Distinguished Investigator

Nominations have now closed.
 The objective of this award is recognize highly talented members of our faculty for research excellence. Each faculty may nominate one junior and one senior faculty member in this category.
1 Junior Faculty Award (Instructors or Assistant Professsors)
1 Senior Faculty Award (Associate or Full Professors)


  • Individuals are to be nominated for outstanding research contributions in science
  • Nominee must be a current member of the employed (non-voluntary) faculty at the University of Chicago and hold their primary appointment in a BSD department.
  • The work for which the person is being nominated must have occurred at the University of Chicago
  • Current elected members of the Faculty Advisory Committee are ineligible; see list of members here

Nomination Submission Requirements:

  • A short summary (250-500 words) stating the basis for the nomination. Must not include unpublished work.
  • CV of nominee – nominee is to indicate their 5 (junior rank) or 10 (senior rank) best publications with an asterisk.


Award Winners

  • Demet Araç-Özkan, PhD, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Matthew Stephens, PhD, Human Genetics and Statistics
2011 - 2018


  • Jane Churpek, MD, Medicine
  • Stefano Allesina, PhD, Ecology and Evolution


  • D. Allan Drummond, PhD, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Joy Bergelson, PhD, Ecology and Evolution


  • Marcus Kronforst, PhD, Ecology and Evolution
  • Michael Rust, PhD, Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology
  • Thomas Gajewski, MD, PhD, Medicine, Pathology and the Ben May Department for Cancer Research


  • Sliman Bensmaia, PhD, Organismal Biology & Anatomy
  • Paul Sereno, PhD, Organismal Biology & Anatomy


  • Dezheng Huo, MD, PhD, Public Health Sciences
  • Jonathan Staley, PhD, Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology
  • Joseph Piccirilli, PhD, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Chemistry


  • David Freedman, PhD, Neurobiology
  • Nancy Cox, PhD, Human Genetics and Medicine


  • Joel Collier, PhD, Surgery
  • Ernst Lengyel, MD, PhD, Obstetrics and Gynecology


  • Juliane Bubeck Wardenburg, MD, PhD, Pediatrics and Microbiology
  • Molly Przeworski, PhD, Human Genetics and Ecology & Evolution
  • Donald F. Steiner, MD, Medicine and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology