The American Physical Society (APS) has recognized Notre Dame physics alumna Reka Albert as the recipient of the Maria Goeppert Mayer Award for her imaginative and pioneering studies of networks.
Albert received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Babes-Bolyai University in Romania. She earned her Ph.D. in physics from Notre Dame in 2001, working with Prof. Albert-Laszlo Barabasi. Albert did postdoctoral research in mathematical biology at the University of Minnesota, working with Hans G. Othmer. She joined the Pennsylvania State University in 2003, where she currently is a professor of physics with adjunct appointments in the Department of Biology and the College of Information Science and Technology.
Albert is a theorist who works on predictive modeling of biological regulatory networks at multiple levels of organization. Her pioneering publications on the structural properties of complex networks had a large impact on the field, reflected in their identification as "Fast breaking paper" and "High impact paper" by Thomson Reuters.
Albert is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, where she served as a member at large in the Division of Biological Physics, and of the Society for Mathematical Biology. She was a recipient of a Sloan Research Fellowship (2004) and an NSF Career Award (2007). Her service to the profession includes serving on the editorial board of the journals Physical Review E, The New Journal of Physics, IET Systems Biology, the advisory board of the Mathematical Biosciences Institute and the Duke Center for Systems Biology, and as a peer reviewer for more than 35 journals.
The Maria Goeppert Mayer Award recognizes outstanding achievement by a woman physicist in the early years of her career, and provides opportunities for her to present these achievements to others through public lectures in the spirit of Maria Goeppert Mayer.