Award Recipients


lewisElizabeth Maddock Dillon, Professor of English, College of Social Sciences and Humanities
Professor Dillon is an internationally recognized researcher in the field of early American literature and is considered among the most influential scholar-critics of her generation of Americanists. Her second book, New World Drama: Liberty, Slavery, and the Atlantic Public Sphere, 1649 –1849, published in 2014, is regarded by her peers as “the most significant contribution to the field of American studies of the past decade.” As a recent recipient of the American Council of Learned Societies Digital Innovation Fellowship and by serving as the founding co-director of the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks, Professor Dillon has played a key role in making Northeastern a leading institution in digital humanities.

lewisAlessandro Vespignani, Sternberg Distinguished University Professor in the College of Science, College of Computer and Information Science, and Bouvé College of Health Sciences
As the leader in the studies of spreading and diffusion processes on complex networks, Professor Vespignani has had a profound impact in physics, epidemiology, and computer science. The spread of the Ebola epidemic was slowed and contained by his network-based models. As the official modeler for the World Health Organization and the World Bank, Professor Vespignani’s network-based predictive tools became a game changer, potentially saving lives and reducing the economic impact of epidemics. He is the president of the Complex Systems Society, a member of the Academy of Europe, the founding director of Northeastern’s new Institute of Network Science, and director of the university’s first-in-the-nation network science doctoral program.


lewisLaura Lewis, Cabot Professor of Chemical Engineering
Through her research on alternative energy technologies, Professor Lewis continues to push the boundaries of identifying and harnessing alternative energy from natural sources. Since joining Northeastern in 2007, she has raised more than $9 million in external grants. Her research has been funded by the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, among others. She leads a team of interdisciplinary researchers from six partner institutions on a $3.5 million project to advance high-potential energy technologies. Professor Lewis has distinguished herself as a highly creative and collaborative scientist, a prolific scholar, and a tremendous mentor to her students.


MukerjeeSanjeev Mukerjee, Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
A world-renowned scientist, Professor Mukerjee’s research has been applied to the development of improved materials for fuel-cell catalysts, an area of international significance. He was instrumental in forming the Northeastern University Center for Renewable Energy Technology, and his research group developed the original idea behind the revolutionary lithium-air battery. Because of his highly collaborative work, Professor Mukerjee has been highly successful in securing large-scale funding from both federal and corporate sources.

WrightArnold Wright, Joseph M. Golemme Research Professor in Accounting
Professor Arnold Wright is a prolific scholar and thought leader, recognized nationally for his contributions in transforming the accounting, audit, and assurance fields. He has held multiple leadership positions in the American Accounting Association and has served as editor for premier scholarly accounting journals. He is also a true role model who has not only developed and implemented an unusually productive and high-impact research agenda, but also is committed to mentoring junior colleagues.


BarrettLisa Feldman Barrett, Distinguished Professor of Psychology
A renowned psychologist, Professor Barrett focuses on the nature of emotion through the lenses of psychology and neuroscience. Her Interdisciplinary Affective Science Lab incorporates methods from social, clinical, and personality psychology psychophysiology; cognitive science; cognitive neuroscience; and visual cognition. She is a research neuroscientist in the Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program and at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging. Her impressive scholarly work is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and Army Research Institute.

MakriyannisAlex Makriyannis, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Professor Makriyannis is recognized worldwide for his innovative and prolific research in medicinal chemistry. As director and founder of Northeastern’s Center for Drug Discovery, Makriyannis leads a team of more than 50 researchers investigating drug-design synthesis, the endocannabinoid system in drug discovery, and interactions of drugs with membranes. A pioneer in the field, he began his four-decade career designing the methods necessary to discover crucial medications. Most recently, his research has focused on developing medicines—used for weight loss and to treat chronic pain—based the compounds found in cannabis.

2011 Award Recipients

Stephen Nathanson, Professor of Philosophy

Vladimir Torchilin, Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences