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Six UW-Madison faculty receive Kellett Mid-Career Awards

March 5, 2007 By Terry Devitt

Six midcareer University of Wisconsin–Madison faculty have been recognized for their research accomplishments through conferral of Kellett Mid-Career Awards.

The awards, each of which includes $60,000 in unrestricted research support, are conferred annually by a faculty committee in the UW–Madison Graduate School. They recognize the work of faculty five to 20 years beyond their first promotion to a tenured position. Supported by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), the awards are named for William R. Kellett, a former president of the WARF board of trustees and retired president of Kimberly-Clark Corp.

Honored this year are:

  • Richard M. Amasino, biochemistry, whose research centers on studies of the processes that control flowering in plants. Amasino, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Teaching Professor, has helped reveal how plants sense seasonal cues to flower at the correct time.
  • Susan Coppersmith, physics, who studies the role of disorder on changes in the fundamental properties of materials. She is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • Charles Engel, economics, an expert in international macroeconomics and international finance. He has edited the Journal of International Economics since 2001 and has served as a visiting scholar at the U.S. Federal Reserve Board, the International Monetary Fund and central banks in several countries.
  • Nancy Keller, plant pathology, is an authority on a class of fungi that produce highly toxic and carcinogenic mycotoxins. Her work in the area of mycotoxin gene expression and production has resulted in new methods for drug discovery and insight into toxin gene evolution. She is also involved in a project to develop varieties of peanut plants resistant to aflatoxin for African farmers.
  • James P. Leary, Scandinavian studies and folklore, is an authority on regional folklore. He directs the Folklore Program and is a co-founder of the UW–Madison Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures. Leary has also been recognized for excellence in teaching and public service.
  • Lee Palmer Wandel, history, studies the social and cultural transformations that accompanied the Reformation in central Europe. She has earned numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, for her scholarship.