September 30, 2005

University geniuses make big bucks

Olufunmilayo Falusi Olopade and Kevin Murphy, two University faculty members, recently joined 23 other recipients of the 2005 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's genius grant awards. The grant consists of $500,000 to be distributed over five years. Winners can use the grant money in whatever way they wish.

Olopade, professor in Medicine and Human Genetics and director of the Cancer Risk Clinic at the University Hospitals, was honored for her work on the molecular genetics of breast cancer in African and African-American women, and for translating laboratory findings into new clinical practices.

Saying she considers herself a member of the global community, Olopade plans to use her award to continue traveling, working, and advocating for people in Africa. She will also take the time to watch her favorite movie, Zoolander, with her children.

Kevin Murphy is the George J. Stigler Professor in Economics at the Graduate School of Business. Murphy was selected because his work "challenges preconceived notions and attacks seemingly intractable economic questions, placing them on a sound empirical and theoretical footing," according to the MaCarthur Foundation.

Murphy's research has addressed social questions including rational addiction, the importance of basic research and care for conditions such as heart disease and cancer, and the effects of wage inequality on the demand for labor.

Murphy is teaching price theory and applied price theory this quarter.