New Faculty Expand the Pool of Talent and Expertise

Thirty-five teacher-scholars joined the faculty this academic year.

Thirty-five teacher-scholars have joined the faculty this academic year, bringing with them a wealth of new academic and research talent. These tenured or tenure-track faculty come from a wide variety of disciplines, including computer science, English and creative writing, the biological sciences, sociology, engineering, environmental studies, philosophy, medicine, and physics.

Amber Barnato

Susan J. and Richard M. Levy 1960 Distinguished Professor in Health Care Delivery

I research the source of the statistic “one in five Americans will die with ICU services.” I develop and refine measures of hospital end-of-life (EOL) treatment intensity, explore mechanisms underlying variations in EOL intensity, and develop novel interventions to modify provider behavior related to advance care planning and EOL decision making. My goal is for the health care system to better align medical decisions with patients’ goals and values and to reduce the burden of surrogate decision making.

Magdalena Bezanilla

Professor of Biological Sciences

How cells grow is one of the fundamental aspects of biology. My research focuses on understanding how proteins within the cell direct and regulate cell growth and morphogenesis. I study this in plants because plant cells build a cell wall from materials and building blocks made inside the cell that are directed to the outside of the cell and that wall ultimately dictates the cell shape.

James Bliska

Distinguished Professor in Microbiology and Immunology and senior lead faculty member of the Personalized Treatments for Cystic Fibrosis Cluster

My research has been focused on understanding how bacterial toxins interact with the immune system to trigger pathogenesis or host protection. I am interested in how the diseases occur and in developing therapeutics, and will expand this research to investigate opportunistic bacterial pathogens that produce toxins and cause mucosal infections, such as those that occur in the lungs of CF patients.

Vaughn Booker

Assistant Professor of Religion and of African and African American Studies

I am a scholar of religion, and my research focuses on African American religious history, primarily in the 20th-century United States. My current research project examines jazz musicians whose expressions of religious belief and representations of racial identity will greatly enhance our understandings of African American religious practices. Future projects will explore cultural practices of religious irreverence and interracial conversion efforts in African American life.

Deeparnab Chakrabarty

Assistant Professor of Computer Science

I study algorithms. Algorithms are step-by-step instructions for solving computational problems that can range from adding two numbers to predicting the weather. My research area is understanding the efficiency and limitations of algorithms, thereby delineating the boundary between tractable and intractable computational problems.

Maurice Crandall

Assistant Professor of Native American Studies

My current research explores the development of indigenous voting rights in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands under the three colonial regimes—Spain, Mexico, and the United States. I look at how indigenous communities in that region have implemented/adapted/indigenized/subverted colonially imposed ideas of democratic town government and voting from the late 16th to early 20th centuries.

Tarek El-Ariss

Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies

My research interests generally deal with Middle Eastern literature and culture and East-West relations and intellectual exchange from the 18th century to the present. I’m particularly interested in tracing the development of concepts such as modernity, the nation, the subject, and community in Arabic literature, visual and popular culture, and new media.

Jeremy Faludi

Assistant Professor of Engineering at Thayer School of Engineering

My research focuses on sustainable design and manufacturing: teaching, creating, and studying the effectiveness of sustainable design methods and their potential for design innovation; measuring environmental impacts of products, services, or buildings with life-cycle assessment, and inventing greener 3D printing materials and processes.

Desirée Garcia

Associate Professor of Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies 

I study, teach, and write about musical film. Musicals have a language and narrative logic that is unique in American film history. My work explores how this kind of film, which is often criticized as being escapist, has historically absorbed and informed the dynamics of race and gender, ethnicity and class, and nostalgia and modernity in American society.

Matthew Garcia

Professor of Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies and of History

In my research on 20th-century America, I seek to understand the promise of the American dream and the impediments that have prevented many members of our society from realizing it. This contrast is perhaps most pronounced in the plight of farm workers, the subject of iconic literary and popular culture representations in the United States, from John Steinbeck’s novels to Woody Guthrie’s music to the photographs of Dorothea Lang.

Patrick Glauthier

Assistant Professor of Classics

My research focuses on Latin literature, and I’m particularly interested in the origins and development of scientific writing in Rome. I work on topics such as ancient astrology and the literature of natural disasters, and my current book project explores how aesthetic values shape the formulation and dissemination of scientific ideas in the first century C.E.

Steven Leach

Preston T. and Virginia R. Kelsey Distinguished Chair in Cancer, Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology and director of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center

My lab studies pancreatic developmental and tumor biology using mouse-, zebra fish-, and human-model systems. More recently, we have completed computational studies regarding how somatic mutations in pancreatic cancer are recognized by the immune system.

Wei-Lih Lee

Professor of Biological Sciences

I study how genetic materials are inherited by the newly formed daughter cell in budding yeast. My lab uses a variety of genetics, live-cell microscopy, and biochemical techniques to elucidate the molecular pathways that regulate the genes and proteins responsible for proper genomic inheritance.

Peter Lewis

Professor of Philosophy

I work on the interpretation of physical theories, particularly quantum mechanics. Is quantum mechanics intended to describe the physical world? If so, how does this description conflict with our ordinary assumptions about physical reality? If not, what is the role of theories like quantum mechanics?

Katherine Y. Lin

Assistant Professor of Sociology

Each of us occupies multiple social roles at one time. How do people experience and strategize around the competing responsibilities of different social roles? And how might these experiences have consequences across the life course? I study these questions in two cases: how physicians negotiate the bounds between medical and market logics, and how men and women negotiate work-family conflicts.

Yi-Hsin Liu

Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy

I study how the magnetic field lines in plasmas change their connectivity and topology. This phenomenon is called magnetic reconnection. Magnetic reconnection is not only active in our solar system, but also dissipates strong magnetic energy stored in energetic astrophysical systems, such as the pulsar wind blasted away from fast rotating neutron stars. Highly energetic particles can be produced in these systems, and I am interested in how particles get accelerated.

Meghan Meyer

Assistant Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences

A great deal of human socializing involves exchanging information about people: their behaviors, thoughts, and traits. Yet, how we track the social information swarming our everyday lives remains largely unknown. My research combines approaches from social and cognitive neuroscience to understand the neurocognitive mechanisms that help people process and learn from their social experiences.

Nicholas Miller

Assistant Professor of Government

I study international security, with a focus on the causes and consequences of the spread of nuclear weapons. My forthcoming book examines the history and effectiveness of U.S. efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation from 1945 to today. Other research has examined the role of sanctions in nonproliferation, the relationship between nuclear energy and nuclear weapons programs, and the role of “red lines” and intelligence in nuclear nonproliferation policy.

Carey Nadell

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

Bacteria and other microbes are unexpectedly social organisms. They live together in groups by secreting a glue that holds cells together, and they cooperate and compete for space and food sources in much the same way that plants and animals interact in ecosystems that are visible to the naked eye. My group seeks to understand how these microbial collectives function and evolve, and how we can develop new ways to control them.

Monica White Ndounou

Associate Professor of Theater

As a scholar-artist, I write, perform, and direct. My interdisciplinary research combines theory and practice in theater, film and media, performance, and cultural studies. My current research project explores black American contributions to developing acting theory and practice. My creative work, books, articles, essays, and blog posts on various topics generally advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion in pedagogy and practice across media.

Peter Orner

Professor of English and Creative Writing

I write both fiction and nonfiction and have published novels and short-story collections, as well as one essay collection. I’ve also edited three oral history collections. I’m interested in memory and how it shapes the stories we tell, as well as those we don’t.

Marisa Palucis

Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences

I am a geomorphologist who uses remote sensing data, field studies, and experimental data to determine the rates and histories of water processes that shape planetary surfaces. My research group asks questions such as how much water once flowed on the surface of Mars, when does sediment move in steep streams, and can we predict when and where large landslides, mudslides, and debris flows will occur.

Diwakar Pattabiraman

Assistant Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology at the Geisel School of Medicine

My research aims to understand the mechanisms of tumor progression and metastasis using breast cancer as a model. We are particularly interested in exploring questions related to intratumoral heterogeneity and its contribution to therapy resistance.

