Duke Celebrates New AAAS Fellows

December 8, 2011

By Duke News and Communications

DURHAM, N.C. — Five scientists from Duke University Medical Center and three from Duke University have been chosen for the distinct honor of fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Election as an AAAS fellow is granted because of scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Notably, three new fellows are from the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, and three are department chairs.

“All of these individuals are world-class scientists, who have made discoveries that drive their fields forward,” said Nancy Andrews, MD, dean of the Duke University School of Medicine. “With this honor, they join a very distinguished group of scientific leaders. We are very fortunate to have so many people of this caliber on our faculty.”

“These are all outstanding scientists whom we are proud to have as colleagues,” said Sally Kornbluth, PhD, vice dean for basic science at Duke University School of Medicine. “They are also terrific citizens and leaders who make important contributions to the life of the Duke community.”

This year’s new AAAS fellows from the Duke University Medical Center are:

Richard Brennan, PhD, chair of the Duke Department of Biochemistry, for distinguished contributions in the area of structural biology and his work deciphering mechanisms of gene expression and multi-drug resistance.

Bryan Cullen, PhD, professor of molecular genetics and microbiology, for distinguished contributions to the field of virology, particularly for studies on human immunodeficiency virus and the role of microRNAs in viral pathogenesis.

Mariano Garcia-Blanco, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and professor of molecular genetics and microbiology, for distinguished contributions in RNA biology, and particularly for unraveling the importance of RNA-protein interactions that regulate messenger RNA splicing and control pathogenic RNA viruses.

Sue Jinks-Robertson, PhD, professor of molecular genetics and microbiology, for distinguished contributions to the fields of genetics and molecular biology, particularly for advancing the understanding of basic mechanisms of mutagenesis and homologous recombination of chromosomes.

Donald McDonnell, PhD, Glaxo-Wellcome Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and chair of the Duke Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, for research that has provided fundamental insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the pharmacological activities of nuclear receptor ligands in physiology and disease.

From Duke University, the new AAAS fellows are:

Ingrid Daubechies, PhD, James B. Duke Professor of Mathematics, for her seminal work in wavelets, as well as significant contributions in the area of signal processing, quantum mechanics, discrete geometry, and applied mathematics.

Xinnian Dong, PhD, professor of biology, for her research on the interactions of plants and microbes, and for her outstanding service to the American Society of Plant Biologists and the journal Plant Cell.

Dan Kiehart, PhD, chair of the Department of Biology, for his contributions to developmental biology through detailed study of the embryonic development of fruitflies.

In a ceremony in February 2012, 539 members will receive this honor. The AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science, among other journals.

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For additional information, please visit the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) web site.