Henry Russel lecturer, awardees named for 2018


Terry E. Robinson, one of the world’s most influential biopsychologists and behavioral neuroscientists, has been selected as the 2018 Henry Russel Lecturer, one of the university’s highest honors for senior faculty members.

Terry Robinson

Robinson is the Elliott S. Valenstein Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and a professor of psychology, LSA. He will deliver his lecture during the winter term of 2018.

Robinson’s research has provided fundamental insights into the neurological processes related to addiction, and has led to a new understanding of the brain mechanisms through which normal reward-related processes go awry and create dependence on psychostimulants, according to citations.

The Henry Russel Lectureship is awarded annually to faculty members with exceptional achievements in research, scholarship or creative endeavors, as well as an outstanding record of teaching, mentoring and service.

In addition, four faculty members were selected to receive Henry Russel Awards for 2018. The Henry Russel Award is one of the university’s highest honors for junior faculty members.

The recipients are:

Justin Kasper

Becky Lorenz Peterson

Daniel Rabosky

Paul Zimmerman

• Justin C. Kasper, associate professor of climate and space sciences and engineering, College of Engineering.

• Becky Lorenz Peterson, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science, CoE.

• Daniel Rabosky, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and assistant curator, Museum of Zoology, LSA.

• Paul Zimmerman, assistant professor of chemistry, LSA.

Robinson has authored more than 200 journal articles and book chapters, some of which were the first to describe changes in the brain and behavior produced by drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines.

Among his contributions, Robinson developed an understanding of the neural mechanisms of drug craving and identified the psychological role of dopamine in addiction. He also discovered long-term neuroadaptations produced by psychostimulants lead to anatomical changes in the structure of brain neurons.

Robinson, who joined the U-M faculty in 1978, is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Association for Psychological Science, the latter of which named him a William James Fellow for Lifetime Achievement. Robinson has also received the Distinguished Scientist Award from the European Behavioral Pharmacology Society.

As an educator, Robinson spearheaded the development of an undergraduate major in brain, behavior and cognitive science, and he chaired and served on many doctoral dissertation committees.

Kasper, who joined the U-M faculty in 2013, is carrying out pioneering measurements of the solar atmosphere, the solar wind and planetary systems, as well as leading the development of experimental instruments that will define research on space weather.

He is the lead scientist overseeing the orbiting instruments that help detect incoming storms, thereby maintaining Earth’s early warning system, as well as the principal investigator in the development of instrumentation for a solar probe expected to launch in 2018.

Kasper has written 130 articles in refereed journals and received several awards, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Peterson joined U-M as an assistant research scientist in 2009 and was appointed an assistant professor in 2013. In her research, she explores difficult challenges about how new materials can be adapted to address needs in the development of a range of new technologies.

Her research has contributed to the development of nanoparticle-based electronics and sensors, self-assembled nanofabrication techniques, transparent or “invisible” circuits and electro-mechanical properties of thin films. Peterson is also developing processes for the use of liquid inks to deposit amorphous oxide semiconductors for the manufacture of high-performance electronic and optoelectronic devices, sensors and circuits.

Peterson received the Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation, and a Young Faculty Award and Director’s Fellowship from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Rabosky, who joined the U-M faculty in 2012, dedicates his research to answering what are the evolutionary drivers responsible for the unequal composition and distribution of Earth’s biodiversity.

He established macro-evolutionary studies as an important new research area, and developed a computer program that generates mathematical and computational models that combine theoretical insights from evolutionary biology and ecology.

Besides publishing his work in leading journals, Rabosky has received several honors, including the Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering and the Theodosius Dobzhansky Prize from the Society for the Study of Evolution.

Zimmerman, who joined the U-M faculty in 2012, develops methods that bridge chemical theory and laboratory experimentation. His research has produced tools that allow chemists to design, build and test a range of new compounds for their ability to catalyze the creation of novel molecules and materials without the need to synthesize the catalysts.

He helped identify causes for reaction failures and found solutions through modifying catalyst structures, as well as developed several methods that led to advances in the science of solar harvesting and storage materials. 

Zimmerman has received several awards, including a Sloan Research Fellowship and a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award.


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