Honorary society selects 3 UI profs for recognition

Honorary society selects 3 UI profs for recognition

CHAMPAIGN — Three University of Illinois professors have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the longest-standing honorary societies in the nation.

The UI inductees include Tere O'Connor, a professor of dance; John Rogers, the Swanlund Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; and Wilfred van der Donk, the Richard E. Heckert Endowed Chair in Chemistry. The induction ceremony will be in October in Cambridge, Mass.

O'Connor has been a choreographer since 1982 and has created work for the Lyon Opera Ballet, the White Oak Dance Project and more than 35 pieces for his New York-based company, Tere O'Connor Dance. He has been the recipient of a Doris Duke Artist Award, New York Dance and Performance Awards and other honors.

Rogers is director of the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at the UI and has pioneered flexible, stretchable electronics. He has created cameras with curved retinas and medical monitors in the form of temporary tattoos, and his work in photovoltaics serves as the basis for commercial modules that hold the current world record in efficiency.

Rogers is affiliated with the UI's Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and holds joint appointments in the departments of bioengineering, chemistry, electrical and computer engineering, and mechanical science and engineering. He received the 2013 American Ingenuity Award in physical sciences from Smithsonian Magazine, a MacArthur Foundation "genius" fellowship and a Lemelson-MIT Prize. He also has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering and has been named a fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the American Physical Society, the Materials Research Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Van der Donk, who is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, focuses on harnessing enzyme functions for the discovery and design of new anti-inflammatory agents and antibiotics, particularly the activity and synthesis of lantibiotics and phosphonate antibiotics. He was elected to the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011, and is affiliated with the UI's Institute for Genomic Biology.

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