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Alan T. Waterman Award Committee Biographies


Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Thatcher Presidential Endowed Chair in Biological Chemistry
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT

Cynthia J. Burrows received a B. A. in chemistry from the University of Colorado in 1975 and a Ph. D. in chemistry at Cornell University in 1982. Following two years as an NSF-CNRS postdoctoral fellow at Universite Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, she then held the positions of assistant through full professor of chemistry at the State University of New York at Stony Brook (1983-1995), before returning to the West to take a position at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City in 1995. She currently serves as chair of the Department of Chemistry.

Dr. Burrows has research interests in the chemical mechanisms of DNA modification with a particular focus on pathways related to oxidative stress. Her laboratory has characterized new oxidation products of guanosine and uncovered unusual biochemical phenomena related to DNA and RNA modification and repair. Recent focal points include the study of G-quadruplex-forming sequences in promoter and telomeric regions of the genome, the application of single-molecule methods to examine DNA modifications in protein nanopores, and an interest in DNA and RNA photochemistry relevant to the origins of life.

Prof. Burrows has been a member of numerous editorial boards and review panels; from 2001-2013, she served as Senior Editor of the Journal of Organic Chemistry, and in 2014, began as Editor-in-Chief of Accounts of Chemical Research. She is a past recipient of the Robert Parry Teaching Award and in 2011 of the University Distinguished Teaching Award; her research was recently recognized with the ACS Utah Award, ACS Cope Scholar Award, and the University of Utah's Distinguished Creative and Scholarly Research Award. In 2009, she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2013 she was appointed the inaugural holder of the Thatcher Presidential Endowed Chair of Biological Chemistry. In 2014, she received the Linda K. Amos Award for Distinguished Service to Women at the University of Utah and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

For more information, visit her website:


Endowed Chair, Bezos Family Foundation for Early Childhood Learning
Co-Director, Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences
Director, NSF Science of Learning Center (LIFE)
Professor, Speech and Hearing Sciences
University of Washington

Dr. Patricia K. Kuhl holds the Bezos Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning and is Co-Director of the UW Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, Director of the University of Washington's NSF Science of Learning Center, and Professor of Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. She is internationally recognized for her research on early language and bilingual brain development, for pioneering brain measures on young children, and studies that show how young children learn. She presented her work at two White House conferences (Clinton White House in 1997 and Bush White House in 2001).

Dr. Kuhl is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Rodin Academy, and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Acoustical Society of America, the American Psychological Society, and the Cognitive Science Society. Dr. Kuhl was awarded the Silver Medal of the Acoustical Society of America in 1997. She received the University of Washington's Faculty Lectureship Award in 1998. In 2005, she was awarded the Kenneth Craik Research Award from Cambridge University. In 2007, Dr. Kuhl was awarded the University of Minnesota's Outstanding Achievement Award. In Paris in 2008, Dr. Kuhl was awarded the Gold Medal of the Acoustical Society of America for her work on early learning and brain development. In November 2011 in Paris, she was awarded the IPSEN Foundation's Jean-Louis Signoret Neuropsychology Prize. Dr. Kuhl is co-author of The Scientist in the Crib: Minds, Brains, and How Children Learn (Harper Collins). Dr. Kuhl's TED talk can be viewed at:

For more information, visit her website:


University Distinguished Professor and Advisor in Marine Studies
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR

Dr. Lubchenco is a marine ecologist and environmental scientist with expertise in oceans, biodiversity, climate change, and interactions between the environment and human well-being. She served as Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 2009-2013 after being nominated by President Obama in December 2008 as part of his "Science Dream Team." She received her B.A. in biology from Colorado College, M.S. in zoology from the University of Washington, and Ph.D. in ecology from Harvard University. Her academic career as a professor began at Harvard (1975-1977) and continued at Oregon State University until her appointment as NOAA administrator. Jane is one of the "most highly cited" ecologists in the world; eight of her publications are recognized as "Science Citation Classics"; she is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society the Royal Society and The World Academy of Sciences. She has served as president of the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS), the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the Ecological Society of America. She served on the Pew Oceans Commission, the Joint Oceans Commission Initiative, the Aspen Institute Arctic Commission, Council of Advisors for Google Ocean and the Blue Ribbon Panel for the World Bank's Global Partnership for Oceans.

