Professor Takako Aikawa of foreign languages and literatures and Professor Steven R. Tannenbaum of toxicology have been appointed to named professorships.
Professor Aikawa is the next holder of the Mitsui Career Development Professorship for a three-year term. As well as recognizing faculty achievement, the chair encourages cultural and technological exchange between the United States and Japan.
Professor Aikawa received the BA in English language and literature from Tsuda College in 1980 and the MA (1982) and PhD (1993) in Japanese linguistics from Ohio State University. She has been an instructor in Japanese for several universities in Japan and the United States, and she came to the Institute as an instructor for the MIT Japan Program in 1992. She was named a visiting assistant professor of Japanese the following year, a visiting scientist in MIT's Department of Linguistics and Philosophy in 1991 and an assistant professor of Japanese in 1995.
Dr. Tannenbaum has been selected as the next Underwood-Prescott Professor of Toxicology. He is a professor and director of the Division of Toxicology in Whitaker College of Health Sciences and Technology, as well as a professor of chemistry.
Professor Tannenbaum holds the BS (1958) and PhD (1962) in food technology from MIT. He was named an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science in 1964, winning promotion in that department to associate professor and full professor in 1969 and 1974, respectively. In 1981, he was named professor of toxicology and food chemistry in the Department of Applied Biological Sciences. His research focuses on quantitation of exposure to compounds that pose risks to human health by monitoring their reaction products in human proteins in DNA. His work on the metabolic origin of nitrates and nitrites led to the discovery by others of the important regulatory molecule, nitric oxide. In 1996, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 12, 1997.