Colorado State University

University Distinguished Professors in the College of Natural Sciences

The very highest academic recognition awarded by the University, the title of University Distinguished Professor is bestowed upon a very small number of full professors at any one time on the basis of outstanding scholarship and achievement. Professors receiving this title hold the distinction for the duration of their association with Colorado State University. To obtain the rank, faculty members are nominated through an extensive review process and must be approved by the current University Distinguished Professors. Colorado State’s current president approves new selections and secures endorsement from the Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System.

Photo of Dr. Karolin Luger
Karolin Luger, B.Sc. (University of Innsbruck, Austria)
Ph.D. (University of Basel, Switzerland)
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Karolin Luger’s research focuses on the structure and function of eukaryotic chromatin. She led an extraordinary scientific breakthrough that effectively solved the three-dimensional structure of the nucleosome. The nucleosome is a spool-like basic building block of chromatin, the material in which possibly billions of DNA base pairs are compacted in an individual cell nucleus. This work is now cited in nearly every modern textbook of biochemistry and molecular biology.


Photo of Dr. Diana Wall
Diana Wall, B.A., Ph.D. (University of Kentucky)
Department of Biology
Natural Resource Ecology Lab, School of Global Environmental Sustainability

Diana Wall is actively engaged in research to explore how soil biodiversity contributes to healthy, productive soils and thus to society, and the consequences of human activities on soil sustainability. Her research examining soil biodiversity and ecosystem processes, stretches globally from the tropics to the Antarctic Dry Valleys, where she has worked for the past 20 years.


Photo of Dr. Robert M. Williams
Robert M. Williams, B.A. (Syracruse University)
Ph.D. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Post-doctoral (Harvard University)
Department of Chemistry

Robert Williams‘ research harnesses the interplay of synthetic organic chemistry, physical organic chemistry, microbiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology. His research interests have included the total synthesis of natural products with an emphasis on cytotoxic agents relevant to cancer and antimicrobial therapies, studies on drug-DNA interactions, design and synthesis of antibiotics and DNA-cleaving molecules, and biosynthetic pathways.


Photo of Dr. Jorge J. Rocca
Jorge J. Rocca, B.S. (Universidad de Rosario, Argentina)
Ph.D. (Colorado State University)
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
and Department of Physics

Jorge Rocca’s research concerns physics and development of x-ray lasers, application of coherent short wavelength light, and study of dense plasmas. He is internationally recognized for his contributions to development of compact soft x-ray lasers and their application to scientific and technological problems. He serves as Director of the NSF Engineering Research Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Science and Technology, a consortium between CSU, the University of Colorado, and the University of California Berkeley

Emeritus/Emerita University Distinguished Professors


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