New Professors
UCI strengthened its academic ranks by hiring professors from top institutions within the last year. Many of them, and others gathered for this picture after a welcome ceremony. Daniel A. Anderson / University Communications

Experts on everything from reconstructing the human hand to interpreting the U.S. Constitution have joined the UC Irvine faculty in the last year.

“UC Irvine has been able to attract recognized scholars across all academic disciplines,” said Herbert Killackey, vice provost for academic personnel. “As the campus and its reputation grow, we become a destination for successful faculty members who improve our top-notch programs.”

The School of Humanities, School of Medicine and School of Social Sciences added the most faculty members with 17, 12 and 11, respectively. Full professors, listed by academic unit, include:


Greg Duncan, most recently at Northwestern University, studies income distribution, child poverty and welfare dependence. His primary interest is in neighborhood effects on child and adolescent development and the consequences of welfare reform for children and adults. He earned his doctorate in economics from University of Michigan.

George Farkas’ research has made a major contribution to understanding the academic achievement gap for low-income and ethnic minority students. He developed a successful tutoring program, “Reading One-to-One,” which was widely implemented throughout the country, and helped develop President Clinton’s “America Reads” initiative. He earned his doctorate in sociology from Cornell University.


Rafael Bras, dean and Distinguished Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, is a prominent hydrologist and hydroclimatologist with extensive expertise in water and the environment. Prior to coming to UCI, Bras was the Edward A. Abdun-Nur Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at MIT, and he also held an appointment in the university’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences. Bras is a National Academy of Engineering member.


James Porter received his doctorate from UC Berkeley. He is an internationally recognized scholar of classical antiquity with expertise in philosophy, comparative literature and critical theory. He has published two books, 50 articles and three collections, and came to UCI from the University of Michigan.


Michael Carey, Donald Bren Professor of Information & Computer Sciences, focuses his research on databases. His most notable academic projects have been the EXODUS and SHORE database systems, which have significantly influenced designers and researchers in the field. Carey is a National Academy of Engineering member and received his doctorate from UC Berkeley.

Gary Olson, Donald Bren Professor of Information & Computer Sciences, has made important contributions to the studies of management practice, the cultural aspects of collaboration and the examination of complex sociotechnical issues surrounding technology design. He received his doctorate from Stanford University and comes to UCI from University of Michigan.

Judy Olson, Donald Bren Professor of Information & Computer Sciences, received international acclaim for her studies comparing office workers in geographically distributed organizations to ones in local settings. Olson also holds joint appointments in business and social ecology. She earned her doctorate at University of Michigan.

Jessica Utts, professor of statistics, studies the scientific basis for extrasensory perception and telepathy. She also is interested in statistics education and its applications in medicine and transportation. The author of three statistics textbooks, Utts is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She earned her doctorate at Penn State University.

Dan L. Burk, formerly a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, is an intellectual property law expert specializing in cyber law and biotechnology. He studies the legal and societal impact of new technologies and has written articles on scientific misconduct, biotechnology regulation and intellectual property implications of global computer networks. Burk became interested in the intersection of science and law in 1987, following the first criminal conviction in the U.S. based on DNA profiling evidence.

Erwin Chemerinsky is founding dean and Distinguished Professor of Law with a joint appointment in political science. He came to UCI from Duke Law School where he won the university’s Scholar/Teacher of the Year award, and previously taught at USC Law School. His areas of expertise are constitutional law, federal practice, civil rights, civil liberties and appellate litigation. He has written six books, most recently Enhancing Government: Federalism for the 21st Century. His degree is from Harvard Law School.

Catherine Fisk is an expert in labor, employment and civil rights law, and comes to UCI from Duke Law School. She has published two books and many articles in top law reviews on topics including workplace knowledge and employee intellectual property law. She earned her law degree at UC Berkeley.

Trina Jones specializes in discrimination law and civil procedure. She is co-editor of Law and Class in America: Trends Since the Cold War, which examines the influence of legal reforms on socioeconomic status. Her scholarship, most recently at Duke Law School, also focuses on colorism, the prejudicial treatment of same-race individuals based on skin color.

Beatrice A. Tice is associate dean of library and information services. Formerly chief law librarian and adjunct professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, Tice advocates that law librarians reach beyond the traditional role of service provider and act as partners with the law school community. Tice, a Newport Beach native, has practiced law in Orange County.

Anesthesiology & Perioperative Care
Dr. Zeev Kain, department chair, came to UCI from Yale University. His research focuses on pediatric anesthesia and ways to minimize pre- and postoperative stress and anxiety in children.  His studies have had a major impact on the standard of practice for young surgical patients. He earned his medical degree from Ben-Gurion School of Medicine in Israel.

Dr. Sergei Grando’s research into skin biology examines how signaling pathways allow disease to spread, with a major focus on autoimmune blistering diseases. Grando received his medical degree and doctorate from the Medical Institute in Kiev, Ukraine, and his dermatology degree from the Central Institute of Dermatology and Venereology in Moscow, Russia.

Michael Buchmeier, most recently from The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, is a molecular virologist who studies the effects of specific disease-causing viruses on the immune system and the central nervous system. He also is the associate director of Pacific Southwest Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases. He received his doctorate from McMaster University.

Orthopaedic Surgery
Dr. Neil Jones’ research focuses on improving procedures for hand surgery needed because of injury or developmental disorders, including transplantation of toes for missing fingers, peripheral nerve repair and vascular repair in the hand. He will direct the new Center for Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery. He received his medical degree from Oxford University Medical School.

John Middlebrooks studies how and where sound is recognized in the brain and how the brain determines the location and direction of sound. He also has conducted studies to improve cochlear implants and patients’ ability to understand speech and appreciate music. He comes to UCI from the University of Michigan and received his doctorate from UC San Francisco.

Physiology & Biophysics
Alberto Zlotnik came to UCI from Senomyx Inc., where he was vice president of research. He is an immunologist and molecular biologist who researches various aspects of the immune system and an inventor who holds numerous patents. He received his doctorate at University of Colorado.