William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professorship


william-fairfield-warrenThe William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professorship was established in 2008 to recognize Boston University’s most distinguished faculty. Named in honor of BU’s first president, the award is the highest distinction bestowed upon senior faculty members who remain actively involved in research, scholarship, teaching, and the University’s civic life. Nominations for this award are traditionally due each October, with honorees selected and announced by the University President the following year.

William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professors

George J. Annas (2009)

School of Public Health, Health Law, Bioethics & Human Rights

Warren-Professor-Annas1George Annas is Chair of the Department of Health Law, Bioethics & Human Rights in the Boston University School of Public Health, and Professor in the Boston University School of Medicine, and School of Law. A member of the BU faculty since 1972, and an internationally renowned expert on patient rights, he is the cofounder of Global Lawyers and Physicians, a transnational professional association of lawyers and physicians working together to promote human rights and health. He is the author or editor of 16 books on health law and bioethics and is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Committee on Health Rights and Bioethics, and a member of the Committee on Human Rights of the National Academies.

Azer Bestavros (2017)

College of Arts & Sciences, Computer Science

Azer Bestavros is Founding Director of the Hariri Institute for Computing, an incubator for cross-disciplinary collaborations across the University. His research in networking, distributed computing, cybersecurity, and high-assurance systems has produced seminal contributions, including pioneering web push caching through content distribution networks, the development of game-theoretic cloud resource management, and safety certification of networked software systems. His work has led to multiple patents, a successful start-up, and over $25 million in external funding. He has chaired several boards and initiatives, including the IEEE Technical Committee on the Internet, the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, the BU Council on Educational Technology & Learning Innovation, and the BU Data Science Initiative. His teaching and research have earned numerous distinctions, most notably ACM Sigmetrics’ inaugural Test of Time Award for research “whose impact is still felt 15 years after initial publication” and BU’s 2010 United Methodist Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award.

Christopher S. Chen (2019)

College of Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering

Christopher S. Chen is Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering and Director of Boston University’s Tissue Microfabrication Laboratory. He has been an instrumental figure in the development of cellular therapies, tissue engineering, and 3D printing, providing leadership at the interface between engineering, biology, and medicine. Dr. Chen has made seminal contributions in understanding how cellular organization, mechanics, and their environment control cell function. His over 200 publications have been cited collectively more than 44,000 times. He has received numerous honors, including the Biomedical Engineering Society’s 2019 Robert A. Pritzker Distinguished Lecture Award (the group’s highest honor), and serves as a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Bonnie Costello (2017); Professor Emeritus 2018

College of Arts & Sciences, English

Bonnie Costello taught modern and contemporary American poetry, with a special interest in the relationship between poetry and visual arts, publishing books about still life and landscape in modern poetry. She is an internationally recognized literary critic and authority on modern American poetry and is known for her scholarship on poets Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop. Her most recent book, The Plural of Us: Poetry and Community in Auden and Others, was published in 2017. She is a fellow at the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and has received Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Mellon, and Cullman Center/ACLS fellowships, the Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the United Methodist Teacher/Scholar of the Year Award. She has served as chair for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry Jury, in addition to having multiple editorial and advisory board roles for academic journals such as Modernism/Modernity, The Wallace Stevens Journal, and Twentieth-Century Literature

Catherine E. Costello (2013)

School of Medicine, Biochemistry, Physiology and Biophysics

warren-professorship-costello-headshotCatherine Costello came to Boston University in 1994. That year she established the Center for Biomedical Mass Spectrometry, which has become an internationally recognized research center. She holds her primary appointment in the MED Biochemistry Department, with secondary appointments in the Department of Physiology & Biophysics and the Department of Chemistry. Her research, which focuses on determining the structures and functions of biologically important polymers, has revolutionized an important area of biochemistry by providing insights into the structures of molecules responsible for human disease. She is the author or co-author of more than 300 scientific papers, serves on a number of editorial boards of major journals, and has received numerous awards and honors, including the 2010 Field and Franklin Award from the American Chemical Society, one of the highest honors in her field.

Howard Eichenbaum (2015)

College of Arts & Sciences, Psychological & Brain Sciences

Howard Eichenbaum was Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences in the College of Arts & Sciences and served as Director of both the BU Center for Memory & Brain and the BU Cognitive Neurobiology Laboratory. Professor Eichenbaum’s highly interdisciplinary research focused on how memories are represented and organized in the brain to support our capacity for conscious recollection. He was a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. The editor-in-chief of the journal Hippocampus, Professor Eichenbaum served on the editorial boards of 10 research journals and encyclopedias and authored or co-authored nine books and hundreds of internationally-cited research papers, reviews, and book chapters on cognitive neuroscience and the hippocampal system.

Wendy Gordon (2011)

School of Law, Legal Instruction

Warren-Professor-GordonWendy Gordon has taught at the School of Law since 1993. Her work emphasizes that our legal environment must cultivate the exchange of ideas, expression and information for everyone – not only established players in various industries. Renowned for her application of philosophy and economics to copyright and related common-law areas and for her work on fair use, she has published on four continents, received numerous honors and grants and speaks to audiences all over the world. She has been a Fulbright scholar and a visiting senior research fellow at Oxford University and is a recipient of the New Jersey Governor’s Fellowship in the Humanities. Three U.S. Supreme Court opinions cite her scholarship, and Japan’s University of Hokkaido has taught a seminar devoted to her work.

Michael E. Hasselmo (2019)

College of Arts & Sciences, Psychological & Brain Sciences

Michael E. Hasselmo is Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences and Director of the Center for Systems Neuroscience. His research takes an interdisciplinary approach to the nature of memory and brain processes, from systems neuroscience and biochemistry to cognition and behavior. His research focuses on the physiological mechanisms of spatial navigation and memory function; he has explored important elements of the mechanisms of episodic memory, including examination of the mechanism for the coding of space and time in episodic memory by grid cells in the brain. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, and his book How We Remember: Brain Mechanisms of Episodic Memory was published by MIT Press in 2012. He serves on the editorial boards of Science, Hippocampus, and Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, among others. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and received the 2015 Hebb Award from the International Neural Network Society.

Keith N. Hylton (2013)

School of Law, Law and Economics

warren-professorship-keith-hylton-headshotKeith Hylton has been a member of the LAW faculty since 1995, and previously was a tenured professor at Northwestern University School of Law. He is a prolific scholar who is widely recognized for his work across a broad spectrum of topics in law and economics, including labor law, tort law, antitrust, intellectual property, civil procedure, and empirical legal analysis. He has published four books and nearly 100 articles in numerous law journals, and serves as a contributing editor of the Antitrust Law Journal, co-editor of Competition Policy International and editor of the Social Science Research Network’s Torts, Products Liability and Insurance Law Abstracts. He has held a number of leadership positions in various legal organizations, and on campus he is highly respected for his dedication to teaching and advising.

Ha Jin (2019)

College of Arts & Sciences, English

A 1994 graduate of Boston University’s Creative Writing Program, Xuefei Jin (pen name Ha Jin) returned to the Department of English in 2002 as a full professor. Born in China, he was a teenager when China entered the Cultural Revolution and he became a member of the People’s Liberation Army at the age of 14, an experience he would later revisit in his written work. He was studying in the United States at the time of the Tiananmen Square demonstrations and suppression and realized at that time that he would be unable to return to China. His work examines themes of exile, immigration, and the now ever-present global experience of movement among cultures; his course “The Writer as Exile” is a key element of the international focus of the University’s Creative Writing Program. His novel Waiting, based on his experiences in the Red Army, was awarded the National Book Award for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award and was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize (as was his novel War Trash in 2005). His newest books are A Distant Center (2018) and his first nonfiction book, The Banished Immortal: A Life of Li Bai (2019). His work has been translated into more than 30 languages. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Nancy Kopell (2009)

College of Arts & Sciences, Mathematics

Warren-Professor-KopellNancy Kopell is co-founder and co-director of the Center for BioDynamics at the College of Engineering and co-director of the Center for Computational Neuroscience and Neural Technology (CompNet). She joined the BU Mathematics faculty in 1986 and has applied her knowledge of nonlinear dynamics to fundamental problems in biology, chemistry, and neuroscience, helping to develop mathematical biology into a fertile and well-recognized field of research. She organized and today directs the Cognitive Rhythms Collaborative (CRC), a group of more than 25 labs working on brain dynamics and their cognitive implications. An honorary member of the London Mathematical Society, she has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has been named a Guggenheim fellow and an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, and in 1990 received a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award.”

