Faculty Steering Committee

A faculty steering committee has been formed by the University Provost to plan and guide the intellectual content and programming for the center. Steering committee members continue our ongoing engagement.  

They will build on their longtime partnerships to help plan and guide the intellectual content and programming for the Center in Delhi. Current committee members are:

Faculty Director

Gary A. Tubb
Professor, Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations and the College Read full overview.

As faculty director of the University of Chicago’s Center in Delhi, Dr. Tubb works with the University community to develop and oversee the implementation of a broad and ambitious Center agenda, foster strong partnerships with Indian and regional colleagues, engage area alumni, and establish the Center as a model for international scholarly endeavors.

A leading Sanskrit scholar, Gary examines the tradition’s poetics, grammatical forms and commentarial traditions and draws insights across the culture’s philosophy, religion, and literature. Speaking Sanskrit, German, Hindi and Urdu and familiar with Marathi, French, Latin, Spanish and Prakrit, Gary brings unparalleled skills to bear on original texts and widespread commentaries and has written the definitive disciplinary reference: Scholastic Sanskrit: A Handbook for Students, currently being updated for a second edition. His book, On Poets and Pots: Essays on Sanskrit Poetry, Poetics, and Philosophy, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. Gary has served as the Chair of the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations as well as its Director of Graduate Studies, and as the Chair of the Indian Ministry of Culture Vivekananda Visiting Professorship search committee. He is a member of the University’s faculty steering committee for the India Center.

Gary earned a Ph.D. in Sanskrit and Indian Studies from Harvard University (1979) and previously taught at Harvard University (where he was chair of the Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies and Editor of the Harvard Oriental Series), Brown University, Vassar College and Columbia University before joining our faculty in 2007. He has held visiting appointments as a scholar-in-residence at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Hebrew University. Gary has been recognized as a Research Fellow of the International Association of Sanskrit Studies.

Steering Committee Members

Dipesh Chakrabarty
Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of History, South Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the College. Read full overview.

Dipesh Chakrabarty studied at Presidency College, Calcutta, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, and at the Australian National University from where he obtained his PhD in history. He is also a Faculty Fellow of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory, an Associate Faculty of the Department of English, and holds a courtesy appointment in the University's Law School. He is also Long-Term Visiting Fellow at the Research School of Humanities at the Australian National University in Canberra. He is a founding member of the editorial collective of Subaltern Studies, a Consulting Editor for Critical Inquiry, and a founding editor of the Series South Asia Across Disciplines. He is a member of the Board of Experts for Non-Western Art, Humboldt Forum, Berlin, and a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board, Center for Global Cooperation Research, Bonn and Essen.

He has held fellowships and distinguished visiting positions at many European, American, Australian, and Indian institutions including Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, Vienna, Universities of Washington, Manchester (UK). Iowa, Minnesota, California (Berkeley), European Union Humanities University, Vilnius, Lithuania, Max Planck Institute at Goettingen, Center for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (India), Centre for Studies in Social Sciences (India), Princeton University and elsewhere. His publications include: Rethinking Working-Class History: Bengal 1890-1940 (Princeton: 1989, 2000); Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeton, 2000; second edn. 2007); Habitations of Modernity: Essays in the Wake of Subaltern Studies (Chicago, 2002); El humanismo en la era de la globalizacion and La descolonizacion y las politicas culturales (Buenos Aires and Barcelona, 2009). He has also edited (with Shahid Amin) Subaltern Studies IX (Delhi: OUP, 1996), (with Carol Breckenridge, Homi Bhabha, and Sheldon Pollock) Cosmopolitanism (Duke, 2000); (with Rochona Majumdar and Andrew Sartori) From the Colonial to the Postcolonial: India and Pakistan in Transition (Delhi: OUP, 2007); (with Bain Attwood and Claudio Lomnitz) “The Public Life of History,” a special issue of Public Culture (2008); He was elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2004 and Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 2006. He was also awarded an “Eminent Scholar Award” at the International Studies Association Convention in 2007 and has been invited by the University of London to receive a D. Litt (Honoris Causa) in September 2010.

