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Colleges With Nobel Laureates As Faculty

University Of Chicago
March 26th, 2015

The set of annual awards bestowed internationally to recognize discoveries and advances in peace, economics, medicine, literature, physics, and chemistry known as the Nobel Prize is regarded as the most prestigious award given in those fields. A Nobel Prize laureate’s association with a school means he has affiliation there either as a current student, alumnus/alumna, as a researcher or member of the faculty.

Is it a privilege if a Nobel Prize winner, or laureate, teaches in a college or university? Because it isn’t surprising that Harvard University would have more Nobel Prize Laureates than any other American institution of higher education, yet it would be if you knew that Harvard’s perpetual rival, Yale University, has fewer Nobel Prize Laureates than a non-Ivy League school, the University of Chicago.

The University of Chicago and Harvard University

With the establishment of the Nobel Prize for economics sciences in 1968 by Sveriges Riksbank, Sweden’s central bank, seven University of Chicago Booth School of Business faculty members have been its recipients: George Stigler (1982), Gary Becker (1992), Marty Scholes (1997), Ronald Coase (1991), Robert Fogel (1993), Eugene Fama (2013), and Merton Miller (1990).

Harvard has 21 laureates including Martin Karplus (2013 recipient for chemistry), former Vice President Al Gore (2007 recipient for peace) who bunked with actor Tommy Lee Jones at Dunster House, Alvin Roth (2012 recipient for economics) who still teaches economics at the university, and Jack Szostak (2009 recipient for physiology and medicine).

Johns Hopkins and Columbia Universities

Maryland’s Johns Hopkins University currently has molecular biologist Peter Agre, a 2003 Nobel Prize for chemistry recipient, as a chemistry professor. 2004 Nobel Prize in physics recipient H. David Politzer is a current professor at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Orhan Pamuk, who received his Nobel Prize for literature in 2006, teaches creative writing at Columbia University.

Still at Columbia, 2001 recipient for economics Joseph Stiglitz is a professor of macroeconomics/public economics/information economics, 2000 recipient for physiology and medicine Eric Kandel teaches psychiatry and neuroscience, and Martin Chalfie who, although was 2008 recipient for chemistry is on the faculty with the department of biological sciences.

California’s Nobel Prize Laureates as Faculty

Five recipients of the Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine are on the faculty of the University of California-San Francisco: Shinya Yamanaka (2012), Stanley Prusiner (1997) who teaches neurology, J. Michael Bishop (1989) who teaches microbiology and immunology, and the only rose among the thorns, Elizabeth Blackburn (2009) who teaches biochemistry and physics.

The University of California-Berkeley has 72 Nobel Prize recipients in its past and present faculty including Yuan T. Lee (1986 for chemistry), Randy Schekman (2013 for physiology), Sail Perlmutter and George F. Smoot (in 2011 and 2006, respectively, both for physics), and Daniel L. McFadden, Oliver E. Williamson, and George A. Akerlof, all recipients for economics in 2000, 2009, and 2001, respectively.


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