Faculty News

IU Chemistry Professor J.P. Gerdt named Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, awarded $100,000 research grant

J.P. Gerdt, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry within the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington, has been selected as a 2024 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, a prestigious award in the field that includes an unrestricted research grant of $100,000.

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IU researchers’ data, campus collaborations, build better geochemical models in pursuit of efficient, safe extraction of rare earth elements

In two years of being online, 7,000 people from 89 countries have accessed Professor Chen Zhu’s public database of thermodynamic properties of rare-earth and other critical minerals; the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Professor and his team have added nearly 200 data points about commonly mined minerals.

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New book series: Afrasia: Contours, Crossings, Connections

Two faculty members in the College will serve as co-editors for a newly launched scholarly book series that will examine how African and Asian peoples have encountered each other across diverse geographical and cultural contexts, in the past and present, with a focus on the frictions and solidarities of these encounters as catalyzed by contemporary trends in global migration, movement, and interrelation.

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IU’s Colin Elliott blends history, science in new book

In 2020, Colin Elliott found himself face-to-face with two pandemics. Like the rest of the world, the associate professor in the history department within the College endured rising COVID-19 cases, stay-at-home orders, and social distancing. But perhaps uniquely, he also pored over data, documents, and descriptions of a much older pandemic: the Antonine plague.

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DiMarchi to be honored for breakthrough research in obesity drug discovery

Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Gill Chair in Biomolecular Sciences Richard DiMarchi will receive the 2024 Mani L. Bhaumik Breakthrough of the Year Award, presented by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, for his pioneering research that laid the foundation for drugs that are transforming the treatment of obesity worldwide.

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Grant awarded to IU’s Candy Brown for book on married Catholic priest’s role in global charismatic Christianity

Professor of Religious Studies Candy Gunther Brown has received a $40,000 award from the Louisville Institute Sabbatical Grant for Researchers, funded by the Lilly Endowment, to complete her latest book The Life of Francis MacNutt: Priest, Prophet, Patriarch.

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Climate scientist Prof. Ben Kravitz selected to join prestigious International Commission on Climate

Assistant Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Ben Kravitz has been selected to be a member of the International Commission on Climate (ICCL), one of the research-focused commissions that comprises the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences, and which itself is part of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG.)

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Prof Lawrence analyzes Hollywood film portrayals of Black bodies

Black Film Center & Archive Director and associate professor Novotny Lawrence discusses the portrayals of Black bodies, slavery, and plantations in Hollywood films in his article, “White mansions, black bodies: ‘Get Out’ and the New Age slave plantations.”

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IU faculty spotlight: Eileen Braman

In Constitutional Powers and Politics: How Citizens Think about Authority and Institutional Change, Associate Professor of Political Science Eileen Braman examines how the public thinks about government authority.

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International scholar feature: Songhu Wang

When you ask assistant professor Songhu Wang why he joined the College's Department of Astronomy in 2020, his answer is simple. “The fascination with space is an inherent aspect of human nature.” Wang immerses himself in the study of exoplanets opening a window to the vast diversity of planetary systems in the universe. This research not only challenges preconceptions but also reignites the age-old question that has fascinated humanity for centuries: Are we alone?

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IU faculty spotlight: Michel Chaouli

The role of a critic today is widely thought of as a professional journalist or a scholar who analyzes and judges the value of a work of some kind, whether a book, movie, musical release, or museum exhibit, as examples. But a new book, Something Speaks to Me: Where Criticism Begins, by Michel Chaouli, professor of germanic studies in the College, argues that criticism begins the moment someone encounters something that moves them enough to share their experience with it.

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IU faculty spotlight: Amrita Chakrabarti Myers

In her new book, The Vice President's Black Wife: The Untold Life of Julia Chinn, Amrita Myers, the Ruth N. Halls Associate Professor in the Department of History within the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington, recovers the compelling yet troubling story of Julia Chinn—an enslaved Black woman and wife to Richard Mentor Johnson, Vice President of the United States from 1837-41 under Martin Van Buren.

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Back to the basics and the basics of backs

The bones of early mammals reflect the diversity of ways they moved, but current locomotor categories do not. Anne Kort is working to change that. She visited Bloomington in December of 2023 to scan mammalian pelvic bones and will be back again, with or without a box of million-year-old bones in tow.

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The rise of environmental polarization in Congress

In new research, Professor of Economics, Affiliate Professor of Law Dean Lueck, External Faculty Affiliate at the Ostrom Workshop Julio A. Ramos Pastrana, and Associate Professor of Economics Gustavo Torrens find that party affiliation not only affects voting on environmental issues among otherwise similar politicians and constituents, but it also affects interest groups’ contributions to politicians.

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Stronger social networks key to addressing mental health in young adults, research finds

Allen D. and Polly S. Grimshaw Professor of Sociology Brea Perry and her team measured levels of depression and anxiety among four age demographics: 18 to 25, 26 to 44, 45 to 64, and 65 and older. Despite all age groups experiencing pandemic-related disruption, the study showed that 18- to 25-year-olds disproportionately experienced increases in anxiety and depression.

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$2.8M award to help unravel mysteries of disease-causing DNA folding errors

Biology Professor Stephen Bell has been awarded $2.8 million from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences to investigate the DNA folding machinery inside cells. DNA folding errors can cause a wide variety of diseases, including genetic disorders and certain types of cancer.

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Faculty spotlight: Dylan Thurston

Dylan Thurston, a Professor in the Department of Mathematics within the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington, is the recipient of an inaugural Frontiers of Science Award, given for best-in-world recent research contributions in mathematics, physics, and computer science.

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2023 Faculty books

As a benchmark of unparalleled scholarship, research, and creative activity at a Research 1 (R1) university, in the past year 44 books have been published by 48 faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington.

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Honoring outstanding teaching

The Evening of Celebrations honored faculty who received awards during the 2022 to 2023 academic year.

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Faculty spotlight: Alvin Rosenfeld

For devoting his life to the study of Jewish history and culture and teaching it to the next generation, Professor of English and the Irving M. Glazer Chair of Jewish Studies, Alvin Rosenfeld, has been added to The Algemeiner's "J100," honoring 100 people worldwide that positively influence Jewish life.

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Faculty spotlight: Eduardo Brondizio

Eduardo Brondizio will be awarded the 2023 Volvo Environment Prize for his research examining human-environment interactions and how they’ve transformed the Amazon. Brondizio, Indiana University Distinguished Professor of Anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences, is the first Volvo Environment Prize laureate from IU.

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Faculty spotlight: Aurelian Craiutu

Amidst increasing political polarization, Aurelian Craiutu, a professor and Chair of the Political Science department within the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington, has published a new trade book, Why Not Moderation? Letters to Young Radicals.

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Chemistry Department group finds dazzling arrangements of gold nanoparticles

Xingchen Ye and his group in the Department of Chemistry demonstrated that gold nanoparticles could be induced to form unique crystals with promising properties. Their work was highlighted on the cover of the August 16th edition of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

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Toddler learning research delivers insights for AI

Professor Linda Smith from the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the College is part of an IU team studying how children learn and process information visually.

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Professor bridges academia, humanitarianism on Ukraine-Poland border

In a world marked by profound societal transformations and global challenges, there are individuals who not only grasp the intricacies of contemporary issues but actively strive to make a difference. Elizabeth Cullen Dunn, esteemed anthropologist and geographer at Indiana University, stands out as one such individual.

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American Chemical Society honors Professor Raghavachari

The American Chemical Society (ACS) has honored Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Krishnan Raghavachari with the Award for Computers in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research. This honor is given to those who demonstrate outstanding achievement in using computers to advance chemical or biological research, and the award is given internationally to one person each year.

