2016 Distinguished University Professor

The Distinguished University Professor title is awarded permanently to no more than three exceptional faculty per year.
John Byrd profile picture

John Byrd

Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
College of Medicine


John C. Byrd, M.D., the D. Warren Brown Designated Chair of Leukemia Research and director of the Division of Hematology, is a physician and researcher whose discoveries hold the promise of being effective in some of the most vulnerable groups of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Byrd works to identify initial therapy protocols for certain vulnerable groups of patients and combinations of agents to secure the long-term control of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Most recently, he published a paper about a new drug that promotes high response rates that are durable in patients with CLL while producing minimal side effects. He continues his laboratory efforts to search for effective combinations of therapeutic agents for many types of leukemia. His international reputation for translating laboratory work with his team to improve patient lives has resulted in numerous scientific collaborations. He holds 10 patents, and his work is published in nearly 400 peer-reviewed publications.

Byrd earned his medical degree from the University of Arkansas and completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Peter W. Culicover profile picture

Peter W. Culicover

Professor, Department of Linguistics
College of Arts and Sciences


Peter W. Culicover, Ph.D., Humanities Distinguished Professor of Linguistics in the Department of Linguistics, is an internationally recognized authority on linguistic theory.

An internationally recognized authority on linguistic theory, he is a pioneer in cognitive science and its relationship to mental representations of language, syntax, grammar and language acquisition. He has written or co-written 16 books, more than 75 articles in peer-reviewed publications and dozens of other addresses and conference proceedings. His many awards include the prestigious Humboldt Research Award, designation as a Fellow of three major professional organizations and many university awards.

Culicover earned his doctorate in linguistics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Tina M. Henkin profile picture

Tina M. Henkin

Professor, Department of Microbiology
College of Arts and Sciences


Tina M. Henkin, Ph.D., the Robert W. and Estelle S. Bingham Professor of Biological Sciences in the Department of Microbiology, is credited with discoveries about RNA molecules of such fundamental importance that they led to a new research field.

Her discovery in 1994 of riboswitches and subsequent work on the topic over the following decades established a new paradigm for regulation in biological systems. In addition, she is the co-author of a major textbook in the field of bacterial genetics and more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed publications, and the holder of two patents. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Association for Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences; a member of the National Academy of Sciences; winner of the National Academy of Sciences Pfizer Medal in Molecular Biology and The Ohio State University Distinguished Scholar Award; and editor of the Journal of Bacteriology.

Henkin earned her doctorate in genetics from the University of Wisconsin and completed a postdoc at Tufts University Medical School.

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