Before joining Chicago, Chakrabarty taught at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Chakrabarty’s current research is focused on three areas: a book on the history of objectivity in history—much of this is focused on the Indian historian Sir Jadunath Sarkar (1870– 1958); another on the implications of the science of climate change for historical and political thinking; and third one on democracy and political thought in South Asia.

James Chandler
Barbara E. & Richard J. Franke Professor, Department of English Language & Literature Read full overview.

James Chandler is the Barbara E. & Richard J. Franke Professor, Department of English Language & Literature, Committees on the History of Culture, Cinema & Media Studies, and Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities, and the College; Director of the Center for Disciplinary Innovation, Director of the Franke Institute, and Co-Director of the Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture.

Chandler’s publications include: An Archaeology of Sympathy: The Sentimental Mode in Literature and Cinema (University of Chicago Press, 2013); The New Cambridge History of English Romantic Literature, ed. (Cambridge University Press, 2008); The Cambridge Companion to Romantic Poetry, ed. with Maureen McLane (Cambridge University Press, 2008); Romantic Metropolis: The Urban Scene in British Romanticism, 1780-1840, ed. with Kevin Gilmartin (Cambridge University Press, 2005); England in 1819: The Politics of Literary Culture and the Case of Romantic Historicism (University of Chicago Press, 1998); Questions of Evidence: Proof, Practice, and Persuasion Across the Disciplines, ed. with Arnold Davidson and H. N. Harootunian (University of Chicago Press, 1994); and Wordsworth's Second Nature: A Study of the Poetry and Politics (University of Chicago Press, 1984).

His research and teaching interests include the Romantic movement; the study of lyric poetry; the history of the novel; relations between politics and literature, history and criticism; the Scottish Enlightenment; modern Irish literature and culture; the sentimental mode; cinema studies; and the history of humanities disciplines.

Chandler has a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Robert Chaskin
Associate Professor and Deputy Dean for Strategic Initiatives, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago. Read full overview.

Robert J. Chaskin is an Associate Professor and the Deputy Dean for Strategic Initiatives at the School of Social Service Administration. His research interests include community organizing and development, community social organization, comprehensive community initiatives, youth development, associations and nonprofits, philanthropy and social change, knowledge utilization and evaluation, and cross-national research. In addition to his role at SSA, Professor Chaskin has worked with Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago since 1990 where he is currently an Affiliated Scholar. At SSA, Professor Chaskin teaches courses on social policy, community development, and program implementation and on theories and strategies of community change.

Professor Chaskin’s work focuses on the conceptual foundations and principal strategies of contemporary community intervention in the context of urban poverty. He has written widely on the topics of neighborhood intervention, community capacity building, and the dynamics of participatory planning and neighborhood governance. His research focuses on social policy and community practice in two principal ways: through grounded, case-study investigations of particular interventions and through synthetic, cross-intervention analyses. To date, Professor Chaskin’s work has evolved along three major lines. The first is concerned with theories of community and social policy responses to urban poverty, the second focuses strategies of community change with a particular focus on participatory planning and democratic governance at the neighborhood level, and the third is concerned with the application of knowledge to inform community practice and policy.

Among other projects, he is currently engaged in a multi-year, multi-site study of public housing reform in Chicago, with a particular focus on the emerging mixed-income developments being built in several Chicago neighborhoods on the footprint of former public housing developments, as well as a study of the New Communities Program, a community development effort underway in 16 Chicago neighborhoods. In India, he has for a number of years organized educational and scholarly exchanges on issues concerning urban poverty in collaboration with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, and is developing comparative research on urban restructuring processes and their impact on the urban poor in India and the United States.

Professor Chaskin received his A.M. in Anthropology and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago.

Pradeep K. Chintagunta
Joseph T. and Bernice S. Lewis Distinguished Service Professor of Marketing Read full overview.

Pradeep K. Chintagunta conducts research into the analysis of household purchase behavior, pharmaceutical markets, and technology products. "A lot of my early research was with scanner panel data trying to understand how consumers respond to different marketing activities of firms - prices, promotions, advertising, etc.," explained Chintagunta. "My research has expanded in two directions - one was to expand the domain beyond CPG products to pharmaceuticals and technology products and the other was to go beyond the consumer to other players in the broader 'ecosystem' to obtain a more holistic view of the effects of marketing."

Chintagunta is on the advisory editorial board of Marketing Science, and is the Editor of Quantitative Marketing and Economics. His research has appeared in the Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, Management Science, the International Journal of Research Marketing, the Journal of the American Statistical Association, and the Journal of Econometrics

In addition to being a finalist for the O'Dell award in both 1996 and 2001, Chintagunta is the recipient of the Hillel J. Einhorn Award for Excellence in Teaching and has been named one of the Chicago Booth's top professors by BusinessWeek.

"Teaching across programs such as full-time, evening, weekend, XP, and international XP exposes me to a variety of perspectives and experiences that I can then integrate into my subsequent teaching and research." He hopes his students learn that there is always more progress to be made.

He earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Banaras Hindu University in 1984, a postgraduate diploma in management from the Indian Institute of Management in 1986, and a PhD in marketing from Northwestern University in 1990. In addition to teaching at Chicago Booth, he has taught courses at the Harvard Business School and the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. He joined the Chicago Booth faculty in 1995.

Pradeep serves on the advisory boards of Operation ASHA and MuSigma. He collects vintage electronics, enjoys traveling, movies, and spending time with his family.

Michael Greenstone
Milton Friedman Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago and the Director of the Energy Policy Institute at Chicago (EPIC) Read full overview.

Michael Greenstone is the Milton Friedman Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago and the Director of the Energy Policy Institute at Chicago (EPIC).  His other current positions and affiliations include Elected Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Editor of the Journal of Political Economy, Faculty Director of the E2e Project, Head of the JPAL Environment and Energy Program, Co-Director of the International Growth Centre’s Energy Research Programme, Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.  Additionally, he has extensive policy experience, serving as the Chief Economist for President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, as an editor of The Review of Economics and Statistics and as a member of the EPA Science Advisory Board’s Environmental Economics Advisory Committee.

Greenstone’s research is increasingly focused on developing countries, especially estimating the costs and benefits of environmental quality and society's energy choices.  He has engaged in projects with the Government of India and four Indian state governments that used randomized control trials to test innovative ways to improve the functioning of environmental regulations and increase energy access.

Greenstone received a Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University and a B.A. in Economics from Swarthmore College.

Young Kee Kim
Louis Block Professor in Physics, Enrico Fermi Institute and the College. Read full overview.

Young-Kee Kim has made outstanding contributions to the understanding of fundamental particles and their interactions. Kim joined the UChicago faculty in 2003 and served as deputy director of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory from 2006 - 2013. Previously she taught at the University of California, Berkeley.

Kim has devoted much of her work to understanding the origin of mass for fundamental particles, which manifests itself as weight under the force of gravity. She has studied the two most massive particles, the W boson and the top quark, at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in order to better understand how particles acquire mass.

Kim is the former co-spokesperson (co-leader) of the CDF (Collider Detector at Fermilab) experiment at Fermilab’s Tevatron, which completed data collection last September. Kim also participates in the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the European laboratory for particle physics in Geneva, Switzerland, and in an effort to develop the next generation of accelerators.

Kim’s many honors include the University of Rochester’s Distinguished Scholar Medal (2010), the South Korean government’s Science and Education Service Medal (2008), and the Ho-Am Prize (2005) for outstanding achievements in basic science.

Yamuna Krishnan
Professor, Department of Chemistry Read full overview.

Yamuna Krishnan is a Professor at the Department of Chemistry, University of Chicago, since August 2014. She was earlier Reader in National Centre for Biological Sciences, TIFR, Bangalore, India.


Nucleic acid-based Molecular Devices

Bionanotechnology aims to learn from nature - to understand the structure and function of biological devices and to utilise nature's solutions in advancing science and engineering. Evolution has produced an overwhelming number and variety of biological devices that function at the nanoscale or molecular level. Her lab’s central theme is one of synthetic biology, which involves taking a biological device, component or concept out of its natural cellular context and harnessing its function in a completely new setting so as to probe or reprogram the cell.  Research involves understanding the structure and dynamics of unusual forms of nucleic acids and translating this knowledge to create nucleic acid-based nanodevices for applications in biology.

Synthetic DNA nanodevices

Structural DNA nanotechnology is an emerging field that seeks to create exquisitely defined nanoscale architectures via the self-assembly of a set of carefully chosen DNA sequences. With a diameter of 2 nm and a helical periodicity of 3.5 nm, the DNA double helix is inherently a nanoscale object. The specificity and predictable affinities of Watson-Crick base pairing affords a hierarchy of molecular glues between given rods at defined locations that makes DNA an ideal nanoscale construction material. DNA nanodevices could either be rigid scaffolds in 1D, 2D or 3D that function as molecular breadboards. They could also function as switches or transducers, undergoing controlled nanomechanical motion, by exhibiting a conformational change in response to a stimulus.  They create such DNA-based nanodevices for applications as high-performance ‘custom’ biosensors that intercept biochemical signals, thereby interrogating and reporting on cellular processes.

DNA-based nanomachines

DNA nanomachines are nothing but molecular switches. These are artificially designed assemblies that switch between defined conformations in response to an external cue. One of the devices made by our lab is the I-switch, which is a DNA nanomachine that undergoes a conformational change triggered by protons. Though it has proved possible to create DNA machines and rudimentary walkers, the first demonstration that they could function inside living systems came from our group. We showed that one could effectively map spatiotemporal pH changes associated with endosomal maturation both in living cells as well as within cells present in a living organism. Recently, they deployed the first nucleic acid based chloride sensor inside living cells and measured chloride concentrations in endocytic pathway. They are making quantitative reporters of second messenger concentrations within living systems that will eventually position DNA nanodevices as exciting and powerful tools for intracellular traffic.

Multiplexing DNA nanodevices

Eukaryotic cell function is tuned by an orchestrated network of compartments involved in uptake and secretion of various macromolecules. These compartments are functionally connected to each other via a series of controlled fusion and fission events between their membranes. One of the crucial determinants of this functional networking is the lumenal acidity of these compartments which is maintained by proton concentration, concentrations of different counter ions, membrane ion permeabilities and various ATP-dependent proton pumps. Maintenance of intraorganellar pH homeostasis is essential for protein glycosylation, protein sorting, biogenesis of secretory granules and transport along both secretory and endocytic pathways. Lack of probes reporting multiple pathways simultaneously has impeded understanding of intersection between the endocytic pathways. Therefore they have created a palette of DNA-based pH sensors compatible to various sub-cellular organelles such as the trans Golgi network (TGN), cis Golgi (CG) and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of living cells as, each organelle has a different lumenal pH e.g., pHER is 7.2, pHCG is 6.6, while pHTGN is 6.3. They have engineered the I-switch to tune its pH responsive regime and now have I-switches specific for the ER, the Golgi and the late endosome and have successfully deployed two pH sensitive DNA nanodevices in the same live cell to measure pH in two different organelles simultaneously.

DNA Icosahedra for functional bioimaging

3D DNA polyhedra could have applications in drug delivery given that they have hollow internal cavities in which functional macromolecules may be housed and targeted. To this end they have shown that DNA can be used to make complex polyhedra such as an icosahedron, using a novel, modular assembly based approach. The power of this approach is that it allows the efficient encapsulation of other nanoscale entities in high yields. Many peptide based drugs cannot be delivered efficiently to their target due to degradation. Thus encapsulating them in non-leaky, programmable capsules such as DNA polyhedra might solve this problem. They have shown that this certainly works for bio-imaging agents, where FITC-dextran, a known pH-imaging agent could be encapsulated inside DNA Icosahedra and delivered effectively in a targeted manner in-vivo. They showed that post-encapsulation and post-delivery, cargo functionality was unaffected.

