Photo of the 2023 Research Achievement Award Winners, Provost, and Vice President for Research in front of a Brown backdrop

2023 Research Achievement Award Winners, Interim Provost, Lawrence Larson, and VPR Jill Pipher. Photo by Deirdre Confar.

Brown faculty select nine of their peers to receive Early Career and Distinguished Research Achievement Awards

Researchers at Brown are advancing knowledge to make a difference in the world. Their achievements, discoveries, and contributions inform how we understand both the broader world we live in and the body we inhabit.

Each Spring, a select group of preeminent scholars is nominated by their peers to receive Research Achievement Awards for their distinguished and transformative research.

The nine recipients of the 2023 Research Achievement Awards were selected from the categories of humanities and social sciences, life sciences and public health, physical sciences, and hospital-based research faculty, for both Early Career Research Achievement Awards and Distinguished Research Achievement Awards.  Applications across a wide range of academic areas were reviewed by a panel of Brown faculty. Each winner receives a $5,000 research stipend along with the recognition award.

Awardees will be recognized on Monday, April 24, at the Celebration of Research. Email [email protected] for more information.

Early Career Research Achievement Award

Oriel FeldmanHall (Psychology, Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences)

Early Career Research Achievement Award, Life Sciences & Public Health

Oriel FeldmanHall is an Associate Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences. Her research focuses on the cognitive and neural processes governing human social behavior. Her lab explores the motivations underlying pro-social behavior and the conditions that uphold and break social norms. She is cited for her transcontinental reputation as an exceptional, rigorous and innovative researcher. She has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed papers in her six years at Brown, and has received numerous prestigious awards, including the Association for Psychological Science Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions and Brown University’s Henry Merritt Wriston Fellowship for excellence in teaching and scholarship.


Brian Lander (History, Environment and Society)

Early Career Research Achievement Award, Humanities & Social Sciences

Brian Lander is the Stanley J. Bernstein Assistant Professor of History and a Fellow of the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society. His research focuses on the environmental history of China, particularly the long-term transformation of the Yellow and Yangzi River valleys into human ecosystems. His book, The King’s Harvest: A Political Ecology of China from the First Farmers to the First Empire is the first book in English on the environmental history of early China. It won the American Historical Association’s 2022 Prize for the best book in any field of history prior to CE 1000.  


Dr. Alan R. Morrison (Medicine)

Early Career Research Achievement Award, Hospital-Based Research Faculty

Dr. Alan R. Morrison is a physician-scientist whose career bridges clinical cardiology, basic and translational research, and teaching.  He is a board-certified cardiologist practicing at Providence VA Medical Center and an associate professor of medicine in the division of cardiology at the Warren Alpert Medical School. Dr. Morrison’s research focuses on mechanisms of immune-mediated vascular remodeling in the context of angiogenesis, atherosclerosis and vascular calcification, and pulmonary hypertension. He is cited for establishing a highly funded research program with a parallel clinically focused program, conducting translational research with national impact, and engaging trainees at all levels of his research. He is the principal investigator for 2 R01s from NHLBI and a Merit Review Research Award recipient from the Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2021, he became the first Brown faculty recipient of the prestigious Geneen Charitable Trust Award.


Jonathan Pober (Physics)

Early Career Research Achievement Award, Physical Sciences

Jonathan Pober is an experimental astrophysicist and a world leader in cosmology. His research focuses on building ultrasensitive low-frequency radio telescope arrays to detect signals from the first stars and galaxies formed 12 billion years ago. An assistant professor in physics, he leads research projects at the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) radio telescope facility in Western Australia, supported by multiple NSF grants. He received two NASA grants to develop a radio telescope experiment on the far side of the moon and is developing Machine Learning for radio astronomy data analysis. He was named a NASA Nancy Grace Roman Technology Fellow for his lunar mission and received Brown University’s Henry Merritt Wriston Fellowship for excellence in teaching and scholarship.


