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June 11, 2009

Distinguished Professors named

John R. Beverley, professor of Hispanic languages and literatures, and Roger Hendrix, professor of biological sciences, have been named Distinguished Professors, the highest honor that can be accorded to a member of the professorship.

Harvey Borovetz, professor and chair of the Department of Bioengineering in the Swanson School of Engineering, previously had been named Distinguished Professor. (See May 28 University Times.)

All three appointments, made by Chancellor Mark Nordenberg, are effective Sept. 1.

The rank of Distinguished Professor honors extraordinary, internationally recognized scholarly attainment in an individual discipline or field.

Beverley, who also holds adjunct appointments in the departments of English and communication, is considered a pioneer in postcolonial Latin American criticism. He was a founding member of the Latin American subaltern study group, which had a high-profile impact on Latin American studies during the 1990s.

Beverley, who came to Pitt in 1969, also is a faculty associate in Pitt’s Center for Latin American Studies, the graduate program in cultural studies and the film studies program. His publications include about 100 articles and 15 co-authored or edited books.

Beverley chaired the Hispanic languages and literatures department from 2002 to 2007 and currently is associate director of the International Institute of Latin American Literature, as well as co-editor of the University of Pittsburgh Press series “Illuminations: Cultural Formations of the Americas.”

He earned his PhD from the Department of Literature at the University of California-San Diego in 1972.

Hendrix joined the Department of Biological Sciences in 1973 after earning his PhD at Harvard in 1970.

He co-founded and co-directs the Pitt-based Bacteriophage Institute, which includes researchers and students from around the world working to better understand bacteriophages and their applications.

In his research, Hendrix investigates the mechanisms though which bacteriophages — tiny viruses that infect bacteria — assemble within a bacterium cell prior to traveling to the next cell. He also studies the evolution of viruses by examining the evolution of bacteriophages.

Hendrix received the 2009 National Academy of Sciences Award for Scientific Reviewing in Genetics for his extensive writing in academic journals and books about bacteriophage research during the last decade. The academy recognized his ability to synthesize existing ideas and research in review articles and journal commentaries.

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