Patrick M. McCarthy, MD, professor of cardiothoracic surgery, has been appointed the first Heller-Sacks Professor for Cardiothoracic Surgery.
McCarthy is chief of the Feinberg School of Medicine’s Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery and co-director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute.
Internationally known for his leadership and expertise in valve diseases, minimally invasive techniques and heart failure, McCarthy’s pioneering contributions to the field of cardiothoracic medicine have played a major role in improving the treatment of the most complicated forms of heart disease.
He recently designed two mitral valve prosthetic rings used to repair leaking mitral valves, and his prosthetic ring for tricuspid valve repair is the most commonly used ring in the United States.
His hundreds of scholarly articles and book chapters represent cutting-edge research. He serves on the editorial boards of numerous journals, including The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation and The Journal of Cardiac Surgery.
Robert J. Peroni, professor of law, has been named the Jack N. Pritzker Distinguished Visiting Professor.
Peroni is one of the nation’s top scholars in international taxation and in energy taxation. His primary areas of teaching and scholarship are federal income taxation, international taxation, natural resource taxation and professional responsibility/legal ethics. He has presented papers and given lectures throughout the world.
He is co-author of five books and has written many articles on taxation and professional responsibility topics. Co-author with Joel D. Kuntz, Peroni penned a three-volume treatise titled “U.S. International Taxation,” a leading work on energy taxation. He also wrote (with John Dzienkowski) “Natural Resource Taxation — Principles and Policies” and “Taxation of International Transactions” (with Charles Gustafson and Richard Pugh), a leading casebook on international taxation.
Peroni served as professor-in-residence in the Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service and, during the 2000-2001 academic year, he was one of the academic advisers to the Joint Committee on Taxation’s study of the overall state of the federal tax system.
Max Schanzenbach, assistant professor of law, has been named the Benjamin Mazur Research Professor.
Schanzenbach’s primary areas of research interest are employment law, criminal sentencing and trust law. From 2002 to 2003 he served as law clerk to the Hon. Alan E. Norris of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
His book “Lawyers, Banks and Money: The Revolution in Modern Trust Law” (with Robert Sitkoff) is forthcoming from Yale University Press in 2008.
His most recent book chapter “The Employment at Will Doctrine” was published in 2005 in the “Handbook of Career Development,” Sage Publishing.
Schanzenbach has published articles in “American Law and Economics Review,” the “Yale Law Journal,” the “Journal of Legal Studies” and the “Journal of Empirical Legal Studies.”
He has served as a referee for “Economic Inquiry,” the “International Review of Law and Economics” and the “Journal of Law, Economics and Organization.”
Schanzenbach’s teaching focuses on business associations, contracts and criminal sentencing.
David J. Scheffer, director of the Center for International Human Rights at the School of Law, has been appointed the Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw/Robert A. Helman Professor of Law.
From 1997 to 2001, Scheffer served as the U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues. He led the U.S. delegation in United Nations talks establishing the International Criminal Court.
During his ambassadorship, Scheffer was responsible for negotiating and coordinating U.S. support for establishing and operating international and hybrid criminal tribunals and U.S. responses to atrocities globally. He also headed the Atrocities Prevention Inter-Agency Working Group.
During the first term of the Clinton Administration, Scheffer served as senior adviser and counsel to the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Madeleine Albright, and, from 1993 through 1996, served on the deputies committee of the National Security Council.
Ethan H. Shagan, associate professor of history, has been named the Wayne V. Jones Research Professor in History.
Shagan is a specialist in the history of early modern Britain, particularly the English Reformation and other aspects of religion and politics under the Tudors.
His first book “Popular Politics and the English Reformation” (Cambridge University Press, 2003) examined popular responses to the English Reformation and analyzed how everyday people received and responded to religious change. It centered on both political and religious history as they were intertwined in the 16th century.
A critical success, the book received the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize and the Forkosch Prize, both from the American Historical Association, the Whitfield Prize from the Royal Historical Society and the Roland H. Bainton Prize from Sixteenth Century Studies.
Shagan’s current project is a history of the ideal of moderation and the “middle way” from the Reformation to the Glorious Revolution.
Shagan has also produced an edited collection, “Catholics and the ‘Protestant Nation’: Religious Politics and Identity in Early Modern England” (2005).
Karen R. Smilowitz, assistant professor of industrial engineering and management sciences, has been appointed the Junior William A. Patterson Professor in Transportation.
The Junior Patterson Chair is the second chair established from the endowment honoring William A. Patterson, a central figure in the nation’s air transportation industry for more than four decades. Patterson served as president and chair of United Airlines from 1934 until his retirement in 1966. He was a life trustee of Northwestern and was instrumental in establishing the Transportation Center.
Smilowitz’s research interests include logistics and transportation operations, as well as traffic flow theory and infrastructure management. Recent projects include the design and operation of large-scale logistics systems, model development for the inspection, maintenance and rehabilitation of infrastructure facility networks and analysis of time-dependent bottlenecks in congested traffic.
In particular, her research explores the effects of different operation choices on vehicle routing and scheduling and has application in freight transportation, delivery services and emergency response.
Erik J. Sontheimer, associate professor of biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology, has been named the Irving M. Klotz Research Professor in Chemistry.
A member of Northwestern’s Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University and the Center for Genetic Medicine, Sontheimer studies the functions of RNA molecules with particular emphasis on two critically important processes known as RNA interference (RNAi) and messenger RNA (mRNA) splicing. RNA molecules are unique in that they can serve as carriers of genetic information (like DNA) and as active constituents of cellular machineries (like proteins).
Using biochemical approaches to characterize the function of the RNAi machinery, Sontheimer’s laboratory’s research has yielded fundamental insights into the biochemical mechanism of RNAi and the pathway by which the RNAi machinery assembles on a double-stranded RNA.
Sontheimer has received some of the highest awards for new scientists, including the Burroughs Wellcome New Investigator Award in 2000, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2001 and an American Cancer Society Scholar Award in 2004.
Hendrik Spruyt, chair of the department of political science, has been reappointed the Norman Dwight Harris Professor of International Relations.
His research intersects comparative politics with international relations and includes particularly the formation of polities and their disintegration; and the rise and demise of sovereignty.
Spruyt is currently working on a book length manuscript applying incomplete contracting theory to diverse issues as decolonization, overseas basing and regional integration.
He is the author of “The Sovereign State and Its Competitors” (Princeton 1994), which won the J. David Greenstone Prize for best book in history and politics 1994-96. His most recent book is “Ending Empire: Contested Sovereignty and Territorial Partition” (Cornell University Press 2005).
Spruyt has also published many journal articles in International Organization, The Review of Political Economy, The European Journal of Public Policy, Acta Politica, The Pacific Review, among others. He has contributed numerous chapters to edited volumes.
In 1997-1998 he was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He has received research support from the Josephine de Karman Foundation and the Smith Richardson Foundation.
Seth A. Stein, professor of geological sciences, has been appointed the William Deering Professor in Geological Sciences.
His research focuses on plate tectonics, seismology and space geodesy.
He conducts ongoing studies of earthquakes and tectonic processes including the New Madrid seismic zone in the central U.S., the 2004 Sumatra earthquake and the Andes. Other studies focus on the thermal evolution of oceanic lithosphere.
Stein is among the leading geophysicists of his generation. He is known for his contributions to our understanding of global plate motions, mantle heat flow and large earthquakes.
Following the 2004 Sumatra earthquake, which surprised geologists in terms of its location and intensity, Stein and colleague Emile Okal began to reassess what controls the occurrence of potential similar earthquakes in particular geographic areas.
He received the James B. Macelwane Medal from the American Geophysical Union and was elected as a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and of the American Geophysical Union.
Samuel Weber has been reappointed the Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities.
Weber has published works on Balzac, Lacan and Freud, as well as on the relation of institutions and media to interpretation. He co-translated Theodor W. Adorno’s work “Prisms,” and had studied with Adorno as well as with Paul de Man.
His work in Germany in the 1980s as a dramaturge in theater and opera productions led to his book “Theatricality as Medium,” published in 2005 by Fordham University Press.
2005 also saw the publication of another book, “Targets of Opportunity: On the Militarization of Thinking” (Fordham). He is currently completing a book-length study of the German critic, Walter Benjamin, titled “Benjamin’s-abilities.”
Weber co-directs Northwestern’s Paris Program in Critical Theory, which he founded in 1990 while at UCLA. Under the direction of Northwestern University since 2000, the program affords advanced graduate students from a wide variety of disciplines a unique opportunity to become familiar with French and European theoretical research by spending one year in Paris.