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Africana Studies

2017-2018: Adryan Wallace



Adryan Wallace

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2012, Rutgers University

Dr. Adryan Wallace received her PhD from Rutgers University and previously held a position as Assistant Professor of Politics, Economics, and International Studies at the University of Hartford. Her research interests include gender, political economy, Islam, and the dynamic interactions of politics and culture on political institutions. Her current book project analyzes the ways that Hausa women in Kano, Nigeria, and Tamale, Ghana, use their non-governmental (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) to challenge the economic roles ascribed to them by the state and to mobilize politically around gender issues.


2017-2018: Christopher J. Percival



Christopher J. Percival

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2013, Penn State University

Dr. Christopher Percival joins us from the University of Calgary, where he held a postdoctoral position after completing his doctoral studies in Biological Anthropology at Pennsylvania State University.

His research focuses on the genetic and developmental bases for craniofacial variation, including dysmorphology associated with human birth defects and normal variation in modern vertebrate populations, integrating genetic, cellular, and morphological levels of analysis in order to more completely understand the development of craniofacial morphology across evolutionary history.


2017-2018: Ian Alan Paul

2016-2017: Karen Lloyd



Ian Alan Paul

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2016, Film and Digital Media Studies, University of California at Santa Cruz

Dr. Ian Allan Paul received his PhD in Film and Digital Media Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and has taught at Al-Quds University, the American University in Cairo, the San Francisco Art Institute, and UC San Diego.

Ian Alan Paul is a transdisciplinary artist, theorist, and curator. His practice encompasses experimental documentary, critical fiction, and media art, aiming to produce novel conditions for the exploration of contemporary politics and aesthetics in global contexts. His projects often incorporate digital/new media, performance, and installation, and are broadly informed by prolonged engagements with continental philosophy, critical/queer/feminist theory, and contemporary Marxist and Anarchist thought. His recent work has approached topics such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, Fortress Europe, the Zapatista communities, Drone Warfare, and the military regime in post-revolution/post-coup Cairo.

Ian has taught, lectured, and exhibited internationally, and has had his work featured in The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, Le Monde, Art Threat, Mada Masr, Jadaliyya, Art Info, and C Magazine, among others. He received his PhD in Film and Digital Media Studies from UC Santa Cruz in 2016 and his MFA and MA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2011.

His projects include The Guantanamo Bay Museum of Art and History, a fictional museum claiming to be based at the site of the former Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp that exists virtually as a website, as well as in real-world galleries in a series of satellite exhibitions.



Karen Lloyd

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2010, Rutgers University

Karen Lloyd specializes in Renaissance and Baroque art history. She is the co-editor of A Transitory Star: The Late Bernini and his Reception, and author of articles on Bernini, art collecting and display in 17th-century Rome, and the polemics of the early modern devotional image. She examines the visual apologetics of nepotism in papal Rome and Italian representations and reform of the colonial Peruvian Virgin of Copacabana for a forthcoming book on cultural exchange between early modern Italy and the Americas.

Biochemistry and Cell Biology

2018-2019: Saikat Chowdhury | Addolorata Pisconti

2016-2017: Michael Airola



Saikat Chowdhury

Assistant Professor

PhD, Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology, 2012, Penn State Universiry

BTech, 2006, Bioinformatics, Vellore Institute of Technology, India


Addolorata Pisconti

Associate Professor

PhD, Cell Biology, 2003, University of Bari, School of Medicine, Italy

Laurea, 1999, Biological Sciences, University of Perugia, Italy

Dr. Saikat Chowdhury will join the College of Arts and Sciences in spring 2018 on a joint appointment with Brookhaven National Laboratory. He did his doctoral work at Pennsylvania State University and prior to joining Stony Brook was a postdoctoral fellow at the Scripps Research Institute. Professor Chowdhury applies his expertise in molecular cryo-electron microscopy to the investigation of protein structures.

