The 2006–2007 academic year has been exceptionally award-laden for the Krieger School faculty. Among the many significant honors:
Physics and Astronomy professor Charles L. Bennett won the 2006 Harvey Prize from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology for breakthroughs in science and technology, human health, or peace. Bennett’s pioneering work—as principal investigator of NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe—has contributed significantly to knowledge of cosmology by precisely determining the age, composition, and curvature of the universe. Bennett was also recently named to four National Academy of Sciences boards that advise the government on the nation’s space science programs.
History faculty member Louis Galambos received a Guggenheim Fellowship for his book project, The Creative Society—and the Price Americans Paid for Being Creative. The book takes the Great Depression of the 1930s as the pivotal point in the history of the American economy. It points to the emergence of a new class of professionals in whom the management of the economy, and more broadly, a wide range of social, economic, educational, and scientific enterprises, have been vested. Galambos is also a fellow at the Kluge Center of the Library of Congress during the 2006–2007 year.
One of the two winners of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was Andrew Z. Fire, an adjunct professor in the Biology Department. Fire, now a professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, is still an active adjunct in the Krieger School, and he is a former staff member at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Embryology n Baltimore.
Fire and co-winner Craig C. Mello were honored by the Nobel Assembly for discoveries related to RNA interference, a process that could eventually allow researchers to “turn off” the genes that trigger various illnesses. The two first published their findings in 1998, during Fire’s time at Carnegie.
Joseph G. Gall, a current Carnegie scientist and adjunct professor in biology, won the 2006 Lasker Award for Special Achievement in Medical Science. The Lasker Awards, considered the U.S. Nobels, recognize basic researchers and clinical scientists whose work has been seminal to understanding and treating disease. Gall was honored for his role as “a founder of modern cell biology” whose work has made great contributions to the field of chromosome structure and function, and as “a long-standing champion of women in science.”
Biologist Samer Hattar has been awarded a 2006 Packard Foundation Fellowship for Science and Engineering. The fellowship is one of 24 given nationwide each year, and it bestows unrestricted funding to young faculty members in science and engineering who have been exceptionally creative. Hattar will use the five-year, $625,000 fellowship to continue his study about how subconscious defects in response to light can influence learning and thinking. Hattar was named an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow earlier in 2006 and is a previous winner of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Albert Leningher Young Investigator Award.
Cognitive Science faculty member Paul Smolensky has been named a Krieger-Eisenhower Professor. Internationally renowned for his work in formal theoretical approaches to linguistics, Smolensky developed with Alan Prince of Rutgers a novel formal characterization of the complex rule systems of grammar known as Optimality Theory. Smolensky is a previous winner of the David E. Rumelhart Prize for Theoretical Contributions to Cognitive Science.
Raman Sundrum, a physicist whose work opened new dimensions in time and space, has been named Alumni Centennial Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. His research focuses on theoretical mechanisms and observable implications of extra space-time dimensions, supersymmetry, and strongly coupled dynamics. Two of his articles are among the most cited papers in physics for the past five years.