Jefferson Scholars Foundation Lures World-Renowned Neuroscientist to University of Virginia with Endowed Professorship

Professor Cang’s arrival in fall 2017 will strengthen the
University’s focus on brain science

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–For nearly forty years, the Jefferson Scholars Foundation has played a
valuable role in recruiting top undergraduate and graduate students to
the University of Virginia. Now, the Foundation is helping recruit
world-class professors, too.

The Jefferson Scholars Foundation, a private foundation that supports
the University of Virginia through undergraduate, graduate and faculty
programs, has filled its first endowed professorship. The Paul T. Jones
Jefferson Scholars Foundation Professorship will be held by Professor
J.C. Cang, a renowned neurobiology professor. Professor Cang currently
serves as Professor of Neurobiology at Northwestern University in
Evanston, Illinois. He will begin work at the University of Virginia in
the fall of 2017 and help lead the University’s brain-science research

Professor Cang studies the organization, function, and development of
the visual system. In one research area, Professor Cang’s laboratory
made a paradigm-shifting discovery regarding how sensory experience
shapes visual functions in the cortex. Professor Cang has been awarded
the Sloan Research Fellowship, the Klingenstein Fellowship Award in
Neurosciences, and several research grants including ones from the
National Institutes of Health.

“Professor Cang is a true rock star. Developing a better understanding
of our brain is the focus of a national research initiative, and
Professor Cang’s research will immediately bolster the work currently
being done at the University of Virginia to support that effort,” said
Jimmy Wright, president of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation.

Joining Professor Cang on the University faculty will be his partner,
Professor Xiaorung Liu, also a star career neurobiologist at
Northwestern. “Professors Cang and Liu will be stellar additions to our
cross-grounds neuroscience initiatives,” said Ian Baucom, Dean of the
College and Graduate Schools of Arts and Sciences.

In 2012, the Jefferson Scholars Foundation announced the creation of two
Jefferson Scholars Foundation Endowed Professorships and launched an
initiative to endow several additional Endowed Professorships. The
professorships represent an extension of the Foundation’s mission to
serve the University by identifying, attracting, and nurturing
individuals of extraordinary intellectual range and depth whose
contributions and leadership will enhance the University community.

“We have a rich tradition of bringing exceptional students to
Charlottesville and these endowed professorships will help ensure that
University of Virginia students learn from some of our nation’s
brightest teachers,” Wright said. “We are grateful to Paul Tudor Jones
and our other generous donors for creating these endowed professorships
that allow the University of Virginia to compete on the world stage for
truly remarkable faculty.”


For Jefferson Scholars Foundation
Robert Brown, 919-810-1901
Fitzpatrick, 919-247-4400