Two Northwestern professors named Guggenheim Fellows


Daily file photo by Catherine Buchaniec

Past Guggenheim Fellows include 125 Nobel laureates and recipients of many internationally recognized honors.

Kristen Axtman, Assistant Campus Editor

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation granted McCormick Prof. Julius Lucks and history Prof. Amy Stanley with Guggenheim fellowships, Northwestern announced in a news release Thursday. 

Nearly 2,500 American and Canadian scientists and scholars applied for the fellowship, which has honored 125 Nobel laureates in its 98 years. The Foundation honors writers’, scholars’, scientists’ or artists’ contributions with varying amounts of cash to be used for “any manner they deem necessary to their work,” according to the Foundation’s website.

The Foundation has granted nearly $400 million to over 18,000 individuals. This year, it named 171 Guggenheim Fellows, including Lucks and Stanley. 

Lucks, the co-director of the Northwestern Center for Synthetic Biology, researches the molecular principles that allow biological systems to sense and adapt to changing environments. 

His lab also studies the folding properties of RNA, a molecule present in all living cells. He produced some of the first movies of RNA folding inside cells. With the Guggenheim Fellowship, he said he plans to further capture the diversity of RNA molecules. 

Stanley, on the other hand, studies the social history of early modern and modern Japan, focusing on global history, women’s and gender history and narrative. She plans to use the Guggenheim Fellowship to support research for her social history book about the experiences of people on the battlefield in Burma during World War II. 

Stanley authored an award-winning biography in 2020: “Stranger in the Shogun’s City: A Japanese Woman and Her World.” The book follows Tsuneno, a woman living in Tokyo — then Edo — before the city’s encounter with the West. 

“The new class of fellows has followed their calling to enhance all of our lives, to provide greater human knowledge and deeper understanding,” Edward Hirsch, president of the Foundation and 1985 Fellow in Poetry, said in the release. “We’re lucky to look to them to bring us into the future.”

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Twitter: @KristenAxtman1

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