Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, December 18, 2009

Eleven scientists from U-M named AAAS fellows

Eleven U-M faculty members are among 532 newly elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The tradition began in 1874, with fellows elected by peer AAAS members and chosen because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

The new U-M AAAS fellows are:

Dr. James Baker Jr., director, Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences, for contributions to the study of autoimmune diseases and nanomolecular materials in biomedical applications, his work in nanotechnology, and his public service on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Baker also is the Ruth Dow Doan Endowed Professor in Biologic Nanotechnology, professor of internal medicine and chief of the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Michael Boehnke, the Richard G. Cornell Distinguished University Professor of Biostatistics at the School of Public Health, the director for the Center for Statistical Genetics and director of the Genome Science Training Program, for contributions to the analysis of human genetic data, particularly to the application of statistical methods to human gene mapping.

Daniel Brown, professor in the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE), for contributions to the understanding of the consequences of land-use change on ecosystems, and human vulnerability via the innovative blending of social and ecological analysis.

Mary Anne Carroll, professor of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, College of Engineering (CoE), for sustained research and service in atmospheric chemistry and creative teaching in earth system science. Carroll has appointments in chemistry and geological sciences, both in LSA.

Peter van Keken, professor of geophysics, for contributions to the fields of geophysics and geodynamics, particularly in using calculations of mantle deformation to reconstruct Earth’s thermal and chemical evolution.

Robert Megginson, professor of mathematics and associate dean for undergraduate and graduate education in LSA, for sustained excellence as a scholar, mentor, and academic administrator whose pragmatism and hard work have fostered opportunities for those underrepresented in mathematics and science.

Joyce Penner, Ralph J. Cicerone Distinguished University Professor of Atmospheric Science in the CoE, for her research in identifying and quantifying the role of atmospheric aerosols in changing the Earth’s climate, and for the link associating aerosols with human activities.

Ivette Perfecto, professor of Ecology and Natural Resources in SNRE, for contributions to preserving biological diversity, particularly in demonstrating the importance of incorporating agricultural systems in models for conservation of biodiversity.

Stephen Ragsdale, professor of biological chemistry in the Medical School, for studies of complex metalloenzymes that catalyze challenging reactions in anaerobic organisms.

Ayyalusamy Ramamoorthy, professor of chemistry and biophysics, for contributions to the development and applications of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, particularly to study the atomic-level structure and function of proteins associated with the cell membrane, antibiotic peptides, amyloid proteins, bone and nanomaterials.

Sarah Grey Thomason, the William J. Gedney Collegiate Professor of Linguistics, LSA, for contributions to the understanding of how languages change, and for groundbreaking work on change through contact with speakers of other languages.

New fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin Feb. 20 at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2010 AAAS Annual Meeting in San Diego.

This year’s fellows will be announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science today.

Members can be considered for the rank of fellow if nominated by the steering groups of the association’s 24 sections, or by any three fellows who are current AAAS members (so long as two of the three sponsors are not affiliated with the nominee’s institution), or by the AAAS chief executive officer. Each steering group then reviews the nominations of individuals within its respective section and a final list is forwarded to the AAAS Council, which votes on the aggregate list.

The council is the policymaking body of the association, chaired by the AAAS president, and consisting of the members of the board of directors, the retiring section chairs, delegates from each electorate and each regional division, and two delegates from the National Association of Academies of Science.