It’s with great excitement that I write to announce the appointment of four exceptional faculty members as Arts and Sciences Professors. Established in 2012, the Arts and Sciences Professorship is the highest honor conferred by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) recognizing excellence in leadership, teaching, and scholarly achievement among our faculty. Awarded by the Dean of the FAS, Arts and Sciences Professorships honor tenured scholars who have engaged in important groundbreaking research and outstanding teaching. These rotating five-year appointments, established through generous gifts to the Campaign for the Arts and Sciences, symbolize the highest level of achievement among our community and enable us to publicly recognize our most esteemed colleagues. Our four new Arts and Sciences Professors are:
Catherine Dulac, the Higgins Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, has been named the Lee and Ezpeleta Professor of Arts and Sciences. As a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and past chair of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, her scholarship examines the neurobiological basis of innate social behaviors using molecular, genetic, and behavioral approaches in mouse models. Professor Dulac is a leader in advancing our understanding of genomic imprinting in the brain, and she is helping us decipher the brain’s inner workings through her ambitious efforts under the NIH’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative.
Jennifer Lewis, the Hansjörg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering, is the inaugural Jianming Yu Professor of Arts and Sciences. As a core faculty member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard, her research focuses on the design and fabrication of functional, structural, and biological materials, and her pioneering work in the field of microscale 3D printing is advancing the development of electronics, soft robotics, lightweight structures, and vascularized human tissues.
Louis Menand, the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of English, has been named the Lee Simpkins Professor of Arts and Sciences. He is widely considered to be among the foremost modern scholars of American studies and 19th and 20th century cultural history. Professor Menand’s The Metaphysical Club (2001), a detailed history of American intellectual and philosophical life in the 19th and 20th centuries, received a Pulitzer Prize in history and in 2016 he was a recipient of the National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama.
Mary Waters, the John L. Loeb Professor of Sociology, is the PVK Professor of Arts and Sciences. An award winning Harvard teacher since 1986, she has focused her work on the integration of immigrants and their children, the transition to adulthood for the children of immigrants, intergroup relations, and the measurement and meaning of racial and ethnic identity. She is currently a principal investigator of the Resilience in Survivors of Katrina (RISK) project, a longitudinal study that evaluates pre- and post-hurricane data and outcomes of survivors and their children.
I would also like to recognize Jeff Lichtman, the Jeremy R. Knowles Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, who is completing his 5-year appointment as the inaugural Santiago Ramón y Cajal Professor of Arts and Sciences. Professor Lichtman was the first faculty member to receive this honor in 2013. He is a recognized leader in the development of new brain imaging techniques, and his Arts and Sciences Professorship appointment helped advance his groundbreaking work to produce a detailed wiring map of the brain.
These pioneering members of our faculty are thought leaders in their fields and contribute in inestimable ways to the truly unique learning environment in the FAS. Through the generosity of our alumni who have provided the funding for these Arts and Sciences Professorships, we are able today to recognize the leadership of these five individuals. These remarkable scholars truly exemplify the best of all that we do. Please join me in congratulating them on this distinguished honor.
Michael D. Smith
Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences
John H. Finley, Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences