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Updated 10:12 AM January 8, 2009




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Seven scientists named AAAS Fellows
Banaszak Holl

Seven University faculty members are among 486 newly elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Election as a fellow, a tradition that began in 1874, is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. AAAS fellows are recognized for “scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.”

The awards were announced Dec. 18 by AAAS, and the names of this year’s honorees will appear in the Dec. 19 edition of the journal Science. Fellows will receive certificates and rosette pins in February at the 2009 AAAS annual meeting in Chicago.

The new U-M AAAS fellows are:
• Mark Banaszak Holl, professor of chemistry and professor of macromolecular science and engineering. Banaszak Holl studies the development of polymer-based drug transport agents and their interactions with lipid bilayers, organelles and cells. He was honored by AAAS for distinguished contributions bridging disciplinary boundaries in studies of chemical and biochemical processes at the nanoscale.
• Daniel Klionsky, Alexander G. Ruthven Professor of Life Sciences, professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology, professor of biological chemistry, and research professor at the Life Sciences Institute (LSI). Klionsky uses baker’s yeast to study how proteins are moved about and “targeted” within cells. AAAS recognized him for innovations in teaching cell biology and for research defining the mechanisms and cellular role of autophagy, the process of self-digestion by a cell through the action of enzymes.
• Steven Kunkel, senior associate dean for research at the Medical School, endowed professor in pathology research and co-director of the Division of General Pathology. Kunkel studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms of cytokine networks. Cytokines are regulatory proteins released by immune-system cells. AAAS noted Kunkel’s “seminal discoveries in immunology which have provided translational insight from basic cytokine biology to mechanisms of human disease,” and for his contributions in numerous university administrative positions.
• Alan Saltiel, John Jacob Abel Collegiate Professor in the Life Sciences, Mary Sue Coleman Director of LSI, professor of internal medicine, and professor of molecular and integrative physiology. Saltiel studies the cell biology of the hormone insulin and the links between obesity and diabetes. He was honored by AAAS for distinguished research contributions toward understanding the specificity of signal transduction and insulin action, and for leadership as director of LSI.
• Jochen Schacht, professor of biological chemistry in otolaryngology and director of the Kresge Hearing Research Institute. Schacht studies the biochemical and molecular mechanisms of hearing and deafness. He was recognized by AAAS for explaining how aminoglycoside antibiotics cause hearing loss and for developing therapies to protect against it. His team determined that aspirin helps ward off hearing loss caused by the widely used antibiotic gentamicin.
• David Sherman, Hans W. Vahlteich Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, professor of microbiology and immunology, professor of chemistry, and research professor at the LSI. Sherman studies the natural chemical compounds made by microorganisms, pursuing drug-discovery opportunities for infectious diseases and cancer. He was honored for distinguished contributions to the field of natural product biosynthesis, particularly for the discovery and characterization of secondary metabolic pathways and enzymes involved in polyketide assembly and tailoring.
• Dr. Stephen Weiss, chief of the Division of Molecular Medicine & Genetics, Upjohn Professor of Medicine and Oncology and research professor at LSI. Weiss studies the mechanisms that white blood cells, endothelial cells and cancer cells use to remodel tissue structure during events ranging from inflammatory disease and angiogenesis to cancer.
AAAS recognized him for distinguished research contributions toward the understanding of protease function and remodeling of the extracellular matrix, and for academic leadership as editor in chief of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Founded in 1848, AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science.

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