Dr. Pisconti received her Laurea degree in Biological Sciences in 1999 from the University of Perugia with an honours thesis in Electrophysiology, and her Ph.D. in Cell Biology in 2003 from the University of Bari, School of Medicine with a dissertation in Immuno-senescence. She worked as a postdoc in Pharmacology and Cell Signalling in San Raffaele Scientific Research Institute in Milan, working on muscle stem cell biology and molecular mechanisms of skeletal muscle development and regeneration and muscular dystrophy. At the end of 2005, Dr. Pisconti moved to the United States to work in the laboratory of Brad Olwin at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In 2011 she was awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship and in 2012 a Tenure Track Fellowship, partly funded by the Wellcome Trust, and moved to the university of Liverpool.

Dr. Pisconti's research interests revolve around stem cell biology and especially she aims to understand how the microenvironment that stem cells experience affects stem cell homeostasis and regenerative potential. Her lab makes use of cutting edge technologies in cell imaging, computational biology, molecular biology and organic chemistry to study the structure/function relationships that govern the glycobiology of stem cells. She is also interested in exploring the potential therapeutic outcomes that can be directly drawn from our basic research, including the study of strategies to potentiate endogenous stem cell mobilization and function in the context of pathological conditions and in ageing.



Michael Airola

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2010, Cornell University

Michael Airola and his group use structural biology techniques such as X-ray crystallography and small-angle X-ray scattering coupled with an array of biochemical and cellular approaches to gain a molecular understanding of lipid metabolism and lipid signaling. They are particularly interested in enzymes and lipids important for human health and disease with a focus on cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.


2018-2019: Karena Chapman

2017-2018: Eszter Boros



Karena Chapman


PhD, 2005, Chemistry, University of Sydney, Australia

BSc, 2001, Chemistry, University of Sydney, Australia

Dr. Karena Chapman develops and applies advanced synchrotron-based characterization tools to explore the coupling of structure and reactivity of energy-relevant materials. Specifically, her research exploits pair distribution function (PDF) analysis, often applied in situ, to probe the atomic and nanoscale structure of crystalline, nano, and amorphous materials that are beyond the limits of conventional crystallography. She received her B.Sc. and PhD in Chemistry from the University of Sydney, Australia, before joining Argonne National Laboratory in 2005 as the Arthur Holly Compton Postdoctoral Scholar. Following 13 years at Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source, she moved to Stony Brook University in 2018 as the Joseph W Lauher and Frank W Fowler Professor of Materials Chemistry. She has been recognized as one of the American Chemical Society’s Talented 12 in 2016 and was awarded the 2015 MRS Outstanding Young Investigator Award for her contributions to understanding the coupled structure and reactivity of energy-relevant systems and for developing the incisive experimental and analytical tools needed to interrogate these complex materials systems.



Eszter Boros

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2011, University of British Columbia

MS, 2007, University of Zurich

Dr. Eszter Boros joins us from Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School where she held postdoctoral fellowships after receiving her PhD from the University of British Columbia. Her research focuses on harnessing the rich structural diversity of metal complexes for the design of new metal-based molecular imaging probes and therapeutics for personalized medicine.

An expert in PET imaging and MRI, Professor Boros plans to utilize synthetic and inorganic chemistry to design new imaging agents for cancer, infectious disease, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.


2018-2019: Mihai Manea | Gabriel Mihalache | Juan Pantano

2017-2018: David Wiczer

2016-2017: Meta Brown | Steven N. Stern



Mihai Manea

Associate Professor

PhD, 2009, Economics, Harvard University

AB, 2005, Economics, Princeton University


Gabriel Mihalache

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2016, Economics, University of Rochester

MSc, 2010, Applied Economics and Statistics, Clemson University

BA, 2007, Quantitative Economics, ASE, Romania

Dr. Manea received his PhD from the Department of Economics in Harvard University in 2009. He comes to Stony Brook from the Department of Economics in MIT, where he was an Associate Professor since 2014. Dr. Manea's research agenda primarily focuses on two areas of economic theory: strategic interaction in networks and market design. In network economics, he analyzes trade in decentralized markets as well as intermediation and social status. His research in market design studies allocation problems in which individuals are matched to resources in the absence of monetary transfers. In earlier work, Dr. Manea addressed issues in mechanism design, cooperative games, and decision theory.

Dr. Mihalache studies topics in International Macroeconomics. His work to date largely centers around the consequences of sovereign default risk under incomplete markets and debt crises for the maturity structure of public debt, sectoral reallocation patterns and capital accumulation.

In a recent, ongoing project Dr. Mihalache studies the joint dynamics of yields and inflation in an environment where fiscal policy (lacking commitment) interacts with a monetary authority engaged in inflation targeting, motivated by the recent experience of emerging markets, particularly in L America.


Juan Pantano

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2008, Economics, University of California, Los Angeles

MA, 2005, Economics, University of California, Los Angeles

BA, 2000, Economics, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Argentina

Juan Pantano received a B.A. in Economics from Universidad Torcuato Di Tella and a Ph.D. in Economics from UCLA. Before coming to Stony Brook, he worked at Washington University in St. Louis and at the Center for the Economics of Human Development at the University of Chicago.

Juan is an empirically oriented applied microeconomist with wide research interests in labor economics, health economics and family economics.



David Wiczer

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2013, Economics, University of Minnesota

MS, 2008, Economics, University of Illinois

BA, 2006, Economics, Carleton College

Dr. David Wiczer has held positions at Washington University and the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

He received his PhD from the University of Minnesota and specializes in the macroeconomic implications of labor markets and occupational choice.

Professor Wiczer’s recent work uses theoretical, empirical, and computational methods to study occupational mobility.



Meta Brown

Associate Professor

PhD, 2001, Economics, New York University

MA, 1999, Economics, New York University

BA, 1995, Economics and English Literature honors dual major, Ohio State University


Steven N. Stern


PhD, 1985, Economics, Yale University

BS, 1979, Finance, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Commerce and Finance

BA, 1979, Mathematics, University of Pennsylvania

Research Interests: Public economics, Household finance, Labor economics

Dr. Steven N. Stern comes to Stony Brook from the University of Virginia. Prof. Stern has a wide range of interests in labor economics, health economics, the economics of aging, the economics of the family, industrial organization, and econometrics. Almost all of his research involves increasing our understanding of some phenomenon in the real world by using innovative econometric methods. He also advises graduate students on the same wide range of topics and undergraduate students who are prepared and excited about getting involved in research.

Center for Social Justice, Inequality and Policy

2017-2018: Stephanie A. Kelton



Stephanie A. Kelton


PhD, 2001, New School for Social Research

MPhil, 1997, Economics, University of Cambridge

Dr. Stephanie Kelton joins us from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Her research areas include monetary policy, employment policy, public finance, international finance, and European monetary integration. A well-known policy expert, she has served as Chief Economist of the US Senate Budget Committee and as Senior Economic Advisor to the presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders. She continues as chair of the Board of Economists for Peace and Security. She is a Research Scholar of the Levy Institute and holds a PhD in Economics from the New School for Social Research.

Stephanie Kelton served as chief economist on the US Senate Budget Committee (Democratic staff) in 2015 and as a senior economic adviser to Bernie Sanders's 2016 presidential campaign. She is a former editor in chief of the top-ranked blog New Economic Perspectives and member of the TopWonks network of the nation's best thinkers. In 2016, POLITICO named her one of the 50 people most influencing the public public debate in America. She has contributed chapters to numerous edited volumes and has published articles in the Journal of Economic Issues, Cambridge Journal of Economics, Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Review of Social Economy, and International Journal of Political Economy, among others. Her book The State, the Market, and the Euro: Metallism versus Chartalism in the Theory of Money (coedited with E. J. Nell; 2003) is available through Edward Elgar Publishing.

Kelton is a regular commentator on national radio and broadcast television, and she consults with policymakers, investment banks, and portfolio managers across the globe. Her research expertise is in Federal Reserve operations, fiscal policy, social security, international finance, and employment policy. She received her Ph.D. from the New School for Social Research and holds an M.Phil. in economics from Cambridge University.


2017-2018: Weisen Shen

2016-2017: Gergory A. Henkes



Weisen Shen

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2014, Geophysics, University of Colorado, Boulder

BS, 2008, University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), Hefei, China

Dr. Shen's research interests are seismic tomography and structure of the earth’s lithosphere. Key questions he tries to answer include:

  1. how do we make accurate images of the earth’s interior, and how do we quantify their reliability?
  2. With these images, what can we tell about the Earth’s composition, temperature, and its tectonic history?

To answer these questions, Weisen Shen collects seismic data across the world and make measurements of seismic observables such as surface and body waves extracted from both ambient seismic noise and teleseismic earthquakes. He also develops new tools that combine multiple types of observables to construct 3-dimensional (3-D) models of the earth with meaningful uncertainties.



Gergory A. Henkes

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2014, Geochemistry, Johns Hopkins University

BS, 2009, Biology, Bates College

Dr. Gregory Henkes is a stable isotope geochemist interested, primarily, in developing and applying proxies for climate, biogeochemical cycling, and paleobiology deep in Earth’s geologic history. He received a BS in Biology from Bates College in Maine, and a PhD from The Johns Hopkins, where his graduate research focused on the fidelity and preservation of a new paleothermometer, based on the ‘clumping’ of isotopes together in a single bond, in fossil mollusk and brachiopod shells.


2017-2018: Paul Kelton



Paul Kelton


PhD, 1998, History, University of Oklahoma

BA, 1992, History, University of Tulsa

Dr. Paul Kelton, inaugural holder of the Robert David Lion Gardiner Chair in American History, joins us from the University of Kansas. A leading scholar of Indigenous North American and Colonial American history, Professor Kelton has made important revisions to our understanding of the biological processes involved in the European takeover of the Americas. His books, Epidemics and Enslavement and Cherokee Medicine, Colonial Germs place local struggles with epidemics within the large-scale context of the social disruption, structural violence, and political upheaval of colonialism. He is continuing his research on Indigenous experiences with European-introduced diseases in projects detailing the contours of Native death and survival during the Seven Years War in North America, the American Revolution, and Indian Removal. Dr. Kelton received his PhD from the University of Oklahoma.


2017-2018: Jeffrey Heinz



Jeffrey Heinz


PhD, 2007, Linguistics, University of California at Los Angeles

Dr. Jeffrey Heinz joins us from the University of Delaware. He investigates the sound structure of human languages from a mathematically informed perspective, developing computational models of phonology that solve problems in language typology and language learnability. His research program operates at the intersection of generative phonology, typology, formal language theory, and machine learning, and he has applied his ideas to problems outside linguistics such as game theory and robotics. Professor Heinz was honored by the Linguistic Society of America with its Early Career Award for his contributions leading to a new computational science of inference and learning as applied to language. He received his PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles.


2016-2017: Robert H. Hough



Robert H. Hough

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2012, Mathematics, Stanford University

MS, 2008, Computer Science, Stanford University

Dr. Robert Hough received a Masters in Computer Science from Stanford in 2008, and a Ph.D. in 2012, also from Stanford. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Cambridge in 2012-13, at Oxford in 2013-15, and he spent 2015-16 at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. His early work focused on analytic number theory, but more recently he has moved into probability and its applications to combinatorics and number theory. In 2015 Hough published a solution to Erdős' minimum modulus problem, a well known conjecture about arithmetic sequences that had been open for over 60 years.


2016-2017: August Sheehy



August Sheehy

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2016, University of Chicago

Dr. August Sheehy joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2016. As a music theorist and historian of music theory, August reflects to the department’s longstanding commitment to music history and music theory as interrelated disciplines. His research focuses on the ways in which music theory, culture, history, and subjectivity interact in practices of music analysis. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in music theory and analysis that emphasize both technical and hermeneutic forms of musical engagement.

