Release

Wayne State University appoints seven new distinguished professors

May 1, 2017


Seven faculty members were recently named distinguished professors at Wayne State University, the highest appointment awarded at the university. The appointment honors outstanding academic achievements. The new honorees bring the number of distinguished professors at Wayne State to 27.

Faculty named to the rank of distinguished professor were nominated by their college deans. Their credentials were reviewed by Provost Keith Whitfield and President M. Roy Wilson, and upon the president's recommendation they were formally appointed to this rank by the WSU Board of Governors. The rank of distinguished professor is made only in recognition of the highest of academic achievements and accomplishments, and acknowledges individuals who have clearly distinguished themselves as academic leaders in their chosen field.

The following professors are receiving appointments:

Sandra Jacobson, Ph.D., and Joseph Jacobson, Ph.D., are professors in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Wayne State University and honorary professors in the Departments of Human Biology and Psychiatry and Mental Health at University of Cape Town in South Africa. Sandra received her Ph.D. in developmental and clinical psychology from Harvard University and Joseph received his Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Harvard. The Jacobsons’ research on environmental contaminants included an 11-year prospective, longitudinal study on prenatal exposure to the environmental contaminant polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) in western Michigan and an 11-year prospective study on effects of environmental contaminants in Inuit children in Arctic Quebec. The Michigan study was the first to report adverse effects of prenatal PCB exposure on infant recognition memory and on IQ and achievement in childhood (New England Journal of Medicine). The Jacobsons’ research on fetal alcohol spectrum (FAS) disorders includes a 19-year longitudinal study of inner-city Detroit children prenatally exposed to alcohol at moderate-to-heavy levels. In 1996, Sandra Jacobson was invited to participate in a National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism site visit to South Africa to investigate reports of a very high incidence of FAS, which led the Jacobsons to conduct the first prospective longitudinal study of children with FAS. The Jacobsons were jointly awarded the Henry Rosett Award for their long-term contributions to research on FAS disorders at the Research Society on Alcoholism Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Study Group in 2013.

Anjaneyulu Kowluru, Ph.D., is associate dean for external scientific affairs and professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Kowluru is the pre-eminent scientist in the history of the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. He is the international expert and opinion leader in cell signaling as it relates to insulin secretion from pancreatic B cells. His research has focused on gaining understanding in previously unknown mechanisms for glucose-generation of signals for insulin release, including the discovery of a new class of proteins involved in this process. Kowluru’s scholarly record of prestigious scientific publications (more than 160), invited presentations (more than 280), and collaborations with colleagues in various international venues (Brazil, Sweden and Belgium) are consistent with the level of achievement reserved for the most distinguished scholars at Wayne State University.

Mark Lumley, Ph.D., is a native of Detroit who graduated from Wayne State University with a dual degree in psychology and biology. Now, he is on faculty at Wayne State as a professor in the Department of Psychology and the director of clinical training in the clinical psychology program. Lumley’s primary interests focus on emotions, stress and physical health. He is particularly interested in individual differences in emotional abilities and deficits, such as the personality construct of alexithymia and how emotional awareness and expression influence stress, coping and health status. Much of his recent research tests the effects of various stress-management techniques, including written emotional disclosure and emotional exposure techniques, on health and functioning of people with chronic illnesses, particularly pain problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headaches and fibromyalgia.

April Hazard Vallerand Ph.D., RN, FAAN, is the College of Nursing Alumni Endowed Professor at Wayne State University. She has focused her research on understanding the factors that affect functional status and the barriers to improving pain management in patients with pain in a variety of settings. Her current research project, which was funded by the National Cancer Institute, focuses on improving functional status in African Americans with cancer pain. A recognized nursing leader and scholar, Vallerand is widely published on the topic of pain management, including the maintenance and improvement of functional status in patients with chronic pain, pain-related disparities, cancer pain management, symptom clusters in patients with cancer, pharmacological management of pain, the use of opioids in the management of chronic pain, self-treatment of pain in the community, and the perceived control and coping in patients with chronic pain. Vallerand earned her B.S.N. from Mount St. Mary’s College, M.S.N. from California State University and Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. She also held a postdoctoral fellowship in psychosocial oncology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

Steven L. Winter, J.D., joined the Wayne State University Law School in 2002 as the Walter S. Gibbs Professor of Constitutional Law. Before coming to Wayne Law, he was a member of the faculty at Brooklyn Law School and the University of Miami School of Law. He has also taught at American University's Washington College of Law and the Cardozo, Rutgers-Newark and Yale law schools.

From 1978 to 1986, he served as an assistant counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., where he litigated a wide range of civil rights cases concerning prisoners' rights, employment discrimination, school desegregation, police violence, capital punishment, habeas corpus jurisdiction, discrimination in the military and attorneys' fees. Winter is the author of numerous articles on constitutional law and legal theory. His book A Clearing in the Forest: Law, Life and Mind (Univ. of Chicago Press 2001) is the first systematic attempt to assess cognitive science's implications for law and legal theory. He is on the editorial board of Democratic Theory: An Interdisciplinary Journal, published by Berghahn Journals, and on the advisory board of Explorations in Language and Law, published by Nova Logos.

Gang George Yin received a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Delaware and his M.S. in electrical engineering and Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Brown University. He joined Wayne State University in 1987 and became a professor in 1996. His research interests include stochastic systems and applications. He has co-authored nine research books and numerous refereed journal papers. He was chair of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Conference on Control & Its Application in 2011 and co-chair of two American Mathematical Society Institute of Mathematical Statistics Summer Research Conferences; he also chaired a number SIAM prize selection committees. He is an associate editor of SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization and Applied Mathematics and Optimization, and on the editorial boards of over 20 other journals and book series. He is a fellow of IEEE, IFAC and SIAM.