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Sustainable Food Systems Science team publishes in “Nature”

An article published in "Nature" by researchers at Indiana University’s College of Arts and Sciences, Ostrom Workshop, and School of Public Health, reveals how investment in rural sustainability could address issues ranging from rural poverty and social inequity to climate and biodiversity crises.

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IU professor part of cutting-edge publication on neutrino measurement

Using a new instrument, researchers in the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington are closer than ever to finding the mass of the so-called ‘ghost particle,’ which has been studied for more than 75 years.

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Biology professor’s plant development research has big implications

Luke Nikolov, a professor in the Department of Biology, is working to understand plant development to such a detailed degree that it could lead to easier gene manipulation with specific benefits for humans, such as greater crop yields and increased biofuel production. Nikolov is the primary investigator for the Floral Development and Diversity Lab, which will include undergraduate and graduate students.

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College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington names new ODI Faculty Fellows for 2023-24 academic year

The College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington has named Ishan Ashutosh, an associate professor in the Department of Geography, and Asaad Alsaleh, an associate professor and chair of the Middle Eastern Languages & Cultures in the Hamilton-Lugar School of Global and International Studies, as the College’s 2023-24 Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) Faculty Fellows. 

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College of Arts and Sciences hires more than 40 new tenure-track faculty

The College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington has hired more than 40 new tenure-track or tenured faculty, who will be starting either this fall or who joined the College last spring semester, in and across dozens of academic departments and disciplines, and who will contribute significantly to the College’s and IU Bloomington’s intellectual vitality while providing breadth and depth to the campus’ teaching mission and research enterprise.

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Research by IU scientist Juergen Schieber provides new insights into the potential for early steps of biological evolution on Mars

A team of scientists comprised of Juergen Schieber, a Professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences within the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington, and colleagues on NASA’s Curiosity Rover mission, uncovered the first tangible evidence for sustained wet-dry cycling on early Mars.

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IU Faculty + Resources + YOU = Scientific Breakthroughs

Dr. Martin F. Jarrold and Dr. David E. Clemmer, from the Department of Chemistry, were featured in 'Chemical and Engineering News' magazine for developing the technology of charge detection mass spectrometry (CDMS).

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Professor Herrera-Cárdenas recipient of Outstanding Service Award by American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese

The American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) has named Israel Herrera-Cárdenas, a Teaching Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese within the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington (IUB), the winner of the 2023 AATSP Outstanding Service Award.

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Assistant Professor Dr. Vanessa Cruz Nichols awarded Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship

Dr. Vanessa Cruz Nichols, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, was recently awarded a 2023-2024 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship.

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Biology department researchers make strides in understanding powerful bacteria impacting millions globally

Irene Newton and MaryAnn Martin’s research, currently in review, for the first time shows interactions between host proteins and those secreted by Wolbachia: a genus of bacteria that’s being used to control the spread of Dengue. 

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IU Geology professor awarded prestigious Leverhulme Visiting Professorship at the University of Cambridge

Chen Zhu, a globally recognized geologist and professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences within the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington, will join the University of Cambridge as a Leverhulme Visiting Professor.

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Professor William Scheuerman awarded Distinguished Fellowship at Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Science

William Scheuerman, the James H. Rudy Professor in the Department of Political Science within the College of Arts and Sciences, has been awarded a Distinguished Fellowship at the Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Sciences.

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Professors Powell and Anderson recipients of College’s Distinguished Mentor Award

The College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington has awarded three of its faculty members the Distinguished Mentor Award, which was established to formally recognize and encourage innovative and student-centered advising and training of undergraduate and graduate students.

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Provost Professors, recipients of Sonneborn, Burgan, Venkat awards named

Two faculty members in the College have won the 2023 Provost Professor award and another has won the Mary Burgan Distinguished Service Award.

