Lata Balakrishnan joins the Department of Biology as an assistant professor in biology this fall. She has worked for the last six years at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in New York, most recently as a research assistant professor.
Balakrishnan received a NIH Pathway to Independence (K99/R00) award based on her recent discovery that many proteins associated with the DNA replication and repair pathway are post-translationally modified by acetylation, which in turn regulates their enzymatic activity in a manner that promotes higher genome fidelity.
“One of the main reasons why I decided to pursue a career in academia was because of the immense satisfaction I received in teaching students and training a new generation of scientists,” she said.
Balakrishnan earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of North Dakota. She also holds an undergraduate and master’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Mumbai, India.
Nicolas Berbari joins the Department of Biology this fall as an assistant professor in biology. He worked for the last six years at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, most recently as an assistant professor.
“My primary research utilizes genetic approaches to understand obesity with an emphasis on hypothalamic development and adult neurogenesis,” he said.
His past publication credentials include the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Journal of Medical Genetics, Cilia and PLoS One.
Berbari earned a Ph.D. in integrated biomedical sciences from The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He also holds an undergraduate degree in biology from Indiana University, Bloomington.
Benjamin “Ben” Perrin, Ph.D., joins the Department of Biology this fall as an assistant professor. He worked for the last three years as a research assistant professor at the University of Minnesota.
“I believe my research program on cytoskeletal function in hearing and deafness will complement existing departmental strengths and benefit from the impressive imaging, genomics, proteomics and additional resources available at IUPUI,” Perrin said.
Perrin is committed to studying cytoskeletal cell biology and is positioned to achieve new understanding of cytoskeletal contributions to auditory function. He has received research funding from the American Hearing Research Foundation and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. His past publication credentials include the Journal of Neuroscience, Nature and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Perrin earned his Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin. He also has an undergraduate and master’s degree in biochemistry from Iowa State University
Susan Walsh joins the Department of Biology and the Forensic and Investigative Science program as an assistant professor of forensic biology. Since July 2013, she has worked as a post-doctoral associate at the Yale Molecular Anthropology Laboratory, Yale University.
Walsh’s research focus for the last few years has been in Forensic DNA phenotyping, where she established and developed several tools such a IrisPlex and HirisPlex that are now used in the prediction of human eye and hair color from DNA for forensic intelligence and anthropological purposes.
“The Department of Biology in conjunction with the Forensic and Investigative Science program at IUPUI is an ideal location for me to continue my research in the field of forensic DNA phenotyping as well as establish a core teaching facility to train future forensic scientists in forensic biology, in particular, the use of DNA phenotyping,” she said.
Walsh earned her Ph.D. in forensic genetics from Erasmus University in The Netherlands. Additionally, she holds master’s degree in DNA profiling from the University of Central Lancashire in The United Kingdom and a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from University College Cork in Ireland.
COMPUTER & INFORMATION SCIENCE
Xia Ning joins the Department of Computer and Information Science as an assistant professor this fall. Prior to this appointment, she served as a researcher at the Autonomic Management Department at NEC Labs America in Princeton, NJ.
Her primary research interests lie in Big Data analytics, data mining and machine learning, with specific applications in Recommender Systems, Chemical Informatics, Health-care and complex systems. In particular, she is interested in developing effective and efficient computational methods to address the problems where Big Data and their complicated relationship is involved, and where there are important applications in the real world. She has published multiple papers on both high-impact journals and top conferences. She has also served as a PC member for top venues as well as a panelist for NSF. She has two patent applications and another six under filing.
“I am very excited to join IUPUI and start my academic career here,” she said. “I am thrilled by the unique opportunities here within CIS and also across disciplines and I believe my expertise will benefit multiple research areas and topics, where people truly want to understand what's really happening and what's going to happen by diving into huge amount of data.”
She earned a Ph.D. in computer science and engineering from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She also holds a master's degree in statistics from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and an undergraduate degree in computer science from Chu Kechen Honors College, Zhejiang University, China.
Associate Clinical Professor
William "Bill" Cross joins the Department of Mathematical Science as associate clinical professor in actuarial sciences. He is charged with building the actuarial science program within the Department of Mathematical Sciences.
For the last two years, Cross served as senior actuarial analyst for Senior Whole Health in Cambridge, Mass. He was an adjunct faculty member and then a senior lecturer for the IUPUI School of Science from 2007 to 2012, teaching courses designed to prepare students to pass their actuarial science credential exams.
“Actuary has been rated one of the top jobs for nearly 20 years,” Cross said. “As a consequence, there is much more competition for entry-level jobs. However, for the motivated student with an aptitude for applying the tools of mathematics in a business setting, it is a fantastic field that can lead to a fulfilling career.”
Cross earned his undergraduate degree in applied mathematics from the California Institute of Technology, and earned a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago. He completed his Ph.D. in operations research at the University of Michigan.
While conducting research for his thesis, Cross completed his Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA) in a span of four sittings, scoring a 10 on each exam. He obtained the Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) designation in 2004 while working for Conseco. For nine years, Cross taught gifted students at a summer program at Duke University. He is a former Silver Medalist in the International Mathematics Olympiad and a former Putnam Fellow.
Professor and Chair
Joseph Rosenblatt joins the School of Science as a professor of mathematics and chair of the Department of Mathematical Sciences.
Before joining the IUPUI School of Science, Rosenblatt spent the last 40 years in education, research and administration at Ohio State University, the University of Missouri and, most recently, the University of Illinois. Additionally, he served a two-year appointment as a program director for the National Science Foundation’s Department of Mathematical Sciences from 2006 to 2008.
“I see my role as chair of the Department of Mathematical Sciences to promote the core missions of teaching and research in mathematics and statistics, while at the same time promoting further development of interdisciplinary teaching and research at IUPUI,” Rosenblatt said.
Rosenblatt earned his PhD in mathematics from the University of Washington in 1972 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of British Columbia in 1974. His academic career began at Ohio State University as an Assistant Professor in 1974 where he attained the rank of Full Professor before leaving to join the Department of Mathematics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (full announcement)