Professional Promise in Research and Creative Achievement
Dr. Seung J. Baek, assistant professor of pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine, came to UT in 2003. A molecular biologist, he is focusing his research on identifying the subcellular mechanisms responsible for the chemo-preventive effect of specific drugs and natural compounds on cancers. His ultimate goal is to provide a safe therapy to prevent cancer development. During his time at UT, he has attracted $1.9 million in grant funding and published 30 original papers in highly respected peer-review journals.
Dr. James A. Fordyce, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, focuses his work on identifying the factors that maintain variation in insect species to understand how new species are formed. He was recently awarded a $405,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for his work. He has been published in top-rated journals and received numerous awards including an Editor’s Choice recognition by Science magazine and the highest junior scientist award of the Ecological Society of America.
Dr. Robert K. Grzywacz, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, researches experimental nuclear physics, specifically the nuclear structure of very unstable atomic nuclei. He was instrumental in a $350,000-per-year nuclear physics grant from the Department of Energy and also has been able to attract funding from the National Nuclear Security Administration. He is the inventor and namesake of the “Grzywacz plot,” a new technique of discovering nuclear metastable states—a standard tool in this type of research.
Dr. Veerle Keppens, assistant professor of materials science, has earned international recognition for her study and identification of the source of the glassy behavior in clathrate crystals. Co-author of more than 37 journal publications, her total number of citations is more than 500. Her work has been extremely successful in finding funding from federal agencies, such as the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research. Though she serves as a single investigator on all her grants, she has proven herself as a team player by collaborating with several research teams within UT and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, as well as other well-established institutions.