For the Record
Laskers for two alumni
Elwood Jensen, PhD’44, professor emeritus in the University’s
Ben May Institute for Cancer Research, won the 2004 Lasker Award
for Basic Medical Research, known as “America’s Nobel.”
In two decades of work Jensen located the estrogen receptor and
developed a pioneering breast-cancer treatment. Meanwhile, Harvard
bioterrorism expert Matthew Meselson, PhB’51, won the Lasker
Special Achievement Award for a career devoted to eliminating chemical
and biological weapons.
Gray leaves Harvard board
Former University president (1978–93) Hanna Holborn Gray will
step down from the Harvard Corporation at the end of the current
academic year, after eight years on the school’s executive
governing board. Gray, the Harry Pratt Judson distinguished service
professor emerita in history and the College, has a Harvard doctorate.
After the Provost’s Initiative on Minority Issues released
its recommendations for improving campus diversity this fall, President
Don M. Randel and Provost Richard Saller issued an announcement
to “restate and explain our goals” of creating “a
more diverse community.” The statement is at www.uchicago.edu/docs/education/diversity-statement.html.
Dead Sea Scrolls theory
Recent archaeological excavations show that Norman Golb, the Ludwig
Rosenberger professor of Jewish history and civilization, may be
right about the Dead Sea Scrolls. Golb has long argued that the
scrolls were not written exclusively, or even largely, by the poor
Essene Jewish sect, as commonly thought, but by many different hands.
Ten years of digs at Khirbet Qumran, where the scrolls were found
in 1947, turned up artifacts suggesting prosperous inhabitants,
not the Essene, had lived there.
Strong work on weak force
While Frank Wilczek, SB’70, helped define the strong force
in the ’70s (see page 20), current U of C researchers have
strengthened physicists’ theories about the weak force. Associate
professor Edward Blucher’s team has resolved a long-puzzling
method of how quarks pair up and why the fractions involved in those
couplings didn’t equal the theoretical whole. Using new measurements
instead of averaging previous figures, the researchers found more
precise results that do, indeed, add up.
Argonne loses Idaho bid
University-run Argonne National Laboratory has lost its U.S. Energy
Department bid to manage the new Idaho National Laboratory. The
DOE awarded the 10-year, $4.8 billion contract to private firm Battelle.
The new lab will be created from two already existing Idaho labs—the
U of C–run Argonne West and the National Environmental and
Engineering Lab. Argonne West workers will become Battelle employees
U of C makes Black
The October Black Enterprise ranked Chicago among the top
50 best colleges for African Americans. “The University of
Chicago is the lone newcomer,” the article notes, “mostly
because of its increase in black student graduation rates.”
Strand gets Stevens award
Former poet laureate Mark Strand has received the 2004 Wallace Stevens
Award, a $100,000 prize given by the Academy of American Poets.
Strand, the Andrew MacLeish distinguished service professor in the
Committee on Social Thought, was “humbled” to win a
prize named for Stevens, who has, he said, “been a constant
Honors flow chemist’s
Assistant chemistry professor Rustem Ismagilov racked up a trio
of honors this fall. In its October issue Technology Review
magazine named Ismagilov, 31, one if its 100 top young innovators
of the year. In September he visited the White House to receive
a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.
And in August the American Chemical Society gave him its 2005 Arthur
C. Cope Scholar Award. Ismagilov studies chemical and biological
systems using microfluidics, the flow of fluids through channels
thinner than a human hair.
Old snails reap youthful
Peter Wagner, PhD’95, a lecturer in the Committee on Evolutionary
Biology, received the 2004 Charles Schuchert Award for his research
on fossil snails and evolutionary theory. The Paleontological Society
gives the annual prize to a promising scientist under 40. Wagner,
a Field Museum associate curator of geology, joins nine other geophysical-sciences
faculty and alumni to win the honor.
GSB ranks No. 2
In one of many annual business-school rankings, Business Week
named Chicago’s Graduate School of Business the second-best
overall b-school of 2004—after top-ranked regional rival Northwestern’s
Kellogg School of Management. Among skill sets, Chicago rated second
for finance, second for technology, fifth for global scope, and
tenth for general management.
New hall-of-fame athletes
Chicago inducted its second Athletics Hall
of Fame class in October, including: associate professor emerita
Patricia Kirby, who coached women’s badminton, basketball,
softball (two state championships), and volleyball; William Lester,
SB’58, SM’59, a top post–Big Ten basketball player;
James Lightbody, PhB’12, who won six track-and-field Olympic
medals as a student; John Schommer, SB’09, a three-time All
American basketball player; Courtney Shanken, AB’42, the 1941
NCAA individual all-around and rope-climbing champion; and Helen
Straus, AB’84, MD’90, who won 12 major “C”
awards in three sports between 1980 and 1984.