2017 Distinguished Professorships

Seven faculty members have been selected for distinguished professorships for 2017.

The Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost is pleased to announce that seven faculty members have been selected to receive distinguished professorships in 2017:

W.R. Kenan, Jr. Professors:

Michael Emch, Professor and Chair, Department of Geography

Michael E. Emch, PhD, a health geographer, is Professor and Chair of Geography at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also Professor of Epidemiology and a Fellow of the Carolina Population Center. He has published widely in the subfield of disease ecology, mostly of infectious diseases of the developing world. He directs the Spatial Health Research Group.  He is also a member of the UNC Infectious Diseases, Epidemiology, and Ecology Lab.  Many of the courses he teaches are about spatial components of health and disease.  Professor Emch is an Associate Editor of Health & Place and an Advisory Editor of Social Science and Medicine.

Mark Zylka, Director, Neuroscience Center and Professor, Cell Biology and Physiology

Mark Zylka’s is the Principal Investigator of a vibrant and highly competitive research laboratory involved in a variety of neurological projects.  One focus is the identification and study of novel molecules and signaling pathways for the treatment of chronic pain.  His lab has made several key discoveries, including the identification of ectonucleotidases that generate adenosine, which reduces pain, to a lipid kinase that generates a key signaling molecule (PiP2) in pain-sensing neurons (inhibition of the kinase reduces pain).  Dr. Zylka has garnered national and international recognition for these novel and impactful discoveries.  Another important focus for Dr. Zylka’s research has been autism.  He is using genome-wide approaches (RNA-seq, ChIP-seq) to study transcriptional regulators linked to autism and to identify environmental risk factors for autism.


Kenan Professors:

Ruth Anderson, Professor, School of Nursing

Ruth Anderson, a social gerontologist with expertise in care systems and trajectories of chronic illness and care outcomes for older adults, is the School of Nursing’s Associate Dean for Research. She is nationally distinguished as a former recipient of NINR’s Path Paver Award, a Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame member, and one of “100 Nursing Professors to Watch.” Among her accomplishments are various keynote addresses, invited chapters, and continuing education presentations. Her extensive body of scholarship is seen in Geriatric NursingImplementation ScienceNursing Research, and Qualitative Health Research,among a collection of other peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Anderson is in her 13th consecutive year of NIH funding and has established infrastructures to support research development and scholarship more broadly — both formally as Director of NINR Center grants and informally as an approachable and devoted mentor.

Jacqueline Hagan, Professor, Department of Sociology

Jackie Hagan’s central research area is international migration, with a special focus on undocumented and transit migration in the U.S.-Latin America migratory system.  Within this broad interdisciplinary area, she has conducted high impact research on gender and migration, race and ethnic relations, migration and international labor markets, religion and migration, and immigration policy effects. She is one of the world’s leading scholars on processes of U.S. immigration and their consequences for which recent events have made her a much sought-after policy expert and commentator on immigration bans and deportation.

Fabian Monrose, Professor, Department of Computer Science

Fabian Monrose is a computer security researcher extraordinaire. He is an internationally recognized leader in the field and known for the unusual creativity in, and interdisciplinary approach to, his research. He has become a “go to” authority for Federal policy makers and Federal cyber-crime investigators and his work has influenced how products such as Skype are designed. He is an award winner researcher, an award winning teaching, an inventor and entrepreneur. Moreover, as a member of an underrepresented minority, he gives back to his community of origin through educational outreach and mentoring of junior scholars. And in his spare time he works with the UNC campus ITS security group to help protect the campus’ networks from newly emerging threats and attacks.


Alumni Professor:

Robert Babcock, Professor, Department of Classics

Robert Babcock is a scholar of medieval literary and intellectual culture; his particular area of expertise lies in medieval Latin, the transmission of classical texts and learning in the middle ages, and Latin palaeography, the study of medieval manuscripts.  As a scholar, he has an outstanding international reputation, and as a teacher and mentor he plays a vital role both in the Department and in the interdepartmental program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies.


Burton Craige Distinguished Professor:

Lissa Broome, School of Law

Lissa Lamkin Broome is the director of the school’s Center for Banking and Finance, and she serves as faculty advisor to the North Carolina Banking Institute Journal. She also heads the school’s Director Diversity Initiative, which works to increase gender, racial, and ethnic diversity on the boards of directors of publicly traded corporations in North Carolina and throughout the United States. She joined the UNC-Chapel Hill faculty in 1984 and is a member of the North Carolina bar. Her teaching interests include commercial law and banking law.


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