University of Pittsburgh
September 23, 2010

Two University of Pittsburgh Faculty Members Honored as Distinguished Professors

Anthony A. Grace named Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience, James F. Woodward named Distinguished Professor of History and Philosophy of Science
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh has honored two faculty members in the School of Arts and Sciences as Distinguished Professors. Anthony A. Grace has been named Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience, and James F. Woodward has been named Distinguished Professor of History and Philosophy of Science. 

Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg made the appointments, which became effective Sept. 1. 

The rank of Distinguished Service Professor recognizes distinctive contributions and outstanding service to the University community in support of its multifaceted teaching/research/service mission; the rank of Distinguished Professor recognizes extraordinary, internationally recognized scholarly attainment in an individual discipline or field. 

Biographical information on the faculty honorees follows. 

Anthony A. Grace is currently a professor of neuroscience, psychiatry, and psychology. He serves on Pitt’s Center for Neurosciences’ executive committee and faculty admissions committee, as well as the MD and PhD degree supervisory committee. 

Grace has been involved in translational research related to the limbic system and schizophrenia for more than 30 years. His early work pioneered the identification and characterization of dopamine-containing neurons. Grace’s most recent work involves examining the interactions of several brain regions with known involvement in psychiatric disorders and drug abuse and determining how these interactions are disrupted by stress.  He has used the methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM) developmental model of schizophrenia, which was developed in his lab. Employing this model, his lab has now advanced GABAergic drugs that may be effective in the treatment of schizophrenia. 

Grace served on the Schizophrenia International Research Society Board of Directors and the Schizophrenia Research Forum Scientific Advisory Board in 2005; he currently serves on the council of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. In 2008, he received the CINP-Lilly Neuroscience Basic Research Award for his research into the biological bases of psychiatric disorders. The award is presented by the Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum and pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly to a researcher younger than age 55 who has made significant contributions to the understanding of the nervous system. 

Grace earned his undergraduate degree in psychology and biology from Allegheny College and his PhD degree in pharmacology from Yale University. 

James F. Woodward came to Pitt’s Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the beginning of the 2010-11 academic year from the California Institute of Technology where he was the J.O. and Juliette Koepfli Professor of Humanities. 

Woodward’s research covers a number of different areas, including theories of causation, the philosophy of psychology, and the philosophy of social science. Among his interests is the empirical psychology of causal learning and judgment. He is part of a multidisciplinary project through the James S. McDonnell Foundation to explore the relationship between formal theories and actual observations of how children and adults learn about causal relationships. The basis of the project is that theory and experimental work should complement one another. Woodward’s own work in this area, the book Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation (Oxford University Press, 2005), won the 2005 Lakatos Award, which is endowed by the Geneva-based Latsis Foundation and given annually for an outstanding contribution to the philosophy of science field. 

Woodward also is interested in moral psychology and empirical ethics, or studying how people behave in moral situations and the psychological mechanisms that dictate that behavior. 

Woodward currently serves as president-elect of the Philosophy of Science Association (PSA), which publishes Philosophy of Science, the field’s premier scholarly journal; organizes conventions; awards prizes for notable work; and promotes discussion and research. Woodward is joined in the PSA’s administration by Pitt history and philosophy professor and chair Sandra Mitchell and professor John Norton, director of Pitt’s Center for Philosophy of Science, both of whom serve on the association’s governing board. 

Woodward received his bachelor’s degree from Carleton College in 1968 and his PhD degree from the University of Texas in 1977. 

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