Rutgers University–New Brunswick faculty are internationally recognized for the work they do to create knowledge, generate innovative ideas, and prepare the next generation of leaders.
TYLER PRIZE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ACHIEVEMENT
The 2018 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement has been awarded to biological oceanographer Paul Falkowski. The School of Environmental and Biological Sciences distinguished professor shares the prize with Harvard biological oceanographer James J. McCarthy. The two Tyler Prize laureates were recognized for “their enormous contributions to fighting climate change through increasing our scientific understanding of how Earth’s climate works, as well as bringing together that knowledge for the purpose of policy change."
JOHN SIMON GUGGENHEIM MEMORIAL FOUNDATION
Nicolás Pereda, director of the Rutgers Filmmaking Center at Mason Gross School of the Arts, has been awarded a 2018 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. Guggenheim fellowships enable recipients to “engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts.” He was cited for his work that "explores the everyday through fractured and elliptical narratives using fiction and documentary tools."
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR CANCER RESEARCH
The American Association for Cancer Research has recognized medical oncologist Joseph R. Bertino with its 2018 Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research. Bertino, a senior adviser to the director of the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and university professor of medicine and pharmacology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, was honored for “basic science discoveries in the fields of drug action and tumor cell resistance.”
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Helen M. Berman, Board of Governors distinguished professor emerita of chemistry and chemical biology at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Berman is among 213 people elected to the academy in 2018, including author Ta-Nehisi Coates, actor Tom Hanks, President Barack Obama, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, gene-editing developer Feng Zhang, and pediatric neurologist Huda Zoghbi. Berman cofounded the Protein Data Bank (PDB)—a free, online library of the structures of biological macromolecules that scientists around the globe use to study, store, and share molecular information.
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
AMERICAN MATHEMATICAL SOCIETY
Three mathematicians in the School of Arts and Sciences were named 2018 fellows of the American Mathematical Society. With 47 fellows, Rutgers leads the world in the number of fellows in the society. This year’s fellows are Lev Borisov, for “contributions to algebraic geometry and mirror symmetry”; Feng Luo, for “contributions to Teichmueller theory, conformal geometry, hyperbolic geometry, 3-manifolds, combinatorial topology and computer graphics”; and Stephen Miller, for “contributions to analytic number theory, cryptography, and theoretical physics.”
ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION
Two School of Arts and Sciences faculty were named 2018 research fellows of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. They are physicist Jacquelyn Noronha-Hostler, left, who studies “Quark Gluon Plasma, the liquid that filled the universe milliseconds after the Big Bang,” and computer scientist and mathematician Shubhangi Saraf, right, who applies “mathematical methods to understand what problems are efficiently solvable on a computer.” According to the Sloan Foundation, fellows “represent the most promising scientific researchers working today.”
Chenjerai Kumanyika, assistant professor of journalism and media studies at the School of Communication and Information, has won a 2017 Peabody Award for “The Raid,” an episode of “Uncivil,” a podcast that tells overlooked stories of the American Civil War. Kumanyika and journalist Jack Hitt, won the Peabody in the radio/podcast category.
AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE SOCIETY AND OCTAVIA E. BUTLER LITERARY SOCIETY
Cheryl A. Wall, Board of Governors Zora Neale Hurston professor of English, School of Arts and Sciences, is the inaugural recipient of the Octavia E. Butler Award for outstanding contributions to scholarship on black women writers. The award, presented in 2017, cited Wall’s work as an “institution-builder and her mentorship of women of color scholars, marked most prominently by her role in creating the African American and Africa Diaspora postdoctoral fellowship at Rutgers.”
National Academy of Engineering
Martin L. Yarmush, Paul and Mary Monroe Chair and distinguished professor, biomedical engineering, School of Engineering, was elected in 2017 to the National Academy of Engineering, among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Yarmush was recognized for his “pioneering advances in cellular, tissue, and organ engineering and for leadership in applying metabolic engineering to human health.”
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
Jochen Hellbeck, professor of history in the School of Arts and Sciences, has been named a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow. According to the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, fellows are "appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise" and the grants they receive "provide them with blocks of time in which they can work with as much creative freedom as possible." Hellbeck’s research centers on how individuals maintained a sense of self following cataclysmic events in the former Soviet Union: the Russian Revolution, Stalin’s terror regime, and the Second World War.
Four Rutgers University–New Brunswick professors are among 53 outstanding mathematicians and theoretical physicists awarded Simons Fellowships in 2017. School of Arts and Sciences faculty member Gabriel Kotliar was named a Simons Fellow in Theoretical Physics and School of Arts and Sciences faculty members Jeff Kahn, Alex Kontorovich, and Natasa Sesum were named Simons Fellows in Mathematics. With four awardees, Rutgers University–New Brunswick ties with MIT for the most Simons Fellows in 2017. In 2016, four School of Arts and Sciences mathematicians were named Simons Fellows, the most of any university in 2016. They are Lev Borisov, Fioralba Cakoni, Liping Liu, and Avraham Soffer.
American Physical Society
Rutgers University–New Brunswick physicist Natan Andrei has been awarded the 2017 Lars Onsager Prize of the American Physical Society. The prize recognizes “outstanding research in theoretical statistical physics, including quantum fluids.” In honoring Andrei, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, School of Arts and Sciences, the society cited his “pioneering discovery of the exact solution of the Kondo and Anderson models, opening a new field of exact treatments of quantum impurity systems.” Andrei, who will share the prize with Paul Wiegmann of the University of Chicago, is the third Rutgers–New Brunswick physicist to receive the Onsager Prize; Daniel Friedan and Alexander Zamolodchikov won the prize in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
American Association of Geographers
David Robinson, professor in the Department of Geography, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, received 2017 Life Achievement Honors from the American Association of Geographers. For the past 25 years, Robinson has led the Office of the New Jersey State Climatologist, which is supported by Rutgers’ New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. An excerpt of his award reads: “David Robinson is a multidimensional geographer who has achieved extraordinary success and impact in many domains simultaneously; he is an international and national scientific leader in cryosphere and hydrological studies; he is the scholarly public face of climate and weather for the State of New Jersey; he is a long-serving departmental leader; and he is a beloved teacher ... who has mentored many geographers who have gone on to become important scholars and leaders in their own right.”
National Science Foundation
Aaron Mazzeo, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, School of Engineering, has been awarded a 2017 National Science Foundation CAREER Award. Mazzeo was recognized for his "papertronics" research that focuses on developing wearable, paper-based sensors for measuring bioelectrical signals and perspiration. Among potential applications of the technology are nonimplantable, highly sensitive portable electroencephalographs to monitor electrical activity in the brain as well as other devices to assess human alertness and stress by monitoring sweat. The development of disposable, paper-based electronics may lead to "safer working environments and bring society closer to budget-friendly personalized medicine." Mazzeo's award comes with a five-year $500,000 grant, which he will use to advance his research while also involving undergraduates from the School of Engineering and the Rutgers Honors College in hands-on papertronics seminars. National Science Foundation CAREER Awards recognize junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research.
Materials Research Society
Manish Chhowalla, a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, School of Engineering, has been named a 2017 Materials Research Society Fellow. Chhowalla was recognized"for seminal contributions in elucidating the fundamental role of disorder and structural phases on properties of low dimensional materials such as amorphous carbon films, graphene oxide and 2D transition-metal dichalcogenides." Chhowalla and his research group, which includes undergraduate and graduate students, recently found a breakthrough method for mass-producing high-quality graphene at a reduced cost. Graphene can be used in next-generation electronic and energy devices, such as printable electronics, electrodes for batteries, and catalysts for fuel cells.