at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, earning the university’s Gold Medal award for excellence. He won first prize in both the Busoni International Piano Competition and the Beethoven International Competition.

In 2000, he received the Grão-Mestre da Ordem do Rio Branco, a recognition given by the president of Brazil for significant contributions to cooperation between the United Kingdom and Brazil as well as the Grão-Mestre da Ordem do Ipiranga from the governor of Sao Paolo for significant service and cultural contributions to the state. Cohen is a fellow of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, United Kingdom, and an honorary member of the Shanghai Conservatory.

Michael J. Econs

Michael J. Econs is a leading geneticist in metabolic bone diseases whose research focuses on rare and poorly understood disorders, such as X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets and autosomal dominant hypophosphatemic rickets. His research has played a critical role in the discovery of the genes responsible for both of these disorders.

Econs’ work has led to new diagnostic and therapeutic tools, including the recent approval by the European Union and the FDA of Burosumab, the first treatment for X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets in 30 years. The treatment has already had an impact on patients’ lives, restoring height in children, healing fractures and giving them the likelihood of avoiding many orthopedic surgeries. His discoveries represent the first time in the history of the IU School of Medicine that a faculty member has driven the science from concept through an FDA-approved therapy.

Kirsten A. Grønbjerg

Kirsten A. Grønbjerg’s work has formed the foundation of the new field of nonprofit organizations and management, where she has focused on government-nonprofit relations, nonprofit funding and the development of empirical information and data systems. Grønbjerg is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

She is a former co-president of the Association of Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action and vice president of the Indiana Chapter Council of the American Society for Public Administration and the International Sociological Association’s Research Committee on Poverty, Social Welfare and Social Policy. She has served for decades on the boards of national and local nonprofit organizations and has also developed complex service-learning courses in fund development with her students, working with more than 250 nonprofit organizations around the world. She was recognized with the Beth Wood Distinguished Service-Learning Faculty Award in 2013.

Elisabeth A. Lloyd

Elisabeth A. Lloyd’s path-breaking and seminal research illuminates how scientists go beyond the scientific method of hypothetico-deductive reasoning, which revolves around formulating hypotheses, making a prediction and then testing whether the prediction is upheld. Her work addresses fundamental philosophical questions about the nature of knowledge.

Lloyd has been the recipient of a National Science Foundation Scholar’s Award and Faculty Award and was a finalist for the Lakatos Prize. Her book, “The Case of the Female Orgasm,” was awarded both the Bonnie and Vern L. Bullough Book Award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality and the Philosophy of Science Association Women’s Caucus Prize in Feminist Philosophy of Science. She has been a fellow of the Evolution Think Tank in Germany.

Kenneth P. Mackie

Kenneth P. Mackie is a leader in the cannabinoid field, and his research began at a time when the effect of cannabinoids was relatively unknown to neurobiologists. His work has opened the way for our current view of cannabinoids as modulators of electrical signaling and of the input-output relations in neurons.

In 2008, Mackie was the recipient of the International Cannabinoid Research Society’s Mechoulam Award for lifetime achievement in cannabinoid research. He was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2016 and has also been a member of the National Institutes of Health National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Cannabis Research Priorities Task Group and the editorial board of several top academic journals in his field.

Sharon M. Moe

Sharon M. Moe’s translational research focuses on mineral metabolism and chronic kidney disease; she is considered one of the most influential scientists in her field. She has served on the editorial board of six journals in nephrology or kidney diseases and on 24 National Institutes of Health study sections.

Moe has served on the Executive Committee of the Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes nonprofit and has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the American Society of Nephrology and the Association of American Physicians. She has received the National Kidney Foundation’s Garabed Eknoyan Award for exceptional contributions to the foundation and the foundation’s Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Research Goals, and she has been listed in America’s Top Doctors and Leading Physicians of the World.

Catherine A. Pilachowski

Catherine A. Pilachowski’s contributions to stellar astrophysics and to the astronomical community regarding the detailed elemental abundances in stars have uncovered vital clues to understanding the evolution of the Milky Way Galaxy to its present state. Pilachowski played a key role in the design, construction and realization of the Wisconsin-Indiana-Yale-NOAO consortium and its 3.5-meter telescope on Kitt Peak, as well as the international 8-meter telescope Gemini Observatory project, where she served as deputy director of the U.S. Gemini program.

She has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association of University Women and the Council of Independent Colleges’ Academic Leadership Program. She has also served as president of the American Astronomical Society and on numerous NASA committees.

Samrat Upadhyay

Samrat Upadhyay is a fiction author – both novels and short stories – whose work focuses on Nepali lives in times of political and social upheaval. He has published seven major works, including “Arresting God in Kathmandu,” which received the Whiting Award; “The Royal Ghosts,” which won the Asian American Literary Award and the Society of Midland Authors Award and was named Best of Fiction in 2006 by The Washington Post; and “The Guru of Love,” which was on the Weltempfanger best list of African, Asian and Latin American fiction. He has also published more than 50 essays and short stories as well as five poems.

Upadhyay has received the Making Our Mark Award from the Association of Nepalis in the Americas, has been named the 2019 Distinguished Achievement in Creative Writing awardee by the South Asian Literary Association and received a fellowship in creative writing from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Michael A. Weiss

Michael A. Weiss’ work in molecular biomedical research focuses on insulin signaling and its relation to diabetes mellitus and sex determination and its relation to genetic infertility syndromes. Research in his lab has led to understanding a newly recognized syndrome of diabetes and, in the area of sex determination, to the understanding of structure and dynamics of many critical proteins.

He is the recipient of the Maurice Saltzman Award from the Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation of Cleveland and the Fletcher Scholars Award in Cancer Research from the Cancer Research Foundation. He was named to the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars by President Jimmy Carter in 1978. He is a member of the Association of American Physicians, the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Board of Scientific Counselors.

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