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IU researchers join $10M USDA grant to develop more resilient food systems

IU researchers are part of a trans-disciplinary team that has been awarded a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to create more sustainable and equitable food systems in the Midwest and beyond.

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Prof. Robert Schneider’s new book seeks to understand politics of grievance in modern history

A new book by Robert Schneider, The Return of Resentment The Rise and Decline and Rise Again of a Political Emotion, explores the term “resentment” to explain political and social movements going back several centuries, while probing the term’s evolving meaning.

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Professor Rebecca Lave elected president of the American Association of Geographers

Rebecca Lave, a professor in the Department of Geography within the College of Arts and Sciences at IU, has been elected president of the American Association of Geographers, a global network of more than 9,500 researchers, educators, and practitioners.

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IU Bloomington professors elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Curtis M. Lively, a Distinguished Professor in the College of Arts and Science's Department of Biology, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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Examining 20th century anti-lynching art and the politics of memory

Professor Alex Lichtenstein, from the Department of History and American Studies, and his collaborators to create Unmasked, an art installation focused on “reimagining two historic exhibitions of anti-lynching art held in 1935.”

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Olimpia Rosenthal on publishing Race, Sex, and Segregation in Colonial Latin America

Race, Sex, and Segregation in Colonial Latin America, written by Olimpia Rosenthal in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, follows the development and evolution of segregationist policies in Spanish and Portuguese America during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

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Professor Alison Calhoun leads Mélodie event series sponsored by the Center of Excellence of the French Embassy at IU

The College’s Department of French and Italian (FRIT) put on the Mélodie event series—a four-part interdisciplinary workshop exploring 19th century French art song.

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Girl Security inspires Caroline Covey’s interest in nuclear non-proliferation

Caroline Covey’s fellowship with Girl Security inspired her goal of a career in the nuclear non-proliferation field. The opportunity has given her the chance to explore opportunities within the field, engage in research, connect with experts, and secure two highly selective summer internships.

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Ask the Expert: 2024 eclipse

Catherine Pilachowski, Distinguished Professor of Astronomy and the Daniel Kirkwood Chair in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences, explains what will happen during the 2024 eclipse.

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Stephanie Kane’s book explores climate change via river-city flooding

In her recently published book, Hamilton Lugar School Professor of International Studies Stephanie Kane explores the issue of climate change via river-city flooding and pushes her readers to think outside the box when seeking solutions to the climate crisis.

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Teaching Professor Herrera-Cárdenas selected to join prestigious Spanish language academy, ANLE

The North American Academy of the Spanish Language (La Academia Norteamericana de La Lengua Española, ANLE) has selected Teaching Professor Israel Herrera-Cárdenas, a Teaching Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese within the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington (IUB), to be a member.

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Dr. Emily Fyfe LEADs the way for psychology research

Dr. Emily Fyfe, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences, was named a winner of the 2023 Association for Psychological Science Janet Taylor Spence Award for excellence in early-career research.

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Cut from AP African American Studies curriculum

Professor of Sociology Fabio Rojas on being cut from the Advance Placement African American Studies course, and what the implications of these cuts would be for students who wanted to take this course.

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Dr. Fritz Breithaupt wins prestigious book award

Dr. Fritz Breithaupt's book, "Das narrative Gehirn: Was unsere Neuronen erzählen" (The Narrative Brain: What Our Neurons Tell Us) won the Science Book of the Year Award for 2023 from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research. The book speaks to much of Dr. Breithaupt’s work in the Experimental Humanities Laboratory, a group of students and professionals that he established at IU.

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IU Chemistry professor’s discovery of transporter could help researchers understand infectious disease

Professor David Giedroc and team in the Department of Chemistry have discovered a key to understanding bacterial defense strategies during infections.

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IU research on Optical Materials, known as SMILES, are featured at the Materials Research Society Meeting on MRS-TV

A short film covering research on the world’s brightest optical materials, SMILES, from Professors Amar Flood and Krishnan Raghavachari, adjunct faculty Sudhakar Pamidighantam, and collaborator Professor Bo Laursen at the University of Copenhagen is being featured at the Materials Research Society (MRS) Meeting.

