Hamilton Alumni Achievement Medals

We proudly recognize the following alumni for their distinguished work in the sciences and gratefully acknowledge their participation as lecturers at the alumni science symposium on Oct. 1 during which their alumni medals were presented.

Thomas N. Bradbury '81, professor of psychology, U.C.L.A.
Thomas Bradbury grew up in Upstate New York and received his B.A. in psychobiology from Hamilton in 1981. After completing a master's degree in psychology in 1983 at Wake Forest University and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he joined the faculty in the U.C.L.A. department of psychology. With financial support from the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development, and the National Science Foundation, Dr. Bradbury has published several influential theoretical and empirical papers on the development of marriages and families. He is the editor of Developmental Course of Marital Dysfunction, co-editor of Psychology of Marriage and co-author of a forthcoming textbook titled Intimate Relationships. Dr. Bradbury received the Reuben Hill Award for research and theory on marriage and the family from the National Council on Family Research (1995, 1997), the Distinguished Scientific Award for early career contributions from the American Psychological Association (1998), the Distinguished Teaching Award from the U.C.L.A. Department of Psychology (2000) and an award for outstanding achievement in mentoring new scholars from the International Association on Relationship Research (2002).

Paul R. Carlier '83, associate professor, organic and medicinal chemistry, Virginia Tech
After Hamilton, Paul Carlier earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research interests include organic synthesis and medicinal chemistry. At Virginia Tech, Dr. Carlier supervises a research group of eight graduate students who are carrying out projects in asymmetric synthesis and in the identification of potent and selective enzyme inhibitors. His research is currently supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Petroleum Research Fund of the ACS, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In the last five years, his work has been highlighted three times in Chemical & Engineering News, the official news magazine of the American Chemical Society.

Mary Bernardine Dias '98, research scientist, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
At Hamilton, M. Bernardine Dias earned her B.A. with a dual concentration in physics and computer science and a minor in women's studies. She went on to receive her M.S. in 2000 and a Ph.D. in robotics in 2004 from Carnegie Mellon University. Her thesis work developed the "TraderBots" market-based framework for efficient multirobot coordination in dynamic environments. Dr. Dias' current research interests are in enabling efficient coordination of heterogeneous human-robot teams and in relevant computing technology for developing communities. She founded and currently directs the TechBridgeWorld initiative, which facilitates technology research relevant to, and in partnership with, developing communities throughout the globe. Dr. Dias also has a strong interest in encouraging women in computing and in science, and is a founding member of women@SCS.

Erica L. Flapan K'77, professor of mathematics, Pomona College
Erica Flapan graduated in 1977 from Kirkland College with a major in mathematics and received her Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin in 1983 with a specialty in topology. She was a postdoctoral fellow for two years at Rice University and for one year at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She joined the math department at Pomona College in 1986 and has numerous publications dealing with both three-dimensional topology and applications of topology to chemistry. In 2000, the Mathematical Association of America and Cambridge University Press jointly published her book When Topology Meets Chemistry. In addition to her research and teaching, she investigates how mathematics can be incorporated into the chemistry curriculum. From 2000-04, Professor Flapan was the principal investigator on a National Science Foundation CCLI grant titled "Enhancing the mathematical understanding of students in chemistry." As a part of this grant, she developed a course, Problem Solving in the Sciences, to help students with weak math skills succeed in general chemistry. Together with an organic chemist she also developed an interdisciplinary upper-division course on Symmetry and Chirality.

Rebecca W. Heald '85, associate professor of cell and developmental biology, University of California, Berkeley
Rebecca Heald graduated from Hamilton in 1985, having completed her junior year at Rice University and performed independent research during her senior year at Hamilton in biochemistry with Dr. Donna Brown. From 1985-87, Dr. Heald worked as a research assistant in the laboratory of Dr. Sarah Hitchcock-DeGregori at UMDNJ-Rutgers Medical School in Piscataway, N.J., in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. From 1987-92 she was in a Ph.D. program at Harvard Medical School and worked with Dr. Frank McKeon on the dynamics of the nuclear envelope and cell cycle regulation. She did her postdoctoral studies at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, from 1993-97 with Dr. Eric Karsenti, studying cell division. In 1997 Dr. Heald was appointed an assistant professor in the Molecular and Cell Biology Department at the University of California and in 2003 was promoted to associate professor with tenure.

Martin S. Hirsch '60, professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School; professor of immunology and infectious diseases, Harvard School of Public Health; and director of clinical AIDS research, Massachusetts General Hospital
Martin Hirsch received his doctor of medicine degree from The Johns Hopkins University and conducted his postdoctoral training at the University of Chicago, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the National Institute for Medical Research (London) and Harvard University. For more than 35 years, he has been a leader in virology research and has trained many of the current leaders in virology and HIV/AIDS research. His group was the first to show that HIV could be isolated from genital secretions and from the central nervous system. He also conducted pioneering studies on HIV drug therapy and proved that combinations of anti-HIV drugs were more useful than single drugs. As a result of these studies, he has been named the "father of HIV combination therapy." Dr. Hirsch has contributed more than 230 research articles to professional journals and more than 140 chapters to books. He has chaired many government panels and committees related to HIV/AIDS and is currently the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Richard A. Houghton '65, senior scientist, Woods Hole Research Center
Richard Houghton received his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His research interests include the global carbon cycle, terrestrial ecosystems, land-use change and the response of ecosystems to climate change. He has participated in international assessments of climate change and published articles in Science, Nature, Ecological Applications, Global Change Biology, Global Biogeochemical Cycles and Climate Policy. Currently he is involved in investigating the effects of human activity on the forests and carbon budgets of Africa, Amazonia, Russia and the U.S. He is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Forest Science, University of Munich, and has worked at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, the Marine Biological Laboratory in Massachusetts and NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Cathleen M. Moore '88, associate professor of psychology, Pennsylvania State University
Cathleen Moore received her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego, and completed her postdoctoral training at The Johns Hopkins University before joining the Penn State faculty in 1996. She has published articles in Psychological Science, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review and the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. Dr. Moore's published papers include: "The spread of attention to hidden portions of occluded surfaces," "On the role of object representations in substitution masking" and "Body Blindness: Why lifeguards fail to see the bottom." Her research is funded by grants from the National Institute of Health and the National Science Foundation and from a Penn State faculty research grant. Dr. Moore is the recipient of the American Psychological Association Young Investigator Award and is an elected APA Fellow Volunteer.

Richard W. Murray '85, professor of earth sciences, Boston University
Richard Murray received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. As an oceanographer, his interests encompass the study of marine sediment in order to unravel past changes in Earth's climate, as well as oceanic processes relating to changes in biologic productivity of the sea through time. Dr. Murray has published articles in the journals Paleoceanography, Marine Geology and Earth and Planetary Science Letters, as well as in Proc. of the Ocean Drilling Program. He has also served on numerous advisory panels for the National Science Foundation, Ocean Drilling Program and Joint Oceanographic Institutions, and he and his students have participated in more than 10 oceanographic research expeditions over the past decade in the Pacific, Atlantic, Caribbean and Southern oceans.

James W. Ring '51, the Winslow Professor of Physics Emeritus, Hamilton College
Jim Ring earned his Ph.D. in nuclear physics from the University of Rochester. His research interests include scattering of pions from hydrogen, investigating H-bonded liquids by dielectric costant, viscosity measurements and by neutron scattering. He is also analyzing low counting rate experiments for evidence of the validity of Professor Phil Pearle's continuous spontaneous localization theory. Other research interests include radon dangers, health effects of nuclear fallout, solar energy and global warming evidenced in the geochronology of sedimentation of the Antarctic Peninsula. His research has been published in The Physics of Simple Liquids, Civil Defense: A Choice of Disasters (published by the American Institute of Physics), Physical Review, Journal of Chemical Physics, Health Physics, Indoor Air, Energy and Buildings, Environment International and American Journal of Archaeology. Dr. Ring's accomplishments have earned him a listing in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in Technology Today and in American Men and Women of Science. In addition, he has received a science faculty fellowship and research grant from the National Science Foundation and a prize from The Academy for Educational Development for his design and execution of The Solar Classroom at Hamilton.

Nancy Paul Silliman '90, senior director, biostatistics, Genzyme Corporation
Nancy Silliman graduated from Hamilton in 1990 as valedictorian with a double major in mathematics and German. She received an M.S. in 1991 and a Ph.D. in 1995 in statistics from Carnegie Mellon University. From 1995-2002, she worked as a statistical reviewer and then statistics team leader in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, where she worked on many types of drugs, including antibiotics, antifungals, immunosuppressants and ophthalmics. Since 2002, she has worked on clinical trials for Genzyme Corporation, where she develops treatments for unmet medical needs, including many rare diseases.

Pinar O. Yilmaz '76, coordinator of external technology, Exxon Mobil Exploration Company
Pinar Yilmaz graduated from Kirkland College in 1976 and received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1981. She is currently the coordinator of external technology at ExxonMobil Exploration Company in Houston. She was a member of the Global Studies Project in Exxon Exploration Company and Basin Analysis Division at Exxon Production Research Company. Previous work experience was with Mobil Exploration and Production Services International in Dallas and Mobil Oil Production in Denver. Dr. Yilmaz is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), the Geological Society of America (GSA) and the American Geophysical Union. In addition, she is a member of the Earthscope Science and Education Committee of the National Science Foundation, the current chair of the AAPG International Conferences Sub-Committee and the president of the GSA International Division.