In February, Johns Hopkins named two of its Nobel Prize–winning biologists and a prominent Harvard University sociologist as its first Bloomberg Distinguished Professors. The professorships, made possible by a $350 million gift from former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Engr '64, were created to foster collaboration across the institution's many divisions and help address major world problems.
Peter Agre, a professor of molecular microbiology and immunology and a co-winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize in chemistry; Kathryn Edin, a noted sociologist who studies families in poverty; and Carol Greider, a professor of molecular biology and genetics and a co-winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, constitute the initial group of what will eventually be 50 Bloomberg Distinguished Professors.
"We congratulate Professors Agre, Edin, and Greider on their selection," university President Ronald J. Daniels and Robert C. Lieberman, university provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said in a joint statement. "We thank them for their willingness to occupy the 'sharp end of the spear' in the university's evolution toward an even more interdisciplinary mindset."
Most of Bloomberg's gift, $250 million, is dedicated to the 50 new professorships as part of a larger effort to raise $1 billion to facilitate cross-disciplinary work across the university, galvanizing people, resources, research, and educational opportunities around a group of complex global challenges. Among those challenges are issues related to water resource sustainability, individualized health care delivery, global health, the science of learning, and urban revitalization.
Daniels and Lieberman thanked Bloomberg for funding the endowed professorships: "Of course, we again express deep gratitude to Michael Bloomberg for the extraordinary generosity that has made these appointments possible," they said.