News Briefs

January/February 2013

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John Eilts and Dominic Brookshaw stand in front of a box of books.NEW GIFT: Curator John Eilts and comparative literature professor Dominic Brookshaw examine the collection. (Photo: Bob Drebin) 

The first academic and university-based U.S. research collection on the Bahá'í religion has been formed by Stanford Libraries. The materials, a donation by Arden Lee in honor of her late husband, represent one of the most extensive Bahá'í archives in private hands, featuring more than 1,000 books, letters, photos and rare publications. 

Bahá'í is considered the world's youngest monotheistic religion, originating in Persia in the mid-19th century. Attacks in Iran on its adherents have spotlighted concerns about protecting the faith's history. UCLA has created a lectureship on Bahá'í in Iran; Stanford will continue to accumulate research resources through the Jack H. Lee and Arden T. Lee Fund for Bahá'í Studies.


Brian Kobilka and Alvin Roth stand on a football field in Stanford apparel.GOOD CHEMISTRY: Kobilka and Roth show their Cardinal spirit. (Photo: Linda A. Cicero)

Stanford's roster of living Nobel laureates climbed to 19 with the addition of professors Brian Kobilka, recipient of the chemistry prize, and Alvin Roth, honored in economic sciences.

Kobilka, chair of molecular and cellular physiology at the School of Medicine, won for his work on G-protein-coupled receptors, sharing the Nobel with former mentor Robert Lefkowitz, a professor of medicine and biochemistry at Duke. Their work on GPCRs has provided breakthroughs in understanding one of the largest families of proteins, which regulate the beating of hearts, the working of brains and nearly all physiological processes. 

Roth, MS '73, PhD '74, shares his award with Lloyd Shapely, professor emeritus at UCLA. For more on Roth and his work, see "The Visible Hand" on page 60.


Chi-Chang KaoPROMOTED: Chi-Chang Kao. (Photo: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)Chi-Chang Kao, an X-ray scientist who joined SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in 2010, has been named the lab's fifth director after an international candidate search directed by Provost John Etchemendy, PhD '82. Kao succeeds Persis Drell, who is returning to research and teaching.

Kao has served as associate laboratory director for the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, which uses extremely bright X-rays for studies at the atomic and molecular levels. He was previously chair of the National Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York.


James J. Spilker Jr., a School of Engineering alumnus and pioneering figure in the development of the global positioning system, and his wife, Anna Marie, a real estate broker and investor, have pledged $28 million to the University.

Spilker, '55, MS '56, PhD '58, is a consulting professor of electrical engineering and aeronautical/astronautical engineering at Stanford. Early in his career, he wrote and co-authored papers on signal timing technology that enabled the precision tracking of satellites required for GPS.

The pledged donation is the naming gift for the James and Anna Marie Spilker Engineering and Applied Sciences Building in the Science and Engineering Quad and will endow a professorship in the engineering school.


Ann F. Marshall, a senior research scientist in the Stanford Nanocharacterization Laboratory and the Stanford Nano Center, is the winner of the 2012 Marshall D. O'Neill Award, which recognizes staff members who contribute to the University's research. Marshall helps oversee the work done with transmission electron microscopes, scanning electron microscopes and focused ion beam instruments.

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