In Brief: January-February 2001

The Nicholas School of the Environment is adding "Earth Sciences" to its name to reflect more accurately the scope of the school's programs. The formal name change was approved in December by Duke's trustees after an endorsement from the Academic Council, the governing body of the university faculty. The name change follows incorporation of the former department of geology into the Nicholas School in 1997. The trustees also authorized organization of the Nicholas School into three divisions: Earth and Ocean Sciences (EOS), Environmental Science and Policy, and Coastal Systems Science and Policy.


James N. Siedow, a longtime Duke professor and plant biology researcher, has been named vice provost for research. As the university's senior research administrator, he will oversee Duke's research initiatives, including exploring potential new areas for research; overseeing campus-wide research planning efforts; facilitating the transfer of technologies from Duke laboratories to the commercial sector; fostering collaboration among research units; and overseeing and administering the university's research policies. He also will direct expansion of partnerships between Duke and other North Carolina research universities and with industry, with a special focus on the Research Triangle Park. Siedow succeeds Charles Putman, who died of a heart attack in May 1999.

Two faculty in the English department have won book prizes from the Modern Language Association. Srinivas Aravamudan won the annual prize for a first book for Tropicopolitans: Colonialism and Agency, 1688-1804, published by Duke University Press. He joined the department last fall. Ian Baucom received honorable mention in the same category for Out of Place: Englishness, Empire, and the Locations of Identity. He is an Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of English.

Physician Robert J. Lefkowitz of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Duke Medical Center has been awarded the Jessie Kovalenko Medal by the National Academy of Sciences. The medal, presented every three years, is awarded for important contributions to the medical sciences and carries with it a cash prize of $25,000. The medal was given to Lefkowitz for his discovery of a "superfamily" of genes that code for protein receptors entwined within the cell membrane. Those receptors translate hormonal signals in the bloodstream into a vast array of physiological functions within the cell.



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