Professor Sheehy has presented work at numerous national and international conferences. He has published essays on in Music Theory Online and has a forthcoming essay in an edited volume on the music of Claude Debussy. He is currently working on a monograph on the origins and politics of sonata-form discourses in music theory.

Neurobiology and Behavior

2017-2018: Braden Brinkman



Braden Brinkman

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2013, Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

BSc, 2008, Physics, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Braden Brinkman earned his B.Sc. in Physics at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, and went on to do his Ph.D. studies in non-equilibrium statistical physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His graduate research focused on systems displaying avalanche-like behavior, including magnetic-domain flipping in magnets with impurities, earthquake faults, and of course neuronal networks. For his postdoctoral work Dr. Brinkman decided to concentrate on applications of techniques from statistical physics and information theory to understanding coding and computation in networks of neurons.

We have entered a new era in neuroscience. Experiments can now monitor neural activity on increasingly large spatial and temporal scales, presenting unprecedented opportunities to close major gaps in our understanding of how large populations of neurons coordinate to perform computations underlying behavior. However, this flood of data has dramatically outpaced our theoretical understanding. New tools are necessary to refine experiments, properly interpret data, and solidify our understanding of neural coding and computation. Dr. Brinkman's research program seeks to develop such tools and models, and thereby determine universal principles underlying how collective neural activity represents, transmits, and combines information across a larger range of spatial and temporal scales than any individual neuron can access. He is especially interested in elucidating how network structure and dynamics determine a circuit’s computational capabilities, and how pathologies in structure or dynamics may manifest as diseases like epilepsy—and how we might be able to use our theoretical frameworks to design principled interventions to treat diseased networks.


2018-2019: Arindam Chakrabarti



Arindam Chakrabarti


DPhil, 1982, Oxford University, England

MA, 1978, University of Calcutta, India

BA, 1976, University of Calcutta, India

Professor Arindam Chakrabarti has been appointed as the innaugural holder of the Nirmal K. and Augustina Mattoo Chair in Classical Indic Humanities at Stony Brook University, following an international, multidisciplinary search. Professor Chakrabarti was a professor of philosophy at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. He obtained his BA in 1976 and MA in 1978, both from the University of Calcutta, and earned the D.Phil. in 1982 from Oxford University. His major areas of specialization are the philosophy of language and logic, metaphysics, philosophy of the mind, and Indian and comparative philosophy.

In his teaching and research, Professor Chakrabarti has tried to combine analytic, classical Indian (especially Nyāya and Kashmir Shaivism) and continental philosophies. In addition to numerous papers in journals and anthologies, his major publications include his book Negative Existentials and Fictional Discourse, Denying Existence, and an introduction to twentieth-century Western epistemology in Sanskrit, as well as six books in Bangla, the latest on the philosophy of food and clothing.

Physics and Astronomy

2018-2019: Phil Armitage | Jan Christopher Bernauer | Jennifer Cano | Cyrus Dreyer | Will Farr

2017-2018: Zohar Komargodski

2016-2017: Luis Alvarez-Gaume | Nicola Giacinto Piacquadio | Sergey Syritsyn | Navid Vafaei-Najafabadi | Alexander Zamolodchikov



Phil Armitage


PhD, 1996, Astrophysics, Cambridge University, England


Jan Christopher Bernauer

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2010, Physics, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany

Phil Armitage is professor of astrophysical and planetary sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder. In 2018, he will take up a joint position at Stony Brook University and the Center for Computational Astrophysics. His research focuses on the formation and evolution of planetary systems and the physics of accretion in protostellar and black hole environments. Recent work includes predictions for ALMA observations of protoplanetary disks, development of a new model for high energy accretion based on strongly magnetized disks, studies of tidal disruption events, and analytic and simulation studies of planetesimal formation. He earned a B.A. in physics and theoretical physics from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the university’s Institute of Astronomy. Prior to his current position, he did postdoctoral work at the University of Toronto’s Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics and at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Munich, Germany.


