This fall, 10 new researchers and instructors join six natural science departments and programs in Arts & Sciences. New faculty in the humanities and social sciences will be introduced in the coming weeks.
Welcome to our incoming faculty!
Anthony Smith has accepted a position as a lecturer in the Department of Biology. He is also coordinator of undergraduate research experiences and director of the Ampersand program Hallmarks of Cancer & Patient Care. He was a PreHealth biology major at WashU before getting a doctorate in immunology and microbiology at the University of Miami School of Medicine. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Minnesota Medical School before a transition to teaching, which led him back to WashU as an assistant dean in Arts & Sciences.
Ben Mansfeld joins the Department of Biology as an assistant professor. His lab studies the dynamic factors that can influence plant defenses, including circadian rhythm, tissue type, and developmental stage. He received his bachelor’s degree at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his doctorate at Michigan State University. Prior to joining the faculty at WashU, he was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, working in the lab of Rebecca Bart.
William Spees joins the Department of Chemistry as a lecturer and director of advanced teaching laboratories. He received a bachelor’s degree from Truman State University before earning a doctorate at WashU. He specializes in biomedical applications of magnetic resonance as well as NMR/MRI instrumentation (design, maintenance, repair, troubleshooting). He was a lecturer in the WashU chemistry department from 2003 to 2007. Most recently, he was a research-track assistant professor of radiology at the WashU School of Medicine.
Yusuke Okuno joins the Department of Chemistry as an assistant professor. He studies biophysical chemistry, solution-state nuclear magnetic resonance, protein-protein interactions, protein hydration, and neurodegenerative diseases. He received his bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and his doctorate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He comes to WashU after five years as a research fellow at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland.
Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences
Maggie Limbeck joins the Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences as a lecturer. Her main research interests are evolutionary relationships in fossil echinoderms (sea urchins and sea stars) and understanding trace metal incorporation in echinoderm skeletal elements. She received her bachelor’s degree at Allegheny College and her doctorate at the University of Tennessee.
Alan Chang joins the Department of Mathematics as an assistant professor. He specializes in the fields of geometric measure theory and harmonic analysis. His research covers a wide range of shapes from simple circles to complex fractals as well as the decomposition of functions into waves. He received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and earned his doctorate at the University of Chicago. Before joining WashU, he was an instructor at Princeton.
Charles Ouyang joins the Department of Mathematics as an assistant professor. He studies the geometry of harmonic maps, Riemann surfaces, and Teichmüller spaces. He received his bachelor’s degree at Princeton University and his doctorate at Rice University. Prior to joining WashU, he was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow and a visiting assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Alex Chen joins the Department of Physics as an assistant professor. He uses large-scale supercomputer simulations to study the physics of plasma and radiation near extreme objects such as neutron stars and black holes. He received his bachelor’s degree at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and his doctorate at Columbia University. He completed postdoctoral positions at Princeton University and the University of Colorado Boulder. Before starting his new position, he was a research assistant professor at WashU.
Tansu Daylan joins the Department of Physics as an assistant professor. He discovers and characterizes exoplanets and searches for astrophysical signatures of dark matter. He received his bachelor’s degree at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, and his doctorate at Harvard University. Before joining WashU, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Princeton University.
Statistics and Data Science
Xuming He joins WashU as the inaugural chair of the new Department of Statistics and Data Science and the Deborah Beckmann Kotzubei and Jacob Kotzubei Distinguished Professor. His research interests include theory and methodology in robust statistics, quantile regression, pseudo-Bayesian methods, adaptive inference, and subgroup analysis. Before coming to WashU, he was the H.C. Carver Collegiate Professor of Statistics at the University of Michigan. He previously held positions at the National University of Singapore and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and served as program director of statistics at the National Science Foundation. Currently, He is president of the International Statistical Institute. He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Statistical Association, and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.