Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Associate Professor Paul Dilley of the Department of Religious Studies and Department of Classics has been announced by the College of Liberal Arts and Science as part of the the 2018-19 class of Developmental Studies Hybridoma Bank (DSHB) Faculty Scholars.

The self-funded DSHB, an NIH National Resource housed in the UI Department of Biology, exists to facilitate biomedical research by providing monoclonal antibody samples to cancer researchers at a fraction of the cost of commercial markets. Its director, Carver Professor of Biology David Soll, and the DSHB advisors believe that for scientists to do their best work, they need the ethical grounding and communications skills that humanities education instills.

To ensure that aspiring scientists at the UI are learning from humanities professors at the forefront of research in their disciplines, DSHB funds research awards for humanities faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. CLAS administers the grants, including selecting the recipients from among applications.

"We look at this as an investment in the future vitality of the scientific disciplines,” Soll said. “All scientists need the skills that the humanities teach in order to engage in forward-looking, ethical research and to communicate the relevance of their work to society."

Dr. Dilley will conduct research at the University of Hamburg’s (Germany) Centre for Comparative Manuscript Cultures. He will explore possibilities for combining new digital resources in an online edition of the Life of Eupraxia, a fifth-century Greek text about a young aristocratic nun, which provides important evidence for Dilley’s second book project, The Monastic Transformation of Graeco-Roman Popular Theater: A Corpus and Theory of Ancient Christian Comedy. Dilley is producing the first scholarly edition of the book, based on his transcriptions of eight medieval manuscripts, using the latest tools for transcribing automated collation, and stemmatology (manuscript genealogies). These have never been combined in an online edition, so Dilley will explore best practices for doing so at a prominent international institute for the study of manuscripts.