Several UChicago faculty members were recently awarded 2016 Sloan Research Fellowships by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, an American philanthropic nonprofit organization. The five recipients are Rina Foygel Barber, assistant professor of statistics, Loukas Karabarbounis, associate professor of economics at Chicago Booth, Neale Mahoney, assistant professor of economics at Chicago Booth, Engin Özkan, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, and Bozhi Tian, assistant professor of chemistry.
The Sloan Foundation provides grants to scientists and scholars whose achievements in eight scientific and technical fields that have the ability to benefit society and improve the quality of American life: chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences, and physics.
Barber specializes in the development and analysis of statistical methods that can reveal hidden patterns in large, incomplete, or previously uninterpretable data sets. Karabarbounis, a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, examines labor markets, inequality, business cycles, and international finance. Mahoney, also a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, studies the regulation of credit card fees and the interaction between health insurance and personal bankruptcy. Özkan investigates nervous system development in multicellular organisms, particularly the process of brain formation and its link to certain neurological and mental disorders. Tian explores the connection between biological and physical sciences, particularly the development of synthetic systems that mimic the formation, function, or structure of biologically produced substances and mechanisms.