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NABT recognizes IU Biology professor for science outreach

The science outreach efforts of Armin Moczek, a professor in the College’s Department of Biology in Bloomington, will be honored this week at the 2022 National Association of Biology Teachers Professional Development Conference in Indianapolis. Moczek will receive the organization's Evolution Education Award for his innovative teaching and community education efforts in the promotion of the accurate understanding of biological evolution.

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Misinformation, vaccine concerns contribute to low COVID-19 vaccination rate among children

A new report from Indiana University sociologist Jessica Calarco and Ph.D. candidate Elizabeth Anderson sheds light on why the rate of COVID-19 vaccination among U.S. children is far lower than the rate of vaccination among adults.

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WSJ Opinion: Can the Biden Administration Define Anti-Semitism?

The Biden administration announced in mid-December the creation of an interagency working group to develop “a national strategy to combat antisemitism.” To succeed, however, the working group must first answer a basic question: What is anti-Semitism? Professor Alvin Rosenfeld published this opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal on January 8, 2023.

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New IU coral facility receives funding to study how pathogen infects coral

The National Science Foundation and its internationally funded Binational Science Foundation have awarded a grant to Julia van Kessel, an associate professor in Biology, and her colleagues in IU’s new coral facility to study the coral reef ecosystem.

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College of Arts and Sciences celebrates more than 150 faculty authors who published 170-plus books

On the evening of December 12, College of Arts and Sciences faculty, staff, and guests gathered in the Cook Center for Public Arts and Humanities in Maxwell Hall, on the Indiana University Bloomington campus, to celebrate the more than 150 College faculty authors who have published over 170 books since 2020.

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Astronomy professor leads Milky Way research with the help of IU’s supercomputer system

Catherine Pilachowski, Distinguished Professor of Astronomy at IU, in collaboration with Research Technologies, has been working with the university’s advanced technology to answer questions about the Southern Bulge—more familiarly known as the Milky Way—and its quarter of a billion surrounding stars.

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Professor Jay Lennon recipient of the prestigious Humboldt Research Award

Jay T. Lennon, a professor in the College's Department of Biology, is a recipient of the Humboldt Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Those selected for this esteemed award are required to be internationally recognized for their academic achievements which have been proven by corresponding successes in research, and show promise of continuing their outstanding research into the future.

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Chemistry professor awarded the 2022 EAS Award for Outstanding Achievements in Mass Spectrometry

Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Martin Jarrold was awarded the 2022 EAS Award for Outstanding Achievements in Mass Spectrometry. The Eastern Analytical Symposium celebrates analytical chemists whose work have helped shape their field. Jarrold’s research in charge detection mass spectrometry (CDMS) has been essential in the development of virus assembly and gene therapy analysis. 

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Mental health, substance use issues prevalent among nonpsychiatric emergency room patients

A new study by Indiana University researchers has found that about 45% of patients who visit the emergency department for physical injuries and ailments also have mental health and substance use problems that are often overlooked. It also found that patients who reported high levels of suicidal thinking and plans were more likely to have frequent emergency department visits.

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IU Idea to Start-Up competition winners announced

The team of Julia van Kessel, an associate professor in the Department of Biology, and Laura Brown, a senior lecturer in the Department of Chemistry, both of the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington, was chosen as 1st-place winner of the inaugural IU Idea to Startup Pitch Competition.

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In Problems of Lexicography, Professor Adams explores how a group of academics who came together at IU in 1960 influenced the world

A new book by Michael Adams, Problems in Lexicography: A Critical / Historical Edition (Indiana University Press), shows how a group of academics who studied the making of dictionaries convened at IU in 1960 to produce a work that continues to inform and influence the profession and the field of linguistics today.

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