June 11, 2014

Johns Hopkins appoints three new Bloomberg Distinguished Professors

Steve Headshot September 2012

Dear Members of the Johns Hopkins Community:

We are delighted to introduce our three newest Bloomberg Distinguished Professors, a group of world-class scholars invited to Johns Hopkins to anchor collaborative, interdisciplinary programs across the university.

Patricia Janak, Stephen Morgan, and Kathleen Sutcliffe will become part of the faculty July 1. They join Nobel laureates Peter Agre and Carol Greider, and renowned sociologist Kathryn Edin who were named to these prestigious endowed professorships earlier this year.

With these appointments we continue to build on the momentum unleashed by alumnus Michael R. Bloomberg’s landmark gift to our university to support 50 cross-disciplinary professorships over the next five years. Each professor will be a part of two or more schools and divisions, conduct research aligned with the university’s signature initiatives, and teach our students—undergraduates as well as graduate students—engaging them in the excitement of discovery that increasingly occurs at the nexus of disciplines.

Patricia Janak is a professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco, who studies how the brain learns to associate rewards with the environmental stimuli that predict their availability. These relatively simple associations contribute to ongoing behavior in all animals, guiding our responses to the stimuli that continually surround us—everything from food and drink, to stoplights and ringtones. Because malfunctions in this type of reward learning contribute to drug and alcohol addiction and overeating, a translational focus of Patricia’s work is to apply her findings to further our understanding of how reward-predictive stimuli contribute to relapse. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and biology from Rutgers University and her PhD in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. At Johns Hopkins, Patricia will have appointments in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the Krieger School and the Department of Neuroscience in the School of Medicine, and will be taking part in the Science of Learning Institute signature initiative.

Stephen Morgan is the Jan Rock Zubrow ’77 Professor in the Social Sciences at Cornell University. Stephen will have appointments in both the Krieger School in the Department of Sociology and the School of Education. A sociologist whose current research areas include education, inequality, demography, and methodology, Stephen will participate in the university’s signature initiative known as the Institute for the American City.  He has published two books and three edited volumes, and is the first or sole author of more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. He has also served as a member of the Board of Overseers of the General Social Survey and on the Socioeconomic Status Experts Panel, convened by the U.S. Department of Education to develop a new measure of socioeconomic status for federal reporting of the results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress testing program, often referred to as the Nation’s Report Card. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as his PhD, in sociology at Harvard University. He also obtained an M.Phil. in comparative social research while attending Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.

Kathleen M. Sutcliffe comes to us from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, where she was the Gilbert and Ruth Whitaker Professor of Business Administration and a professor of management and organizations.  As a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, she will hold appointments in the Carey Business School and the School of Medicine, will be part of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety, and will participate in the Individualized Health Initiative. A management and organization theorist, Kathleen is particularly noted for her work on how organizations cope with uncertainty and unexpected events, and how organizations can be designed to be more reliable and resilient.  She is currently investigating these issues in health care as well as in wildland firefighting and oil and gas exploration—areas in which she gained some firsthand experience in Alaska as a community health nurse practitioner and as a laborer on the Alaska pipeline, prior to pursuing her PhD at the University of Texas at Austin. In late 2012, she was appointed by the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine to a research panel to study work force resilience in the Department of Homeland Security.

Congratulations to Patricia, Stephen, and Kathleen on their selection. We are excited to work with them as we marshal the creativity and expertise of our faculty in disparate fields to solve our greatest global challenges.

Johns Hopkins remains truly grateful for Michael Bloomberg’s ongoing support of our mission. Without his exceptional generosity, we wouldn’t be able to welcome such talent to our community of scholars or support the work already underway to bridge our many divisions and ignite discovery that serves our world.


Ronald J. Daniels

Robert C. Lieberman
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

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