Jennifer Cano

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2015, University of California, Santa Barbara


Cyrus Dreyer

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2014, Materials Science, University of California, Santa Barbara

PhD, 2009, Engineering Science, University of Virginia

Jennifer Cano received her PhD from University of California, Santa-Barbara in 2015. In 2015-2018 she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton Center for Theoretical Science working on Condensed Matter Physics.

Jennifer Cano studies topological phases of matter. It is an exciting time for this field because many of these phases are being realized experimentally. She is interested in the classification, experimental probes, and material realizations of topological insulators and semi-metals. Dr. Cano is also interested in the bulk-boundary correspondence. She has studied strongly correlated systems (quantum Hall effect), as well as non-interacting topological band structures.

Before joining Stony Brook, Cyrus was a postdoctoral associate in the Theoretical Condensed Matter group in the department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers University, working with David Vanderbilt and Karin Rabe. Dr. Dreyer's research involves developing and implementing first-principles methods based on density functional theory to explore materials for electronic and optoelectronic devices. His interests include group III-nitrides, novel ferroelectric materials, complex oxides and their heterostructures, applications of the modern theory of polarization, point defects in semiconductors, and flexoelectricity.


Will Farr

Associate Professor

PhD, 2010, Physics, MIT

BS, 2003, Physics, Caltech

Before joining Stony Brook faculty, Will Farr was a lecturer and astrophysicist at the Institute of Gravitational Wave Astronomy at the University of Birmingham. His research interests include gravitational-wave astronomy, compact object formation and evolution, the gravitational dynamics of planets and stars, and astrostatistics. He earned his B.S. in physics from the California Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He held postdoctoral positions at Northwestern University before moving to Birmingham in 2013.



Zohar Komargodski


PhD, 2008, Physics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

Zohar joins the SCGP from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Department of Particle Physics and Astrophysics, in Rehovot Israel, where he held the position of Associate Professor.

He received his PhD from the Weizmann Institute in Physics in 2008, after which he served as a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University’s Institute for Advanced Studies. His research studies in theoretical particle physics include a variety of topics such as Quantum Field Theory, Conformal Symmetry, Supersymmetry, Quantum Gravity, and Particle Physics Phenomenology.

Zohar has proven to be a bright and emerging young physicist in the field and has been awarded many prizes in his career thus far such as the New Horizons in Physics Prize, as part of the Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation (in 2012), the Gribov Medal, for outstanding work by a young physicist in Theoretical Particle Physics and/or Field Theory (in 2013), and the Philippe Meyer Prize in Theoretical Physics (in 2014).



Luis Alvarez-Gaume

Professor, Director SCGP

PhD, 1981, Physics, Stony Brook University


Nicola Giacinto Piacquadio

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2010, Physics, Albert Ludwigs University, Freiburg, Germany

Dr. Álvarez-Gaumé did his undergraduate work at the Autonoma University in Madrid, and his graduate work at Stony Brook University and MIT. He received his Ph.D. from Stony Brook University in 1981. After positions at Harvard and Boston University he joined the Theory Division at CERN as a Senior member where he has been ever since. He has been the Deputy Head and the Head of the Theory Group for a number of years. His position at CERN has brought him in contact with a large part of the theoretical and experimental high energy community.

Dr. Álvarez-Gaumé’s work has centered mostly upon string theory, quantum field theory and lately cosmology. He is better known for his work on supersymmetric field theories, the study of anomalies, the use of Witten’s index to study the Atiyah-Singer index theorem, and lately he is interested on the study of cosmology, black hole physics and string theory. He has written introductory lectures on Quantum Field Theory and reviewed many aspects of string theory and field theory. Since 2003 he has been a corresponding member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Nicola Giacinto Piacquadio is an experimental particle physicist. He completed his PhD at the University of Freiburg (Germany), and from there held a prestigious CERN Fellowship, a Marie Curie Award, and the W. Panofsky Fellowship at SLAC. His research is on physics of the Standard Model and beyond using the massive ATLAS detector at CERN, which recently announced the discovery of the Higgs Boson.


Sergey Syritsyn

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2010, Physics, MIT


Navid Vafaei-Najafabadi

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2016, Physics, University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Sergey Syritsyn is a theoretical nuclear physicist. He completed his PhD at MIT under the supervision of John Negele in the Center for Theoretical Physics. He then held a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Nuclear Science Division, at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a RIKEN Foreign Postdoctoral Researcher Fellowship at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the Nathan Isgur Fellowship at Theory Center, Thomas Jefferson National Laboratory.

Dr. Navid Vafaei-Najafabadi studies the physics of high energy charged particle accelerators. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering (from the University of California, Los Angeles on beam driven plasma wakefield accelerators,” which seeks to use novel techniques involving high-power lasers to drive charged particles to very high energies.


Alexander Zamolodchikov

Professor, C.N.Yang/Wei Deng Endowed Chair

PhD, 1978, Theoretical Physics, Institute of Theoretical and Mathematical Physics, Moscow

Dr. Alexander Zamolodchikov joins the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the C.N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics. He received his PhD in 1978 from the Institute of Theoretical and Mathematical Physics in Moscow. He was a senior researcher at the Landau Institute, and later a Board of Governors Professor of Physics at Rutgers University. His published work has been cited over 18,000 times, including three papers each with more than 1,000 citations. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, was elected in to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, received the Dirac Medal for Theoretical Physics, the Pomeranchuk Prize from the ITEP, Moscow, and the American Physical Society’s Lars Onsager Prize. In 2016 he was inducted in to the National Academy of Sciences.

Political Science

2018-2019: Vittorio Mérola Marotta | Julian Wamble

2017-2018: Katherine Sawyer

2016-2017: Hannah Nam



Vittorio Mérola Marotta

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2016, Political Science, Ohio State University

MA, 2012, Economics, Ohio State University

MA, 2011, Political Science, Ohio State University

BA, 2011, Government, University of Texas Austin

BBA, 2011, International Business, University of Texas Austin


Julian Wamble

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2018, Political Science, University of Maryland College Park

MA, 2014, Political Science, Ohio State University

BA, 2011, Political Science, Drew University

Before joining Stony Brook faculty, Dr. Mérola Marotta was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, at the Toulouse School of Economics and Toulouse 1 University Capitole. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science, as well as an MA in Economics, at the Ohio State University, after previously studying at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Texas at Austin.

Vittorio's research interests lie at the intersection of comparative politics, political economy, and political psychology. He employs quantitative methods, with a particular emphasis on experiments and causal inference.

Broadly speaking, Dr. Mérola Marotta seeks to understand how economic factors shape underlying psychological mechanisms in order to relax prevalent assumptions in models of comparative political economy and political behavior. More specifically, much of his research agenda coalesces around the political consequences of high and increasing economic inequality among democracies both in the advanced, industrial world, and developing economies. He places particular emphasis on the mechanisms by which the structure of inequality shapes psychological needs, expectations, perceptions and beliefs, and the subsequent impact on political behavior and public opinion.

Julian Wamble studies American Politics with a focus in Political Behavior and Race and Ethnic Politics. His current book project, tentatively titled Show Us That You Care: How Community Commitment Signaling & Black Political Considerations draws on his Community Commitment Signaling Framework, and argues that black politicians use various signals of commitment to the black community in order to show their accountability to the black community's desire for greater social and political inclusion. Those politicians whose signals show a physical sacrifice made in service to the black community are more preferable than politicians who rely on other signals, such as endorsements from organizations like the NAACP.



Katherine Sawyer

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2017, University of Maryland

Dr. Katherine Sawyer recently received her PhD in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland. Her research interests include civil conflict and rebellion, biopsychological predictors of political violence, and spatial/computational models of conflict.

Professor Sawyer’s dissertation investigates the interplay between genetic and environmental effects on political behavior in the Basque country of Spain, and she plans to conduct field work in the US on individual and network responses to police violence, as well as experiments designed to assess the conditions under which aggressive responses are triggered by exposure to repressive environments.



Hannah Nam

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2016, Social Psychology, New York University

Dr. Hannah Nam received a B.A. in psychology from Wesleyan University, and received a Ph.D. in social psychology from New York University.

Her research and teaching interests are broadly in political psychology and political neuroscience on topics of social change, social justice, and ideological beliefs. Dr. Nam integrates insights and methods from psychology, political science, and neuroscience to study why and how people resist or embrace social change, especially in social, economic, and political systems marked by inequality and injustice. Hannah is also interested in understanding the psychological basis and development of ideologies that reinforce or reduce existing social inequalities.


2018-2019: Brady Nelson | Lauren Richmond | Jessica Schleider

2016-2017: Stacey B. Scott



Brady Nelson

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2012, Clinical Psychology, University of Illinois Chicago

BA, Psychology, University of Wisconsin Madison


Lauren Richmond

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2013, Psychology/Neuroscience, Temple University

MA, 2007, Psychology, Marist College

BA, 2007, Psychology, Marist College

Dr. Nelson received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He completed his clinical internship at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Psychiatry. Prior to joining the faculty, he served as a post-doctoral research fellow and research scientist in the Department of Psychology at Stony Brook University. Dr. Nelson’s research bridges the areas of affective neuroscience, clinical psychology, and developmental psychopathology and aims to better understand the cognitive, emotional, and motivational mechanisms that contribute to the development of anxiety disorders and depression. His research spans a variety of clinical phenomenology (disorders and symptoms, clinical traits, personality traits, and transdiagnostic factors), affective neuroscience techniques (EEG, ERPs, fMRI, HRV, and startle EMG), research designs (cross-sectional, high-risk, and prospective/longitudinal), and populations (children, adolescents, and adults).

Dr. Richmond’s research broadly examines everyday cognition and individual differences in the ability to successfully navigate the cognitive challenges encountered in everyday life. Dr. Richmond looks at both individual differences within samples of healthy younger adults as well as how the ability to solve everyday challenges might change with age. One major goal of this work is to develop interventions and/or identify cognitive strategies that could help people better remember events from their everyday lives and perform everyday activities. This is a particularly salient issue in aging populations, as older adults who exhibit difficulties in carrying out activities of daily living often require some level of caregiving, either by a family member or by moving to an assisted living center. Many older adults would prefer to continue living independently as long as they are able, so interventions and/or strategies that improve their ability to carry out everyday activities of daily living may serve to prolong independence in old age.


Jessica Schleider

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2018, Clinical Psychology, Harvard University

BA, 2012, Psychology, Swarthmore College

Efforts to prevent and treat youth mental health problems have advanced greatly, but they have not reduced overall rates of youth mental illness. Low access to services exacerbates this problem: In the United States, up to 80% of youths in need of psychological services never receive them. The objective of Dr. Schleider's research program is to help address this discrepancy by developing scalable, accessible interventions for youth mental health problems, particularly depression and anxiety; identifying the mechanisms of change underlying their effects; and testing novel approaches to dissemination. Her work focuses on two interconnected targets that she expects to inform the design of such interventions: familial processes, such as parental psychopathology and family functioning, and youth cognitions, such as beliefs about whether personal traits are malleable (versus fixed) by nature.



Stacey B. Scott

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2009, Social Psychology, University of Notre Dame

Dr. Stavey Scott researches stress, emotions, and mental and physical health across the lifespan. She examines national disasters (e.g., 9/11 attacks), normative but major life events (e.g, widowhood), chronic stressors (e.g., loneliness, work strain, cancer), and daily hassles and disruptions (e.g., arguments, traffic, unexpected bills). Stacey’s current projects include an examination of cognitive function in daily life among breast cancer survivors. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame, was a postdoc at Georgia Tech and Penn State, and assistant professor at the University of South Florida.

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