Kellett Mid-Career Awards honor 10 UW-Madison professors

April 17, 2014

by Kelly April Tyrrell

Ten noteworthy University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty members have been named Kellett Mid-Career Award winners this year.

The award recognizes outstanding faculty who are seven to 20 years past their first promotion to a tenured position. Each year, the Graduate School chooses winners from among departmental, Ph.D. major program unit or interdepartmental group nominees. A faculty member can only be awarded once.

Supported by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, the Kellett Award provides $60,000 of research funding to faculty members at a critical stage of their careers. It was named for William R. Kellett, a former president of the WARF board of trustees and retired president of Kimberly-Clark Corp.

This year’s Kellett Award winners are:

Guang-Hong Chen, professor of radiology and medical physics, who is the director of the UW Computerized Tomography Lab. Under his leadership, the CT Lab has published five peer-reviewed articles each year and more than 10 peer-reviewed proceedings annually. His research interests include phase-contrast imaging, clinical perfusions measurements and 4D cone beam computed tomography.

Anthony Ives, professor of zoology, a community ecology and population biologist with interests in evolution and behavior. He received a Robert H. MacArthur mid-career award from the Ecological Society of America in 2012 and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2013. He studies interspecies interactions, applying theoretical models to real-world situations, and has researched everything from the population dynamics of Icelandic lake midges to predator-prey relationships between Wisconsin pea aphids and their parasitoids.

Shigeki Miyamoto, professor of oncology, who studies what happens when cells stop communicating effectively and how it leads to cancer. He is interested in a particular cell signaling molecule and the role it plays in nuclear stress, cancer cell growth and anticancer drug evasion. He was named an H.I. Romnes Faculty Fellow in 2005.

Robert Asen, professor of rhetoric, politics and culture in the Department of Communication Arts, who is interested in discourse and how it’s used to promote justice as well as to promulgate oppression. His work touches public policy, politics, economics and cultural studies and in 2013 he was named a Vilas Associate.

Anthony Di Sanza, who is professor of percussion and percussion area chair in the Department of Music, He is an internationally recognized performer and educator and has appeared as a visiting artist at more than 35 colleges, university and conservatories in North America, Europe and Asia. He is currently principal percussionist with the Madison Symphony Orchestra.

Russ Shafer-Landau, professor and chair in the department of philosophy, who focuses on the study of morality and its status, rather than what constitutes it. He founded the annual Wisconsin Metaethics Workshop and has authored several books. He also edits the book, Oxford Studies in Metaethics, and runs the Marc Sanders Prize in Metaethics.

Manos Mavrikakis,  professor of chemical and biological engineering, who is interested in the elucidation of detailed reaction mechanisms for heterogeneously catalyzed reactions and the identification of improved catalytic materials from first-principles. According to Thomson-Reuters, Manos was one of the top 100 chemists for the 2000-2010 decade and received the 2009 Paul H. Emmett Award in Fundamental Catalysis from the North American Catalysis Society.

Robert Nowak, who is McFarland-Bascom professor of electrical and computer engineering and studies machine learning, learning graphs and networks, and sparsity and active learning. He is a Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and co-organizer of the weekly Systems, Information, Learning and Optimization (SILO) research group seminar.

Travis Pickering, professor of biological anthropology, who studies early Stone Age artifacts from Swartkrans, an Early Pleistocene hominid site in South Africa that yields some of the earliest evidence of human-controlled fire. His current work is focused on understanding the ecology of Swartkrans and the role hominids played 1.8 million years ago. He is also director of the Swartkrans Paleoanthropological Research Project and instructor in the Swartkrans Paleoanthropology Field School.

Dietram Scheufele, John E. Ross professor in the department of life sciences communication, who is currently focused on the impact of social media and other new forms of communication. He is one of the top most-cited communications researchers in the world, an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an honorary professor of communication at the Dresden University of Technology in Germany.