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2012 University Scholars Named

9/5/2012  8:00 am

Those selected as 2012 University Scholars are:

Elizabeth Anna Ainsworth, Associate Professor, Department of Plant Biology (Urbana) – Professor Ainsworth is widely recognized for her innovative work on the potential impacts of global environmental change on crops. Her research is highly cited in publications such as the journal New Phytologist.

Conrad Bakker, Associate Professor, School of Art & Design (Urbana) – Professor Bakker’s often humorous artwork utilizes carved and painted objects to call attention to the relationships between persons, things and spaces. He has exhibited his work internationally, including at the Tate Modern (London) and the New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York).

Tami C. Bond, Associate Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering (Urbana) – Professor Bond is a leading scholar in aerosol characterization and global emissions inventories--two critically important areas of environmental engineering. She has been recognized with a number of awards, including a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and the Virginia Nauman Faculty Scholar Award.

Michael Cho, Professor, Department of Bioengineering (Chicago) – Professor Cho’s research is focused on using non-invasive physical forces to facilitate stem cell differentiation as a step toward the development of functional cells, tissues, and organs. In February 2011, he was inducted into the College of Fellows, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Lan Dong, Associate Professor, Department of English (Springfield) – Professor Dong studies Asian American literature and culture, exploring the evolution of the story of "Mulan" in Chinese and American literature. Her book, entitled “Mulan’s Legend and Legacy in China and the United States,” has received special recognition among scholars of Asian American literature.

Kara D. Federmeier, Professor, Department of Psychology (Urbana) – Professor Federmeier’s research examines how world knowledge derived from multiple modalities comes to be organized in the brain and how such information is integrated and made available for use in varied contexts.  She has received awards from the Society for Psychophysiology, the James S. McDonnell Foundation, and the Association for Psychological Science.

Vladimir Gevorgyan, Professor, Department of Chemistry (Chicago) – Professor Gevorgyan has established an internationally recognized program in various fields of synthetic chemistry. His groundbreaking work in organic chemistry has been published in the most prestigious journals, and he has been an invited speaker at the Gordon Research Conference six times.

Steven M. LaValle, Professor, Department of Computer Science (Urbana) - Professor LaValle is a leading scholar in the interdisciplinary field of robotics, and his research in the design of algorithms for motion planning has garnered recognition internationally.  His 1,000-page text, “Planning Algorithms,” boasts a citation rate among the top two texts in the field of robotics. 

E. Douglas Lewandowski, Professor, Department of Physiology & Biophysics (Chicago) – Professor Lewandowski examines the metabolic basis of impaired heart function in the development of heart failure, ischemic heart disease, and diabetic cardiomyopathy. His work has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health, and he is a current recipient of the MERIT Award from the NIH Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Constantine M. Megaridis, Professor, Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering (Chicago) – Professor Megaridis works on materials engineering problems relevant to liquid-repellent, self-cleaning coatings, which have tremendous value in technologies that involve liquid-solid interaction. This year, he was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Phillip Allan Newmark, Professor, Department of Cell & Developmental Biology (Urbana) – Professor Newmark has attained distinction in the fields of biology of tissue and organ regeneration, by reviving planaria - freshwater flatworms - as the model organism for the study of pluripotent stem cells.  His molecular biological and genomic research has led more scientists to use the planarian system, attesting to its impact.

Leslie J. Reagan, Professor, Department of History (Urbana) – Professor Reagan is a leading scholar specializing in the history of medicine, U.S. women's history, and U.S. social history. Her monograph, “When Abortion Was a Crime,” has become a standard text on the medical and legal history of abortion, and her most recent book, “Dangerous Pregnancies,” was awarded the Joan Kelly Memorial Prize from the American Historical Association.

Janet Elizabeth Richmond, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences (Chicago) – A leading scholar in the field of synaptic transmission, Professor Richmond combines genetic and molecular approaches to study the machinery by which information is transmitted across synapses in the brain. She received the Alexander Von Humboldt Research Award in 2010, a lifetime award which allows her to conduct research at German Institutes indefinitely.

David S. Ucker, Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology (Chicago) – Professor Ucker’s research focuses on Mammalian cell death, specifically on the process of specific apoptotic cell recognition involved in the clearance of dead cells by macrophages and other phagocytic cells that triggers potent anti-inflammatory and anti-immune responses. He has received nearly continuous NIH funding for over twenty years.

Diana J. Wilkie, Professor, Department of Biobehavioral Health Science (Chicago) – Professor Wilkie is a world-known pain specialist in the field of palliative and end-of-life care. She helps clinicians combine pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic therapies for management of acute and chronic pain. She has received the Outstanding Public Service Award from the University of Washington and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.