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Chancellor Faculty Fellows - 2016 Cohort


Vanderbilt University is committed to supporting and retaining outstanding faculty who have recently received tenure. The granting of tenure indicates the university’s long term commitment to these individuals.  In many ways, these scholars represent the future of our institution. They offer energy and innovation for new basic discoveries, path breaking scholarship, and creative expression. As these faculty assume more senior status, it is important that Vanderbilt renew its commitment to them so as to ensure continued success in their careers that will lead to even greater national and international visibility. By investing in a select group of younger scholars from across the campus, we will not only advance their careers at a critical time, but we will also provide a forum for them to share their academic interests with others on campus that build and enrich our One Vanderbilt community.

2016 Cohort of Fellows

Fourteen faculty members hailing from a diverse cross section of disciplines have been selected as the second cohort of the Chancellor Faculty Fellows program. The 2016 Chancellor Faculty Fellows are:

Wenbiao Chen Wenbiao Chen, associate professor molecular physiology and biophysics.
Chen’s research combines genetic, pharmacological, and imaging techniques using zebrafish to identify and understand the molecular mechanisms that lead to the high levels of blood glucose that characterize type 2 diabetes.

Derek Griffith Derek Griffith, associate professor of medicine, health and society. Griffith focuses on identifying and addressing psychosocial, cultural and environmental determinants of African American men’s health and well-being, often using a community-based participatory research approach. 

Kelly Haws Kelly Haws, associate professor of management. Haws studies consumer behavior, with a focus on issues related to consumer welfare and an emphasis on food decision making and health-related issues and the underlying decision making processes involved.

Julian Hillyer Julián Hillyer, associate professor of biological sciences. Hillyer’s research uses state-of-the-art imaging and molecular methodologies to gain a better understanding of mosquito immunology in physiological and organismal contexts with the aim of contributing to the development of novel pest and disease control strategies.

Irina Kaverina Irina Kaverina, associate professor of cell and developmental biology. Kaverina studies the intracellular cytoskeletal microtubule network and its regulation and function in physiology and disease.

Christopher Loss Christopher Loss, associate professor of public policy and higher education.
Loss specializes in 20th century American history with an emphasis on the social, political, and policy history of American higher education.

Brad Malin Brad Malin, associate professor of biomedical informatics, associate professor of computer science. Malin is an expert in electronic and health information privacy and uses biomedical informatics, databases, data mining, data privacy, information retrieval, network analysis, technology and policy in his work.

Catherine Molineux Catherine Molineux, associate professor of history. Molineux is a historian of culture in the early modern British Atlantic world, with a focus on race, slavery and empire from the late 17th to the early 19th centuries.

Kevin Niswender Kevin Niswender,  associate professor of medicine. Niswender studies
the neuroendocrine regulation of feeding and pathogenesis of obesity and makes extensive use of the full translational spectrum of model systems ranging from cell culture and animal models to human investigation in his work.

Caglar Oskay Caglar Oskay, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and associate professor of mechanical engineering. Oskay’s primary research focus is on multi-scale computational modeling and simulation of material and structure systems subjected to extreme environments and loading conditions.

Betsey Robinson Betsey Robinson, associate professor of history of art, associate professor of anthropology and associate professor of classics. Robinson’s primary interests include Greek and Roman architecture and art, ancient cities and sanctuaries, and landscapes—actual, imagined, and as represented in ancient art and literature.

Robert Webster Robert Webster, associate professor of mechanical engineering, associate professor of electrical engineering, associate professor of otolaryngology, associate professor of neurological surgery, associate professor of urologic surgery. Webster’s research interests are in surgical robotics in particular and more generally in applying scientific and engineering tools to enhance all aspects of medicine.

Steve Wernke Steve Wernke, associate professor of anthropology. Wernke studies local experiences of imperialism and colonialism on both sides of the Spanish invasion of the Andes—especially how new kinds of communities, landscapes and religious practice emerged out of attempts by the Inkas and the Spanish to subordinate and remake Andean societies in the image of their colonial ideals.

Christopher Williams Christopher Williams, associate professor of medicine. Williams’ research focuses on understanding how the epithelium responds to injury and how normal injury response processes are subverted in the development of malignancy with an emphasis on diseases of the colon.