Nurnberger named IU distinguished professor

February 26, 2015

John I. Nurnberger Jr., M.D., is one of six IU faculty recently promoted to distinguished professor, the highest academic rank the university can bestow upon its faculty. The appointment was approved Feb. 20 by the IU Board of Trustees.

John I. Nurnberger Jr., M.D. | Photo By INDIANA UNIVERSITY

“These six distinguished professors have demonstrated sustained records of outstanding contributions across their widely varied disciplines through their research, teaching and service,” IU President Michael A. McRobbie said. “All have had a transformative and strongly positive impact on their fields and on the university, exemplifying the highest standards of academic accomplishment, leadership and integrity. It is highly appropriate that they are being recognized with the university’s most prestigious faculty appointment.”

Dr. Nurnberger is Joyce and Iver Small Professor of Psychiatry and chair of research for Department of Psychiatry at the IU School of Medicine. He is a world authority on the genetics of bipolar disorder and alcoholism whose work has moved psychiatric genetics to a central position in understanding the neurobiological basis of brain disorders. He was also one of the first investigators to recognize the role of comorbidity in the genetics of major psychiatric disorders, including addictive disorders.  His research has been funded continuously for 25 years by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

He is also he director of the Institute of Psychiatric Research, a part of the Department of Psychiatry and one of only several free-standing institutes devoted to the study of mental disorders in the United States. The author of nearly 450 publications, Dr. Nurnberger is the founder of Psychiatric Genetics, the first specialty journal in the area, and the co-founder of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics.

He also serves as a professor of neurobiology and of medical and molecular genetics at the IU School of Medicine.

The rank of distinguished professor was created by the Board of Trustees in 1967. The title is conferred by the university president with approval by the board.

The other five IU faculty members to earn the rank of Distinguished Professor are biomedical researcher Janet S. Carpenter of the School of Nursing; and Central Eurasian studies scholar Jamsheed K. Choksy; biochemist Craig S. Pikaard; anthropologist Richard R. Wilk; and mathematician Kevin Zumbrun, of the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington.