Three faculty named Guggenheim fellows

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has awarded 260 Fellowships to UChicago scholars since 1925.

By Marta Bakula

Last Thursday, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded three University of Chicago professors the Guggenheim Fellowship, a prestigious grant that enables professionals to take career hiatuses and pursue side creative projects.

Dr. Lainie Ross, Professor Joseph Thornton, and Professor Haun Saussy were awarded three of the 177 fellowships issued by the Guggenheim Foundation this year.

“There is a lot of competition in receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship,” said Saussy, a professor in the Department of Comparative Literature. “This is definitely one of the biggest honors I’ve received.”

Saussy was awarded the fellowship based on his proposal to write Zhuangzi Inside Out: Translation as Citation, a book about the early Chinese philosophical book Zhuangzi and its use to help assimilate foreign texts into Chinese culture.

Thornton, a professor in the Department of Human Genetics and the Department of Ecology & Evolution, plans to use his fellowship term to write a book on “the conceptual and historical foundations of function synthesis,” in which he will study the relationship between evolution and molecular biology and its incorporation throughout history.

Ross, professor of Pediatrics, Medicine and Surgery, will be using her fellowship year to research the relationship between ethics and genetics for an upcoming book, titled From Peapods to Whole Genomes: Incidental Findings and Unintended Consequences in a Post-Mendelian World.

“I’m honored to be following in the footsteps of two of my mentors, Paul Ramsey [of Princeton University] and Jay Katz [of Yale University], who have both previously received Guggenheim Fellowships,” Ross said. “It’s a true privilege to receive this award.”

Since the program’s establishment in 1925, 260 University of Chicago scholars have received Guggenheim Fellowships .

The fellowships were established by the former Senator Simon Guggenheim and his wife to “add to the educational, literary, artistic, and scientific power of this country, and also to provide for the cause of better international understanding,” according to the foundation’s website. The foundation receives around 3,500–4,000 applications each year.