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Three Sciences Faculty Receive Distinguished Professorships

The NC State Belltower

Three College of Sciences faculty recently received distinguished professorships thanks to the support of generous donors.

Eric Laber of the Department of Statistics was named the Goodnight Distinguished Professor in Statistics. Laber’s work focuses on data-driven decision making to advance areas like precision medicine, artificial intelligence and management of infectious diseases. His lab uses innovative methods that apply data science to video games, including building new games with artificial intelligence algorithms. The professorship was made possible by a gift from longtime NC State supporters Dr. Jim and Mrs. Ann Goodnight.

Brian Reich of the Department of Statistics was named the Gertrude M. Cox Distinguished Professor. Reich is known for his work on spatial statistics, extreme value analysis, variable selection and dimension reduction. He applies these methods to environmental areas such as ecology, air pollution and climate change, as well as to data from the physical and materials sciences. Donations from alumnus J. Stuart Hunter, along with an anonymous matching contribution, made the endowment for the Cox professorship possible.

Rob Smart of the Department of Biological Sciences was named the Goodnight Distinguished Chair in Molecular Toxicology. Smart’s work focuses on the identification and characterization of genes and signaling pathways that determine susceptibility to cancer, particularly as it relates to gene-environment interactions. His lab also studies mechanisms by which environmental stressors induce skin cancer and how cells respond to DNA damage and tumor stress to decide to live or die. The professorship was made possible by a gift from longtime NC State supporters Dr. Jim and Mrs. Ann Goodnight.

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