Past Recipients

Christopher Wolverton

Christopher M. Wolverton, professor of materials science and engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University, has been named the 12th recipient of the Martin E. and Gertrude G. Walder Award for Research Excellence.

Trained as a physicist, Wolverton is an expert in computational materials science related to energy applications. He directs a large research group that studies the application of first principles quantum mechanical calculations to solid-state materials. Wolverton’s goal is to predict and optimize the properties of materials and help solve the problems of energy storage and conversion. Specific applications of his research include thermoelectric energy conversion and solar thermochemical energy sources, battery and hydrogen energy storage, nuclear power and the development of lighter, more efficient structural materials.

For the past three years, Wolverton has served as his department’s graduate admissions chair. “The department and McCormick are fortunate to have his analytical skill set to predict behavior and properties of prospective graduate students as well as materials systems,” Julio M. Ottino dean of the McCormick School said. “As a teacher and mentor, he is dedicated to developing well-rounded scientists who can communicate their research.”

Sergio Rebelo

Sergio Rebelo, the Tokai Bank Distinguished Professor of International Finance at Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, has been named the 11th recipient of the Martin E. and Gertrude G. Walder Award for Research Excellence.

“Sergio Rebelo has done path-breaking work in core areas of macroeconomics, including the determinants of growth, business cycles, international capital flows and currency crises,” said Martin Eichenbaum, professor of economics in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. To improve our understanding of booms and busts in financial markets, he is currently using techniques developed in epidemiology to model the spread of contagious diseases to study how investors change their expectations about future returns.

Rebelo’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, World Bank, Sloan Foundation and Olin Foundation. He has served as a consultant to the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, McKinsey Global Institute and other organizations. A popular teacher, he is a 22-time winner of the Kellogg Executive Master’s Program Outstanding Professor Award as well as a winner of Kellogg’s Professor of the Year Award. With Eichenbaum, professor of economics in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Rebelo co-directs Northwestern’s Center for International Macroeconomics.

Kathleen Green

Kathleen Green, the Joseph L. Mayberry Professor of Pathology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, has been named the tenth recipient of the Martin E. and Gertrude G. Walder Award for Research Excellence.

A professor in the departments of dermatology and pathology, Green is a leader in the field of epithelial cell biology. Her laboratory was the first to clone the genes for key elements of the desmosome, a structure at the outer membrane essential for cell-to-cell adhesions in epithelial tissues and the heart.

Green’s work has made it easier to diagnose human diseases of the skin and heart, including a type of heart disease that results in arrhythmia and sudden death. Her laboratory has made major contributions to our understanding of how desmosomes form, and has shown that, in addition to their role in intercellular adhesion, desmosomes also play a critical cell-signaling role in epithelial differentiation.

Green is the pathology department’s associate chair for research and graduate education. At the Lurie Cancer Center, she is a leader of the Tumor Invasion, Metastasis and Angiogenesis Program. She also directs the National Cancer Institute-funded Carcinogenesis Training Program, which annually provides interdisciplinary research training for eight pre-doctoral students in cancer biology.

The first female Ph.D. president of the Society for Investigative Dermatology, Green was recently elected secretary of the American Society for Cell Biology.

Jonathan Widom

Jonathan Widom, PhD, the William Deering Professor in Biological Sciences in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University, has been named the recipient of the Martin E. and Gertrude G. Walder Award for Research Excellence.  Widom's research on chromosomal structures within DNA -- and the location of nucleosomes specifically -- has had profound implications for how genes are able to be read in the cell and how mutations outside of the regions that encode proteins can lead to errors and disease.  His current work is focused on discovering the locations of nucleosomes and the principles that govern these locations to better understand and predict when and where along the genome other DNA-binding proteins will act.  He is developing a unified framework to explain how changes in cell state or development can influence nucleosome positions and, conversely, how nucleosome positions can influence cell state and development.

Widom holds appointments in the department of molecular biosciences, the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has supported his research since 1985.  He is principal investigator of Northwestern's Physical Sciences-Oncology Center, one of 12 established nationwide in 2009 by the National Cancer Institute. The center brings together physical scientists and cancer biologists to use non-traditional, physical-sciences based approaches to understand and control cancer.

