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Indiana University announces nine new distinguished professors


INDIANAPOLIS -- Nine Indiana University scholars and researchers have been promoted to distinguished professor, the highest academic rank the university bestows upon faculty.

The appointments were approved Feb. 3 by the IU Board of Trustees at their meeting on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

The nine new distinguished professors include IU Bloomington professors Christopher Beckwith, a researcher in the Department of Central Eurasian Studies in the School of Global and International Studies; Yves Brun, a microbiologist in the Department of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences; Lynda F. Delph, an evolutionary biologist in the Department of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences; Robert L. Goldstone, a cognitive scientist in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences; Randy Long, a metalsmith in the School of Art and Design in the College of Arts and Sciences; and Andre Watts, a pianist in the Jacobs School of Music.

Distinguished professors on the Indianapolis campus are Tatiana Foroud, a statistical geneticist in the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics in the IU School of Medicine; Robin Newhouse, dean of the School of Nursing; and Anantha Shekhar, a neuroscientist and medical researcher in the IU School of Medicine.

"These acclaimed men and women represent the pinnacle of public education through their remarkable research, teaching and service in an extraordinarily wide range of disciplines," IU President Michael A. McRobbie said. "Our students and campuses have benefited beyond measure from their superb accomplishments, scholarship and integrity, and it is most appropriate that we honor these faculty with Indiana University's most prestigious appointment."

The distinguished professorship recognizes faculty who have transformed their fields of study and have earned international recognition. Faculty, alumni, professional colleagues and students nominate the field of candidates based on outstanding research, scholarship, and artistic or literary distinction. Nominations are reviewed by the University Distinguished Ranks Committee, which recommends appointments.

The university will hold a Distinguished Professor Symposium on March 20 in Presidents Hall at Franklin Hall in Bloomington and on April 17 in Hine Hall in Indianapolis to formally recognize the honored professors.

Below are brief biographies, with links to longer profiles on the University Honors and Awards website:

Christopher Beckwith

Beckwith is a researcher in the Department of Central Eurasian Studies in the School of Global and International Studies. A teacher at IU for 41 years, he has taught and developed 48 distinct courses and is one of the most prolific and versatile researchers in the field of Central Asian studies. He is renowned for scholarship that reshapes understanding of how, why and when the Central Eurasian steppe people from Hungary to Tibet influenced the development of knowledge, religious beliefs and societies, not only in their own areas but in the West as well.

He has been named a MacArthur fellow, a Guggenheim fellow, a Fulbright-Hays fellow and a Japan Foundation fellow and has had numerous visiting appointments around the United States and the world. He has authored 10 books and 49 articles.

Yves Brun

Brun, the Clyde Culbertson Professor of Biology in the Department of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences, is internationally recognized for his innovative contributions to several substantial areas of microbiology, including how bacteria attach to surfaces, how they reproduce, and how their shape is determined and has evolved. His novel techniques for studying bacterial cell biology have been adopted by laboratories around the world.

He has been consistently funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1995, often holding multiple grants simultaneously. He has received prestigious NSF CAREER and Fulbright U.S. Scholar awards and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His total external funding since joining IU is close to $20 million. He has published more than 100 research papers and reviews in the most prominent journals, including Nature, Science, Cell and PLoS Biology.

Lynda F. Delph

Delph, a professor and section associate chair for the Evolution, Ecology and Behavior Program in the Department of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences, is recognized as one of the top evolutionary biologists in the world. She has made an important contribution to the field through her empirical work on plants, showing that various forms of selection -- such as sexual, fecundity and viability -- operate differently on males and females, leading to sexual dimorphism in morphology, life history and physiology.

She has been funded by more than 10 National Science Foundation grants over a span of 28 years, through 2018. She was a Guggenheim fellow and has received two Fulbright fellowships and a Fulbright Specialist grant. She has served as vice president of the American Society of Naturalists and as president of the American Genetic Association and was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Tatiana Foroud

Foroud, the Joe C. Christian Professor of Medical and Molecular Genetics at the IU School of Medicine, is a nationally renowned statistical geneticist. Her work is focused on the identification of genes contributing to common, complex diseases and disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, intracranial aneurysms, osteoporosis, alcoholism and various psychiatric illnesses, as well as several types of cancer.

She joined IU in 1994 as instructor of medicine and has served as director of the Division of Hereditary Genomics. She was named P. Michael Conneally Professor in 2005 and Chancellor's Professor in 2008. She has more than 450 peer-reviewed publications and is the first or last author for more than 100; she has also published 13 book chapters as first or senior author. Her papers have been cited more than 13,500 times, and she has given over 150 invited lectures around the world.

Robert L. Goldstone

Goldstone, the Chancellor's Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, is one of the world's premier cognitive psychology researchers. In addition to studying basic cognitive processes underlying learning, perception, decision-making and group behavior, he has applied computational models and laboratory studies to improving student learning in science and mathematics in classrooms from elementary school through college as well as online.

He joined IU in 1991 and was director of the Cognitive Science Program from 2006 to 2011. His research has received more than $10 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, and he has more than 250 publications in top journals.

Randy Long

Long, a professor of metalsmithing and jewelry design in the School of Art and Design in the College of Arts and Sciences, is an internationally recognized metalsmith with more than 300 exhibitions and 24 books that include her work. Her groundbreaking work in the 1980s with rediscovered techniques of marriage of metals pushed the limits of what was being created and placed form, sculptural considerations and concept over utility.

She joined IU in 1983 and is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts Craftsman fellowships and two Indiana Arts Commission master fellowships. In 2007 she was awarded the NICHE Magazine Art Educator of the Year Award, in partial recognition for her establishing the metals program in IU as one of the leading programs in the nation.

Robin Newhouse

Newhouse, who joined IU in 2015 as dean of the School of Nursing, is best known for her cutting-edge health services research and evidence-based care processes. Evidence-based translation models developed by Newhouse are used around the world to guide health system clinician decisions.

Newhouse has received numerous honors and awards, including being inducted into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, receiving the prestigious President's Award from the American Nurse Credentialing Center and being named Researcher of the Year by the University of Maryland.

Anantha Shekhar

Shekhar, the August M. Watanabe Professor of Medical Research at the IU School of Medicine, is a leading researcher in the mechanisms underlying neuropsychiatric disorders and the field of translational medicine. Among his many firsts in the field were reporting specific molecular mechanisms in the brain underlying panic attacks and autism symptoms that develop in children with a genetic condition known as Neurofibromatosis 1, and identifying new therapies to treat patients with post-traumatic stress disorder.

He was named Raymond E. Houk Professor of Psychiatry in 2003. His work has been supported by over $75 million in NIH funds and more than $40 million in non-federal grants, in addition to over $300 million in university, local, corporate and philanthropic partnership initiatives. He has published more than 200 scientific papers and reports in leading basic and clinical journals, including Nature Neuroscience, Nature Medicine and the American Journal of Psychiatry. He is the principal investigator of the Precision Health Initiative, which was the first recipient of funding from the IU Grand Challenges program.

Andre Watts

Watts, the Jack I. and Dora B. Hamlin Endowed Chair in Music in the Department of Piano in the Jacobs School of Music, is recognized around the globe as a musical genius. He won a Grammy Award in 1964 for most promising new classical recording artist, and his 1976 recital on PBS' "Live from Lincoln Center" was the first full-length recital broadcast nationally in the history of television.

He was the youngest person to receive an honorary doctorate from Yale University, at age 26, and in 2011 received the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama. He joined the Jacobs School of Music faculty in 2004 and was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in 2014.