Provost Chaouki Abdallah and Health Sciences Center Chancellor Paul Roth announced the promotion of six UNM faculty to the rank of Distinguished Professor.

The rank of Distinguished Professor is the highest faculty title that UNM bestows. It is awarded to those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding achievements, and are nationally and internationally renowned as scholars.

Vallabh Raj Shah
Vallabh "Raj" Shah

2018 Distinguished Professors
Vallabh (Raj) Shah
, Regents’ Professor, Department of Internal Medicine and Biochemistry, School of Medicine; Senior Fellow, the New Mexico Center for the advancement of Research, Engagement, and Science on Health Disparities (NM CARES HD), The University of New Mexico HSC.

Shah is an established molecular epidemiologist with more than 28 years of Health Services Research experience in clinical translational and community-based participatory research (CBPR) studies. His work in community-partnered research has focused on disease prevention and health disparities for chronic diseases.

Nationally and internationally, Shah is well known for his research contributions in genetic epidemiology and translational-focused investigations of complex diseases. He is dedicated to making home-based health care services that are sensitive to the culture and traditions of the communities they serve. Finally, over the past two decades, Raj has worked tirelessly with Native communities to address persistent health disparities.

Mohammed El-Genk
Mohammed El-Genk


Mohamed El-Genk, Regents’ Professor in Nuclear Engineering, with a secondary appointment in both Mechanical and Chemical and Biological Engineering
El-Genk is the founding director of the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies (ISNPS). Dr. El-Genk is a world-class scientist and an expert in nuclear engineering and technology and space nuclear power and propulsion. His published work is widely recognized: he has more than 368 refereed articles and technical reports, six book chapters, and six U.S. patents.

He has received the School of Engineering Research and Teaching Excellence Awards, the Graduate Student’s Outstanding Teacher Award in Nuclear Engineering and the Presidential Lecturership Award. He has chaired 32 Ph.D dissertations, currently has four in progress, and has 27 Master’s theses.

El-Genk has raised over $2 million for graduate student endowments over his 35-year career, including an endowment that supports space and nuclear power research at UNM’s Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies. He has received over $15 million in research grant funding.

In 2001, El-Genk was UNM’s 46th Annual Research Lecturer. He also received one of the most prestigious awards, the AICHE Donald Q. Kern Memorial Award for advances in applications of heat and mass transfer.

Timothy Graham
Timothy Graham

Timothy Graham, Regents’ Professor of History / director, UNM’s Institute for Medieval Studies
Graham is an internationally recognized specialist in medieval manuscripts. He has organized the Medieval Institute’s Spring Lecture Series for over a decade; which draws more than 500 attendees each year. He has received the Arts & Sciences Outstanding Teacher award and was appointed as a Regents’ Professor in 2015. Undergraduate and graduate students have recognized him as an extraordinary mentor. His course on paleography and codicology draws students from around the world.

He has brought numerous regional, national, and international conferences to UNM’s campus, most notably the conference of the Medieval Academy’s Committee on Centers and Regional Associations and the International Conference on Medievalism.

Graham’s book, “Introduction to Manuscript Studies,” has become a canonical text in the field. He has seven books total, 25 major articles, and many other published works.

In 2010 he received the College of Arts and Sciences Award for Teaching Excellence. He has also received the William H. and Marjorie Bell Chambers Endowed Faculty Award for Excellence in History, as well as the CARA Award for Excellence in Teaching Medieval Studies by the Medieval Academy of America.

Karl Karlstrom
Karl Karlstrom

Karl Karlstrom, professor, Earth and Planetary Sciences
Karlstrom is an expert in structure and tectonics with several national and international recognitions for his research. He was a founding member of the EarthScope Science and Education Committee; EarthScope is an NSF funding experiment to image the North American continent. He is also an original member of the US Array steering committee. His involvement with the US Array project puts The University of New Mexico in a prominent place within this community. He has mentored 68 graduate students to completion including: five post-docs, 14 Ph.D.’s, 49 masters and 14 undergraduate theses.

His scholarly record is strong: Karlstrom has 188 peer-reviewed publications with 10,000 citations and an H-index of 48. He is the editor of two influential geoscience journals, GSA Today and Geological Society of America Bulletin. He has received over $5 million in research funding, including $2 million for the Trail of Time feature at the Grand Canyon National Park. He is an internationally recognized expert in Grand Canyon geology and Precambrian geology. He won first place from the National Association for Interpretation for his “Trail of Time” exhibit at Grand Canyon National Park.

He is a fellow of Geological Society and in 2009 won the Distinguished Service award and Career Achievement Award from the Geological Society.

Greg Taylor
Greg Taylor

Greg Taylor, professor, Physics and Astronomy / founding director, Center for Astrophysics Research and Technologies / founding director, Long Wavelength Array
Taylor’s areas of research are clusters of galaxies, active galactic nuclei, jets, gamma ray bursts and radio interferometry techniques. He has published 250 peer-reviewed articles and has nearly 20,000 citations with an H-index of 64. He has received $14 million in research grants. He is currently one of three US representatives on the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) Science and Engineering Advisory Committee.

Taylor, the world authority on long-array telescopes, supermassive black holes, and meteor radio afterglow, won the Distinguished Performance award from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. He has received international recognition for his work on magnetic fields in active galaxies, radio afterglows in Gamma-Ray Bursts and measuring the orbit of supermassive binary black hole systems.

Taylor put UNM on the map for radio astronomy when he developed and built the first Long Wavelength Array Telescope (LWA), an instrument that complements radio telescopes in operation worldwide. His design of the LWA is now used in a number of institutions around the world including in France, Spain, Greenland, and Mexico.

He has advised nine postdoctoral fellows, three Ph.D. students, with four in progress, three masters and eight undergraduate students.

Mahmoud Taha

Mahmoud Taha, chair, professor and Regents’ Lecturer, Civil Engineering / founding director, UNM Resilience Institute
Taha is an expert in the field of materials and structures. He has received more than $12 million in grants and has more than 13 disclosed patents, including three issued US patents and 10 pending patents.

He founded the UNM Resilience Institute, a center with approximately 30 faculty members from Civil, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Health Sciences, School of Law, Architecture, Anderson School of Management, and Geography.

Taha has chaired seven Ph.D. dissertations, 31 master theses, and supervised 17 undergraduate research students and 14 post-docs. He implemented the largest scholarship program in UNM civil engineering history with $150,000 in annual revenues. He launched the first totally online graduate program at the School of Engineering, the “Master of Construction Management.” This program has gained wide acceptance in Latin America.

He has authored and co-authored more than 300 articles in scholarly journals and refereed conference proceedings. He is a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute (FACI).