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Congratulations to our five newest distinguished professors


Indiana University faculty stand out because they push the boundaries of research, shape our culture and alter the course of history. They also bring their ground-breaking scholarship into their classrooms and labs to enhance the educational experience of IU students. I'm pleased to share that five exceptional faculty members have earned IU's highest academic appointment as distinguished professors for their pursuit of excellence in their fields.

The investigations of Stephen Bell have strengthened our understanding of the origins of life. Chair of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry and professor of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences, Stephen is a global leader in chromosome biology through his study of organisms living in extreme conditions.

The discoveries of Thomas Imperiale have saved millions of lives. The Lawrence Lumeng Professor of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in the Department of Medicine at the IU School of Medicine, Thomas has done groundbreaking research on preventive screenings for colorectal cancer that has strengthened our understanding of this common disease. 

The pioneering scholarship of Samuel Obeng weaves together more than 30 African languages, offering insights into the structures of West African languages. A professor of linguistics in the College of Arts and Sciences, Samuel is a leading Africanist and the principal authority of African pragmatics and the sociology of language.

The research of Kosali Simon has informed economic and health care policy, with a particular focus on the impact of law and policy on low-income households and people of color. The Herman B Wells Endowed Professor and Paul H. O'Neill Chair at the O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IU Bloomington, Kosali is elevating issues of equity through her insights.  

The dynamic performances of Carol Vaness made her an internationally renowned opera singer. A soprano and professor of voice at the Jacobs School of Music, Carol has been recognized as a definitive interpreter for Mozart operas. She was one of the most sought-after musicians and actors in the world due to her captivating presence in a wide range of roles that were as emotionally charged as they were beautiful. 

Join me in celebrating the remarkable achievements of these distinguished professors. 


Pamela Whitten

Indiana University

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