Kathleen Powers

Assistant Professor of Government

My research engages questions at the intersection of international conflict and cooperation, American foreign policy, and political psychology. In particular, I examine how nationalism, European identification, morality, and other core values shape public attitudes about war.

Caitlin Hicks Pries

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

I study the response of terrestrial ecosystems to climate change, specifically how warming can increase carbon losses from soils, causing a positive feedback to climate change. My work spans ecosystems from our forests here in New Hampshire to the Arctic.

Julia Rabig

Assistant Professor of History

I’m an urban historian interested in the individuals and organizations that institutionalize social movements and the challenges they encounter. My previous work examined the economic dimensions of the Black Power movement and the establishment of community development corporations. I currently study changing pressures on and expectations of public institutions since the 1960s in order to grasp the bottom-up history of neoliberalism.

Daniel Schultz

Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the Geisel School of Medicine

Alongside genes themselves, DNA also contains the regulatory code that coordinates their expression in living cells. Focusing on mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, I combine theoretical and experimental approaches to study how gene regulation evolves to control gene expression during cell responses.

V.S. Subrahmanian

The Dartmouth College Distinguished Professor in Cybersecurity, Technology, and Society

I devise algorithms to extract meaningful signals from data, automatically learn predictive models of phenomena from those signals, make forecasts, and develop techniques that use the learned models to reshape outcomes when those forecasts don’t match our goals. I apply these methods to cybersecurity, terrorism, and other security problems.

Nirvana Tanoukhi

Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing

I grew up in a war-torn setting and found refuge, solace, and wisdom in books from all over the world. This stark experience of the unpredictable power and reach of stories led me to become a theorist of the pragmatics of literary communication in a global world. My work always asks: What is this unnecessary thing—literature—doing for us now, that we’re still unwilling to give it up?

Amie Thomasson

Professor of Philosophy

In the age of modern science, what can philosophy still contribute to human knowledge, and to human life? In the view I have been developing, the real contribution we can make in philosophy lies not in discovering facts, but rather in deciding what sort of language and conceptual scheme we should use in interacting with the world and living our lives.

Shatema Threadcraft

Associate Professor of Government

I am a political theorist and work at the intersection of race and gender. My first book, Intimate Justice: the Black Female Body and the Body Politic, examined androcentrism in Afro-Modern thought and its impact on contemporary theories of corrective racial justice. My current research takes up the history of political mobilization around death in black politics.

Prasad Vana

Assistant Professor of Business Administration at the Tuck School of Business

I empirically explore managerially relevant online marketing problems using the principles of economics, marketing, and efficient computing techniques. Currently, my research includes work on how online reviews affect consumer purchase decisions, how consumers make decisions in crowd funding, and consumer response to online cash-back promotions. If it’s not online, I’m offline.

Xiaofeng Wang

Assistant Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology at the Geisel School of Medicine

My work is focused on cancer epigenetics. As chromatin regulators are frequently mutated in a variety of human cancers, my work is aimed at understanding how these mutations cause cancer, focusing on the regulation of chromatin structure dynamics (epigenomics) and chromatin remodeler protein complex assembly, as well as using genetic and chemical screens to identify potential therapeutic targets in human cancers.

Elizabeth Wilson

Professor of Environmental Studies, director of the Arthur L. Irving Institute on Energy and Society

I study how energy systems are changing in the face of new technologies and new societal pressures. My work focuses on the implementation of energy and environmental policies and laws in practice. I am interested in how institutions support and thwart energy system transitions and focus on the interplays between technology innovation, policy creation, and institutional decision making.

Miya Qiong Xie

Assistant Professor of Chinese Language and Literature

I work on literature from frontiers—from the geographical borderland of Manchuria in East Asia, once populated by Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, and Russians, to social margins such as the experiences of violent and violated women or ethnic minorities. I ask how boundaries form and dissolve at the same time in the frontier, and how human experience in the frontier takes on unique, creative, and critical forms.

Also joining the faculty this year are Meghan Meyer, an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences, and Carey Nadell, an assistant professor of biological sciences.

Joseph Blumberg can be reached at: