Junior professors rewarded for their cutting-edge research in the humanities and sciences

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Four junior faculty members from the Yale Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) were honored for pioneering scientific research or the humanities in their academic fields.

Jennifer Allen, Associate Professor of History, received the Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Prize, which recognizes outstanding publications or research by non-tenured professors in the humanities. Yarrow Dunham, Associate Professor of Psychology, Alvaro Sanchez, Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Sarah Slavoff, Assistant Professor of Molecular Chemistry and Biophysics and Biochemistry, received the Arthur Greer Memorial Prize for Outstanding Publication or Research by non-titular faculty of the scale in the social or natural sciences.

Heyman Award

Jennifer Allen (Department of History)

Allen was recognized for her research for her forthcoming book “Sustainable Utopias: The Art and Politics of Hope in Germany”. In the book, she traces the history of “Germany’s relatively recent efforts to revitalize the concept of utopia after the total collapse of Europe’s violent utopian social engineering projects at the end of the 20th century”, according to the announcement of the award by FAS Dean Tamar Szabó. Gendler.

Allen is a historian of modern Germany with a particular interest in late 20th century cultural practices. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in modern German history, theories and practices of memory in modern Europe, and the history of the Holocaust.

Greer Prize

Yarrow Dunham (Department of Psychology)

Yarrow Dunham focuses his work on intergroup social cognition. Specifically, it examines how humans come to join groups and whether understanding group preferences can provide insight into how children develop intergroup attitudes and stereotypes. He is the director of the Social Cognition Lab, which “has brought forward new insights into how children’s minds work, how they come to understand hierarchies and fairness, and how they interpret the world around them,” according to Gendler.

Dunham and his research team employ experimental and cross-cultural methodologies in their exploration of how adults and children acquire knowledge and interpret the social world. He teaches introductory psychology and developmental psychology, as well as courses in the development of the social mind, the psychology of stereotypes and prejudices, and the psychology of group life, among others.

Alvaro Sanchez (Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)

Alvaro Sanchez showed how communities thrive on a tiny level – among microbes. “His work aims to understand and predict how microbial communities assemble and evolve,” Gendler said. In his research, he uses a combination of biophysical tools, modeling and mathematical systems, and synthetic biology to understand the social behavior of microbes and to determine whether this behavior is encoded in the DNA of microbes and how it shapes behavior. other species. .

Sanchez, whose lab is at the Microbial Sciences Institute on the West Campus, teaches an undergraduate course in the biology of evolutionary systems and graduate courses in evolutionary theory and microbial ecology and evolution. .

Sarah Slavoff (Department of Chemistry)

Sarah Slavoff studies the “dark matter” of the human genome: the “small, undiscovered open reading frames that encode microproteins”.

Through her work, she provides answers to long-standing questions about RNA and its role in gene expression, ”said Gendler. Her research has helped identify new microproteins involved in a host of biological mechanisms and diseases, offering new understanding of how the human genome works, she added.

Slavoff’s lab is based at the Institute of Biomolecular Design and Discovery on the West Campus. She teaches courses in organic chemistry, chemical biology and “Responsible Conduct of Research”, among other subjects.


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