Distinguished Research Achievement Award

Mary A. Carskadon (Psychiatry and Human Behavior)

Distinguished Research Achievement Award, Hospital-based Research Faculty

Mary A. Carskadon is an authority on adolescent sleep and circadian rhythms. She serves as director of the Chronobiology and Sleep Research Laboratory at Bradley Hospital and is a Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior at the Alpert Medical School. One focus of her scientific activities has been research examining interrelations between sleep regulatory systems (circadian timing system, sleep homeostat) and sleep/wake behavior of children, adolescents, and young adults. Her findings have raised public health issues regarding the consequences of insufficient sleep for adolescents as well as concerns about early starting times of schools. Her work has affected education policy, prompting the AAP and others to promote later school timing for adolescents and many school districts to delay school start times.


Lina M. Fruzzetti (Anthropology)

Distinguished Research Achievement Award, Humanities & Social Sciences

Lina M. Fruzzetti is a cultural anthropologist, ethnographer, and documentary filmmaker. Her research focuses on India, North East Africa, and Italy, exploring the social and cultural aspects of gender, kinship, marriage, feminism, identity, culture, and citizenship in Muslim and Hindu-based societies. A professor of anthropology, she has published eleven books, and with her husband, Ákos Östör, co-produced six films. They are the first two anthropologist-filmmakers selected to have their films and research materials archived by The Smithsonian Institution. Her work has received numerous awards, and she is cited for being truly distinguished in the world of South Asian ethnography, African development, and documentary filmmaking; for her tireless and generous teaching and deeply collegial service in her 48 years at Brown; and for being the moral center of the anthropology department.


David I. Kertzer (Anthropology, Italian Studies)

Distinguished Research Achievement Award, Humanities & Social Sciences

David I. Kertzer’s research focuses on Italian politics and history, anthropological demography, and European social history. His work has been awarded prizes for over four decades, including Fulbright, Guggenheim, and NEH fellowships. A professor of anthropology, he has published scores of peer-reviewed articles, and written, edited, and co-edited dozens of books, including The Pope and Mussolini, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 2015, and the 2022 New York Times bestseller, The Pope at War: The Secret History of Pius XII, Mussolini, and Hitler. He served as Brown’s Provost from 2006-2011. He is cited as the preeminent U.S. social historian of modern Italy whose work has gained him a stellar reputation as one of the most internationally recognized Brown scholars.


Diane Lipscombe (Neuroscience)

Distinguished Research Achievement Award, Life Sciences & Public Health

Diane Lipscombe’s research focuses on the expression, regulation, and function of voltage-gated calcium ion channels in different regions of the nervous system and their role in chronic pain and mental illness. A professor of neuroscience, her research discoveries particularly in the area of cell-specific RNAs, have impacted the field of calcium channel physiology at both a basic and translational level by providing new avenues for treatments for various pathologies. Her advocacy for advancing neuroscience has been transformative in a career spanning more than thirty years at Brown. Under her leadership, the Brown Institute for Brain Science became the Robert J. and Nancy D. Carney Institute for Brain Science, which she directs; the Institute’s impact grew with new hires across the brain sciences and innovation seed funding; and new Centers were endowed, including the Center for Computation in Brain Science and the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.


Chi-Wang Shu (Applied Mathematics)

Distinguished Research Achievement Award, Physical Sciences

Chi-Wang Shu’s area of expertise is the numerical approximation of conservation laws that are modelled by systems of hyperbolic equations. A professor of applied mathematics, his contributions to numerical analysis and scientific computing enabled engineers and scientists to apply his methods in various application areas, including computational fluid dynamics, magnetohydrodynamics, computational cosmology, semiconductor device simulations, traffic flow models, and computational biology. He has published more than 450 peer-reviewed journal articles and received numerous awards for his work, including SIAM’s premier John von Neumann award in 2021. He is cited for having an enormous impact on the scientific community, and being a valued colleague who has served the University for the greater part of his 36-year career at Brown, including two terms as chair of the Division of Applied Mathematics.


2022 Research Achievement Award winners

2021 Research Achievement Award winners

2020 Research Achievement Award winners

2019 Research Achievement Award winners

2018 Research Achievement Award winners

2017 Research Achievement Award winners