Laurence Kotlikoff (2009)

College of Arts & Sciences, Economics

Laurence Kotlikoff joined the Department of Economics at BU in 1984. He is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the Econometric Society. A former senior economist with the President’s Council of Economic Advisors from 1981 to 1982, he is one of higher education’s top experts in deficits, generational accounting, tax structure, public health finance and personal finance, among a host of issues. He is the author or coauthor of 16 books and hundreds of journal articles and has been a consultant to numerous corporations and government authorities around the world, including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Office of Management and Budget, Merrill Lynch, AT&T and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Thomas Kunz (2011); Professor Emeritus 2013

College of Arts & Sciences, Biology

Warren-Professor-KunzThomas Kunz served as the Director of the Center for Ecology and Conservation Biology and began his career on the BU faculty in 1971. He retired in 2013 and became Professor Emeritus. His research focused on the ecology, behavior, evolution, and conservation biology of bats. Considered one of the world’s premier authorities on bat ecology, he is the author or co-author of more than 240 publications, producing numerous seminal texts on the subject. He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a recipient of the Gerrit S. Miller Jr. Award for outstanding research on bats and the C. Hart Merriam Award for outstanding contributions to the discipline of mammalogy. He is also past President of the American Society of Mammalogists, where he’s been elected to honorary membership, the highest award given by the society.

Ann McKee (2019)

School of Medicine, Neurology and Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

Ann McKee is Professor of Neurology and Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at the BU School of Medicine, Director of the BU Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Center, and Associate Director of the BU Alzheimer’s Disease Center. She serves as Director of Neuropathology for the VA Boston Healthcare System and Chief Neuropathologist for the National VA ALS Brain Bank. Dr. McKee was the first scientist to report a link between motor neuron disease and CTE, and her research has been critical in establishing the clinical and pathological spectrum of trauma-induced neurodegenerative disease. Much of her current research is focused on mild traumatic brain injury from contact sports and military service and its long-term consequences. She has also written widely on many neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body disease, and Parkinson’s disease, and has received the Henry Wisniewski Lifetime Achievement Award in Alzheimer’s Research from the Alzheimer’s Association. She was named Bostonian of the Year in 2017 and one of TIME Magazine‘s 100 Most Influential People in 2018 and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Robert Pinsky (2015)

College of Arts & Sciences, English and Creative Writing

Robert Pinsky is Professor of English in the College of Arts & Sciences and teaches creative writing in the CAS’s Creative Writing MFA program. He joined the BU faculty in 1988. The nation’s Poet Laureate from 1997 to 2000, Professor Pinsky created the widely recognized Favorite Poem Project to document, promote, and celebrate poetry’s place in American culture. His poetry collections have won a host of national and international prizes, including the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the William Carlos Williams Prize, Theodore Roethke Prize, and the Howard Morton Landon Translation Prize for his best-selling translation of The Inferno of Dante. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Professor Pinsky currently serves as poetry editor for Slate magazine.

H. Eugene Stanley (2011)

College of Arts & Sciences, Physics

Warren-Professor-StanleyGene Stanley joined the BU Physics faculty in 1976. An internationally-renowned statistical physicist, his research attempts to understand puzzles of interdisciplinary science, from the study of water’s structure and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, to common statistical patterns governing disparate phenomena, such as the distribution of stock price fluctuations and the speeds of air molecules. His numerous books and articles have received nearly 40,000 citations, and he is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society, which awarded him the Nicholson Medal for Human Outreach in 2003. A recipient of the “Distinguished Teaching Scholar” Director’s Award from the National Science Foundation and the Massachusetts Professor of the Year award from Council for Advancement and Support of Education, he has been thesis advisor to nearly 100 PhD candidates throughout his career.

James Winn (2009)

College of Arts & Sciences, English


James Winn was director of the BU Center for the Humanities and a past chair of the Department of English. His scholarly work focused on the literature of England in the Restoration and the early 18th century, and on the relations between literature and the other arts, especially music. A prolific author, he was best known for his biography of Dryden, John Dryden and His World, which won the British Humanities Council Prize and the Yale University Press Board of Governors’ Award. His more recent works included a study of the humanities and performance and an exploration of the intertwined histories of poetry and war. With support from the NEH and the Guggenheim Foundation, he completed and published a cultural biography of Queen Anne in 2014. An accomplished flutist, Professor Winn also had an appointment in the School of Music.