By Casey S. Elliott
Physics and Astronomy Professor Peter Jung has been selected as the 2009 Distinguished Professor.
The Distinguished Professor Award is the university's highest faculty honor and carries a lifetime designation that recognizes scholarly accomplishment, professional reputation and contributions to the university. It rewards honorees with one quarter of professional leave and the opportunity to name one student annually to receive a Distinguished Professor Scholarship.
Jung credits his success to the support he has received from staff and faculty on campus.
"When I came here, I was received very warmly in the neuroscience program in the biological sciences," he said. "I learned a lot from them."
Jung, who began his career at Ohio University as an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in 1997, is focusing on aspects of neuroscience in his research. He is attempting to understand how neurons work in the brain, and the role of cells in the brain's white matter.
He also is a founding member of Ohio University's Quantitative Biology Institute, which integrates physics, computer science, engineering and mathematics. A nationally and internationally renowned scholar in biophysics, he has been published in a number of venues, including Physical Review Letters and "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."
"Dr. Jung is nationally respected in the field of physics and highly regarded by his peers, students, and colleagues," President Roderick J. McDavis said. "His dedication to collaboration, research, and scholarship exemplify the hallmark characteristics of an Ohio University Distinguished Professor. It is my great honor that we bestow this distinction upon him for he undoubtedly deserves this great recognition."
Winners are selected by a five-member committee comprised of past Distinguished Professor winners. For each nominee, information akin to that presented to tenure committees is evaluated, including the nominee's scholarly and/or creative activities, supporting materials such as publications and recognition, and letters of support from professional colleagues.
Past honoree Tadeusz Malinski (2006) chaired the committee this year.
"He has an extensive, high-level research achievement background, and has been warmly recognized as an excellent biophysicist," said Malinksi, who also is chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. "We had a pool of several excellent candidates, so it is always difficult to make a choice. Professor Jung's research has been very well recognized and his achievements in science are very high caliber."
Ohio University established the Distinguished Professor Award in 1959, and 48 faculty members, representing a wide range of disciplines, have earned the distinction. More than 15 honorees remain among the university's active faculty.