A highly regarded teacher of undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, Widom played a major role in the reorganization of the curriculum in biochemistry and biophysics and initiated the University's NIH Molecular Biophysics Training Program.  He chaired the department of biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology (now the department of molecular biosciences) from 1998 to 2004. As director of Northwestern's Center for Structural Biology from 1994 to 2000, Widom obtained substantial funding from the W. M. Keck Foundation to purchase state-of-the-art instrumentation for the analysis of the biochemical and biophysical properties of proteins.

Edward Malthouse

Edward C. Malthouse, is the Theodore and Annie Sills Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications at the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism.

Malthouse is an expert in marketing communications – applied statistics, market research and media marketing. His primary research is in the areas of media and database marketing. He develops statistical models and applies them to large data sets of consumer information to help managers make marketing decisions.

His research focuses on the intersection of consumers' experience with media, customer value, marketing strategies and interactive marketing technologies.

One aspect of his studies looks at consumers and media, seeking to understand, describe and measure the multidimensional experiences people have with media - and how to utilize that knowledge to create more engaging content and a more engaging media brand.

Malthouse's work also focuses on integrating customization activities with other marketing activities and improving the analytical customization methods and algorithms.

He received the Robert B. Clarke Outstanding Educator Award in 2008 from the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation and was awarded the Don Kuhn Non-profit Research Grant in 2007. Malthouse is editor of the Journal for Interactive Marketing; member of the board of trustees of the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation; and chair of the research track at the Direct/Interactive Marketing Research Summit for 2009.

Malthouse is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and of the American Statistical Association and the European Advertising Academy.

Carol Lee

Carol Lee is a professor of learning sciences at the School of Education and Social Policy. She is a leader in the advancement of education research and the recently elected president-elect of the American Education Research Association (AERA), the prominent international organization for education researchers. Lee's research centers on urban education, cultural supports for literacy, classroom discourse and instructional design.

A faculty member of the School of Education and Social Policy since 1991, Lee is known for a theory of cultural modeling that provides the framework for curricula that draw on the cultural capital and prior knowledge that traditionally underserved students - particularly students of color - bring to classrooms.

A former teacher, Lee has been active in Chicago Public Schools school reform. In 1974 she founded and directed New Concept Development Center, an independent African-centered school and, in 1998, co-founded the African-centered Betty Shabazz International Charter School, which now has three campuses.

Lee's research has been supported by major grants from the McDonnell Foundation's Cognitive Studies in Educational Practice; the Spencer Foundation; the National Center for the Study of At-Risk Children, co-sponsored by Howard University and Johns Hopkins University; and the National Council of Teachers of English.

Lee is an elected a fellow of both the National Academy of Education and the National Conference of Research on Language and Literacy. An active member of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), she received the group's Distinguished Service Award in 2007. This year she received the AERA's Scholars of Color Distinguished Scholar Award.

She is the author of two books - Culture, Literacy and Learning: Taking Bloom in the Midst of the Whirlwind and Signifying as a Scaffold for Literary Interpretation: The Pedagogical Implication of an African American Discourse Genre. Lee is also co-editor of Vygotskian Perspectives on Literacy Research and co-coordinator of the School of Education and Social Policy's Spencer Research Training Program.

Cynthia Thompson

Cynthia Thompson, professor of communication sciences and disorders at Northwestern University's School of Communication, is a leading researcher in aphasia and recovery from stroke.

The results of her research have been integrated into the treatment of individuals who have suffered strokes and other brain injuries, improving the quality of life for those people. Her research has shown that recovery from aphasia -- loss of ability to understand or express speech -- continues and patients can recover more language than thought possible and improve their language processing abilities.

Thompson, who also holds appointments in the Feinberg School of Medicine department of neurology and the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center, uses a wide variety of methodologies, such as eye-tracking, functional MRI and behavioral measures to study language recovery as well as the neural mechanisms that support it. Findings provide information for developing more efficient and effective treatment procedures for people suffering from aphasia.

Thompson's research has been supported by 11 major federally funded grants, primarily from the National Institutes of Health. She has developed language tests, including the Quality of Communication Life Scales, and a language assessment battery for aphasia, and is the author or coauthor of 58 journal articles, 23 book chapters and 29 published abstracts.

She is a fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and a member of several professional organizations, including the Academy of Aphasia, where she serves on the board of governors, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society and the Society for Neuroscience.

Thompson joined the Northwestern faculty in 1992.

Prem Kumar

Prem Kumar, SBC professor of Information Technology, is director of the Center for Photonic Communication and Computing and holds appointments in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Department of Physics and Astronomy. His research focuses on the development of novel fiber-optic devices and systems for ultrahigh-speed optical and quantum communication/computing networks. His current research is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Army Research Office (ARO), and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA), a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (IoP), UK. He received the 2004 International Quantum Communications Award sponsored by the Tamagawa University in Tokyo, Japan. He is the founder of NuCrypt LLC, a company based in Evanston, IL, which is commercializing the quantum cryptography technology developed by him and his colleagues at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Gary Saul Morson

Gary Saul Morson is the chair of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. His work ranges over a variety of areas: literary theory (especially narrative); the history of ideas, both Russian and European; a variety of literary genres (especially satire, utopia, and the novel); and his favorite writers — Chekhov, Gogol, and, above all, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. He is especially interested in the relation of literature to philosophy. Morson typically works on a number of projects at once. He recently completed a study of Tolstoy's novel Anna Karenina ("Anna Karenina" in Our Time: Seeing More Wisely). He is also working on a study of aphorisms, witticisms, and other kinds of quotation; on a sequel to his book on time and contingency; and on a study of Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. He has won "best book of the year" awards from the American Comparative Literature Association and the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages; he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and he is the only Northwestern professor to have held simultaneously two endowed chairs, one for research and one for teaching.

Lindsay Chase-Lansdale

P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale is a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research (IPR) at Northwestern University, and is the founding director of Cells to Society (C2S): The Center for Social Disparities and Health at IPR. She is an expert on the interface between research and social policy for children and families, a former Congressional Science Fellow, and the first developmental psychologist to be tenured in a public policy school in the United States. She is also deputy director of Northwestern University's Multidisciplinary Program in Education Sciences (MPES). Dr. Chase-Lansdale specializes in interdisciplinary research on social issues and how they affect family functioning and the development of children, youth and adults. Her edited books include: Human Development Across Lives and Generations: The Potential for Change (2004, with Kathleen Kiernan and Ruth J. Friedman) and For Better and for Worse: Welfare Reform and the Well-Being of Children and Families (2001, with Greg Duncan). Chase-Lansdale is a fellow in the American Psychological Association and in the Association of Psychological Science and chair of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Child Development, the oldest continuing philanthropy dedicated to improving the lives of children through research and the translation of research for policy and practice. She currently serves on the National Academies Board on Children, Youth, and Families and the Visiting Committee of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Chase-Lansdale is the recipient of the Society for Research on Adolescence Social Policy Award.

Mary Zimmerman

Mary Zimmerman, renowned Tony Award-winning director, Goodman Theatre Artistic Associate, Lookingglass Theatre ensemble member and Northwestern University faculty member, has earned national and international recognition in the form of numerous awards. "Metamorphoses", for which she received the Tony Award for Best Direction, was developed at Northwestern. Other acclaimed works include "Journey to the West, The Odyssey, The Arabian Nights, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci," and "Eleven Rooms of Proust". She is the director and co-librettist of the 2002 opera "Galileo Galilei", music by Philip Glass, at the Goodman Theatre. Zimmerman's interests lie in the adaptation of literary texts for performance, directing, devising theatre.

Timothy Breen

Timothy H. Breen, William Smith Mason Professor of American History, is an Early American historian interested in the history of political thought, material culture, and cultural anthropology. A Guggenheim fellow, he has held appointments at the Institute for Advanced Study and the National Humanities Center as well as the Pitt Professorship of American History and Institutions at Cambridge University and the Harmsworth Professorship at Oxford University. His publications include five monographs, among them Tobacco Culture: the Mentality of the Great Tidewater Planters on the Eve of Revolution (recipient of the T. Saloutos Prize) and Imagining the Past: East Hampton Histories (winner of the Historical Preservation Book Prize), as well as portions of the highly successful undergraduate text, America: Past and Present. Breen has just published Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence, with Oxford University Press, and won the Colonial War Society Prize for the best book in 2004 on the American Revolution. A recent recipient of an Alexander von Humboldt Award from the German government and a Fellowship from the Max Planck Institute, he is now working on a new book tentatively entitled "The Collapse of an American Empire: Revolutionary Political Culture, 1774-1776."