William Mazzarella
Professor, Department of Anthropology and the College. Read full overview.

William Mazzarella writes and teaches on the political anthropology of mass publicity, with special reference to India. His books include Shoveling Smoke: Advertising and Globalization in Contemporary India (Duke, 2003) and Censorium: Cinema and the Open Edge of Mass Publicity (Duke, 2013). He is also the co-editor, with Raminder Kaur, of Censorship in South Asia: Cultural Regulation from Sedition to Seduction (Indiana, 2009). He is currently working on a series of projects that engage with documentary film, crowds and multitudes, and the Bombay advertising world of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Martha C. Nussbaum
Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor, the Law School and Department of Philosophy Read full overview.

Martha Nussbaum is also an Associate Member in Classics, Divinity, and Political Science, a Member of the Committee on Southern Asian Studies, the Coordinator of the Center for Comparative Constitutionalism, and a board member of the Human Rights Program. Nussbaum received her M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. Prior to joining the University of Chicago faculty, she was a University Professor at Brown University. From 1986 to 1993 she was a research advisor at the World Institute for Development Economics Research, Helsinki, a branch of the United Nations University, where she worked with Amartya Sen to establish the Human Development (or “capabilities”) approach to the measurement of welfare. She and Sen are the two Founding Presidents of the international Human Development and Capability Association, which held its 2008 annual meeting in Delhi. She is also former President of the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association, and has chaired the Association’s Committee on International Cooperation, its Committee on the Status of Women and its Committee on Public Philosophy.

Her longstanding connection with India includes an appointment as Visiting Professor of Political Science at JNU, a consultancy with the UNDP-Delhi on gender and governance, and work on gender equality and law with The Lawyer’s Collective (Delhi). She is also an honorary Professor of the Institute for Development Studies Kolkata (IDSK). Her book Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach (2000), focuses on the struggle for gender equality in India. Among her many other books, the most recent are Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership (2006), The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence, and India’s Future (2007), Liberty of Conscience: In Defense of America’s Tradition of Religious Equality (2008) and From Disgust to Humanity: Sexual Orientation and Constitutional Law (2010), Not For Profit: Liberal Education and Democratic Citizenship (Princeton, 2010), Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach (Harvard, 2011), and Why Love Matters for Justice (2013). She has also edited numerous books, and is currently co-editing with Zoya Hasan of JNU a volume called Equalizing Access: Affirmative Action in Higher Education: India, US, and South Africa (OUP India) deriving from a conference on Affirmative Action and Higher Education co-sponsored by JNU and the University of Chicago.  Her current work in process is on Anger, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation, and will be the John Locke Lectures in Philosophy at Oxford University 2013.  For additional information, please click here.

John A. Schneider
MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Departments of Medicine and Health Studies; Director Chicago Center for HIV Elimination Read full overview.

Dr. John Schneider MD, MPH is a network epidemiologist and infectious disease specialist in the Departments of Medicine and Health Studies and is Director of the Chicago Center for HIV Elimination.  His NIH-funded research focuses on how social networks can be leveraged to improve the health of at-risk populations in resource restricted settings.  Clinically, he specializes in adolescent and adult HIV primary care and has a specific interest in provision of high-quality care to LGBT community members.  He has extensive experience with advancing the physician patient relationship in resource restricted settings, including his current clinic at a Federally Qualified Health Center on the South Side of Chicago and during his time working in Southern India.

He has been conducting research, teaching and providing clinical care in South India for the past decade having lived in Hyderabad for two years during a Lancet International fellowship. He has completed some of the first examinations of sexual networks of tribal Indians and of truck drivers from a generally representative sample in India.  Currently he is working to develop digital communication technology applications for HIV prevention among high risk men including truck-drivers and men who have sex with men. He has worked to develop public private partnerships working closely with Gati, one of the largest transportation companies in India. Dr. Schneider has professional ties with public health education and training institutions in India and oversaw a transport sector clinic in Southern India.  He consults for several federally funded grants that are implemented in India and is a frequent collaborator with the Public Health Foundation of India.