Dr. Lubchenco has received numerous awards including a MacArthur "genius" award, 19 honorary doctorates, the Heinz Award for the Environment, and the Blue Planet Prize. She was named "2010 Newsmaker of the Year" by the scientific journal Nature. She promotes the concept of 'a social contract for scientists' in which scientists pursue and share knowledge that is relevant to society's most pressing problems, and do so with transparency, honesty and humility. She co-founded three organizations that enhance communication of scientific knowledge to the public, policy makers, media and industry: The Leopold Leadership Program, the Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS), and Climate Central, and she co-founded a research consortium, PISCO that focuses on understanding the near-shore along the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California.

For more information, visit her website:


Pehong Chen Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Emerita
University of California, Berkeley

Susan L. Graham is the Pehong Chen Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research spans many aspects of programming language implementation, software tools, software development environments, and high-performance computing.  As a participant in the Berkeley Unix project, she and her students built the Berkeley Pascal system and the widely used program profiling tool gprof. For twenty years, the Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation selected and listed her research group’s paper on the gprof (1979-1999).  Dr. Graham has conducted seminal research in compiler code generation and optimization, and with her students built several interactive programming environments, yielding a variety of incremental analysis algorithms.  Her most recent projects were the Titanium system for language and compiler support of explicitly parallel programs and the Harmonia framework for high-level interactive software development.

Dr. Graham has served on numerous advisory committees. She was a member of the U.S. President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) from 1997 to 2003, and member of the Harvard Board of Overseers from 2001 to 2007 and was President in 2006-2007. She was the Chief Computer Scientist for the NSF-sponsored National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI) from 1997 to 2005, co-chaired a National Research Council study on the Future of Supercomputing, and was vice-Chair and then Chair of the Council of the NSF-sponsored Computing Community Consortium.  She is a member of the Harvard Corporation, the Vice-chair and Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of Cal Performances, and a member of the Board of Overseers of the Curtis Institute of Music.

Professor Graham received an A.B. in mathematics from Harvard University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Stanford University. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was the founding editor-in-chief of the ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems.  Among her awards are the ACM SIGPLAN Career Programming Language Achievement Award (2000), the ACM Distinguished Service Award (2006), the Harvard Medal (2008), the IEEE von Neumann Medal (2009), the Berkeley Citation (2009), and the ACM/IEEE Ken Kennedy Award (2011).

For more information, visit her website:


Dean, College of Engineering, Southern Company Chair, and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology

Gary S. May is the dean of the College of Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Professor of Systems and Controls, Microelectronics/Microsystems.  Prior to his current appointment, Dr. May served as the Steve W. Chaddick Chair of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (2005-2011), and Executive Assistant to Georgia Tech President G. Wayne Clough (2002-2005).  Dr. May joined the ECE faculty in 1991 as a member of the School's microelectronics group, an in 2001, he was named Motorola Foundation Professor, and appointed associate chair for Faculty Development. He has also held engineering positions at AT&T Bell Laboratories and at McDonnell-Douglas Corporation.  His research interest is in the field of computer-aided manufacturing of integrated circuits.

Dr. May received the 2012 U.S. President’s Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, AAAS Mentor Award (2006), and the NSBE Golden Torch Award: Janice A. Lumpkin Educator of the Year (2006).  He is the founder of Georgia Tech's Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering/Science (SURE) program, a summer research program designed to attract talented minority students into graduate school, and is the founder and director of Facilitating Academic Careers in Engineering and Science program (FACES), a program designed to encourage minority engagement in engineering and science careers.

Dr. May received the B.E.E. in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and MS and PhD respectively from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a National Science Foundation "National Young Investigator" (1993-98) and Editor-in-Chief of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Transactions on Semiconductor Manufacturing (1997-2001). Dr. May was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award in Electrical Engineering (2010), University of California at Berkeley He is an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow, IEEE Fellow, and a member of the National Advisory Board of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). He has also served as chair of the NSF Directorate of Engineering Advisory Committee.

For more information, visit his website:


Co-Director, Physics Frontier Center at the Joint Quantum Institute
Professor of Physics
University of Maryland

Dr. Luis A. Orozco is a professor of Physics and Fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute of the
University of Maryland and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and co-
directs the NSF funded Physics Frontier Center of the Joint Quantum Institute. Orozco research interests focus on the areas of He is interested in quantum optics, quantum information, testing fundamental symmetries, and high-precision spectroscopy quantum optics and laser spectroscopy.  Prior to his current appointment at the University of Maryland, Dr. Orozco was professor of physics at the Statue University of New York at Stony Brook.

Dr. Orozco has been a member of several advisory committees, including the Directorate of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) at the National Science Foundation, USA (2009-2012), MPS subcommittee to advise NSF on implementing the P5 recommendations (2014-15), and was general chair of the Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference (2005).  Dr. Orozco was a member of the editorial committee of Physical Review A (2002-2007) and external evaluation committee of INAOE (2009-2011) in Mexico. He is a member of the advisory committee of the Center for Ultracold Atoms of Harvard and MIT (2005-2006) and (2009-2016) and the Center for Optics and Photonics at the University of Concepcion in Chile (2011-2016).

Dr. Orozco studied engineering in his native Guadalajara, Mexico, received his PhD in physics at the University of Texas at Austin USA, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, spending part of it at CERN, Switzerland. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow (1998), and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (2000), Optical Society of America (2003), and the Institute of Physics, UK (2005).  Dr. Orozco is the Distinguished Traveling Lecturer of the American Physical Society (2002-2015), and corresponding member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences (2005).

For more information, visit his website:


Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
Boyd Professor and Philip W. West Professor of Analytical and Environmental Chemistry
Louisiana State University
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor

Isiah Warner is Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives,  Boyd Professor, the highest professorial rank in the LSU system, and the Philip W. West Professor of Analytical and Environmental Chemistry.
Dr. Warner  is considered one of the world's experts for analytical applications of fluorescence spectroscopy, his research focus for over 35 years.  He has been conducting research on the analytical applications of ionic liquids for several years. It is this research on ionic liquids that has led to his conceptualization and implementation of a group of uniform materials based on organic salts (GUMBOS) as novel materials, which can be exploited for a variety of applications. An HHMI Professor for his many educational activities, Dr. Warner also conducts STEM education research. Prior to joining the LSU faculty, Warner served on the chemistry faculties at Emory University, and Texas A&M University respectively. 

Dr. Warner has served on the National Acdemy of Sciences Chemical Sciences Rountable, and the National Institute of General Medical Science’s Advisory Council.  He has served on the editoral board of the Jounral of Analytical Chemistry.  He received the 1997 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, and AAAS Lifetime Mentor Award, the 2014 Stanley C. Israel Regional Award for Advancing Diversity in Chemical Sciences (ACS), and the 2013 American Chemical Society Award in Analytical Chemistry.  Dr. Warner honors also include the 2014 Henry Hill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Professionalism, Society for Applied Spectroscopy (SAS) Fellow (2010), American Chemical Society Fellow – Inaugural Class (2009), and American Chemical Society’s Division of Analytical Chemistry Award in Spectrochemical Analysis (2008).

Dr. Warner received a B.S in Chemistry from Southern University, and Ph.D. degree in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Washington. He is a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS), National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, Society for Applied Spectroscopy, Sigma Xi, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), New York Academy of Sciences, American Association of University Professors, and the American Nano Society.   

For more information, visit his website:



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