2020 Nobel Prize: Harvey J. Alter '56, '60M (MD)
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2020 Nobel Prize: Harvey J. Alter ’56, ’60M (MD)

Awards and honors

We celebrate University of Rochester faculty, scholars, artists, alumni, and students who are revolutionizing their fields, discovering ways to address the world's biggest challenges, and making our lives ever better.

Nobel Prizes

  • Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

    2020: Harvey J. Alter ’56, ’60M (MD)

  • Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

    2018: Paul Romer

    Former assistant professor of economics

  • Nobel Prize in Physics

    2018: Donna Strickland ’89 (PhD)

    2018: Gérard Mourou

    Former Laboratory for Laser Energetics faculty member and senior scientist

  • Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

    2017: Richard Thaler ’74 (PhD)

  • Nobel Prize in Physics

    2002: Masatoshi Koshiba ’55 (PhD)

  • Nobel Prize in Physics

    1997: Steven Chu ’70

  • Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

    1993: Robert Fogel

    Member of the economics faculty in the 1960s and 1970s

  • Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

    1976: Carleton Gajdusek ’43

  • Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

    1959: Arthur Kornberg ’41M (MD)

  • Nobel Prize in Chemistry

    1955: Vincent du Vigneaud ’27 (PhD)

  • Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

    1943: Henrik Dam

    Senior research associate 1942–45

  • Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

    1934: George Whipple

    Founding dean of the School of the Medicine and Dentistry

Pulitzer Prizes


    2012: Kevin Puts ’94E, ’99E (DMA)

    Silent Night: Opera in Two Acts


    2004: Steven Hahn ’73

    A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration


    1996: George Walker ’56E (DMA)

    “Lilacs for Voice and Orchestra”


    1993: Christopher Rouse (Eastman School faculty)

    “Trombone Concerto”


    1983: Galway Kinnell ’49 (MA)


    1979: Joseph Schwantner (Eastman School faculty)


    1975: Dominick Argento ’58E (DMA)


    1968: Anthony Hecht (Department of English faculty)


    1962: Robert Ward ’39E (BM)


    1960: George Abbott ’11


    1959: John La Montaine ’39E (BA)


    1952: Gail Kubik ’34E (BM)


    1944: Howard Hanson (Eastman School faculty)

Guggenheim Fellows


    2021: Peter Christensen

    Associate professor of art history


    2017: Jennifer Grotz

    Professor of English

  • 2006: John Tarduno

    Professor and chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

  • 2002: John P. Huelsenbeck

    Associate professor of biology

  • 2001: Hugo Hopenhayn

    Associate professor of economics

  • 2000: Alice L. Conklin

    Associate professor of history

  • 2000: H. Allen Orr

    Associate professor of biology

  • 1999: Janet Catherine Berlo

    Professor of art history and of visual and cultural studies

  • 1997: Joan Shelley Rubin

    Professor of history

  • 1997: David R. Williams

    William G. Allyn Professor of Medical Optics and director of the Center for Visual Science

  • 1996: Morris Eaves

    Professor of English

  • 1996: Shaul Mukamel

    Professor of chemistry

  • 1995: James Longenbach

    Joseph H. Gilmore Professor of English

  • 1994: Linda Levy Peck

    Professor of history

  • 1993: John H. Thomas

    Professor of mechanical and aerospace sciences and of astronomy

  • 1993: Janet Wolff

    Professor of art history and of visual and cultural studies

  • 1992: R. J. Dwayne Miller

    Professor of chemistry and of optics

  • 1992: Paul F. Slattery

    Professor of physics

  • 1992: Douglas H. Turner

    Professor of chemistry

  • 1991: Kenneth Gross

    Professor of English

  • 1990: Christopher C. Rouse

    Professor of composition, Eastman School of Music

  • 1988: Joanna Scott

    Roswell Smith Burrows Professor of English

MacArthur Fellows

  • 2017: Derek Peterson ’93

    Historian with a focus in African history

  • 1992: Joanna Scott

    Roswell Smith Burrows Professor of English

Making the world ever better

The Rochester environment fuels innovations and fosters collaborations to take on the world’s biggest challenges.

Students in cap and gowns at University of Rochester graduation ceremony

Top employers

Amazon, Ernst & Young, Google, Lockheed Martin, and Microsoft are some of the top employers of recent University of Rochester graduating classes. (Source)

professor looking through an optical instrument on a lab workbench.

First in optics

The University’s Institute of Optics was the nation’s first optical science, engineering, and design program and has granted over half of all degrees in optics awarded in the United States.

Lasers firing a target  Laboratory for Laser Energenics laser array.

Most powerful laser systems

The Laboratory for Laser Energetics is the largest university-based US Department of Energy program in the nation and home to the largest and most powerful laser systems found at any academic institution in the world.

Statue of boy and girl figures kissing. Created by Tom Otterness at University of Rochester Memorial Art Gallery.

Memorial Art Gallery

Referred to as the “mini MET,” the Memorial Art Gallery’s permanent collection of more than 12,000 objects has been called the state’s best-balanced collection outside New York City.

Vial of HPV vaccine .

Tech start-ups

The University has launched 62 high-technology startup firms since 1996 based on advances such as the “dithering” algorithm used for image rendering on virtually every printer and computer screen and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine protecting against cervical cancer.

David Dodell Feder looks into an MRI machine.

Treatments for Parkinson’s

Our researchers have helped conduct pivotal trials leading to four FDA-approved treatments for Parkinson’s disease.

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