NIEHS grantees and research associates honored by AAAS
By Eddy Ball
Seven distinguished scientists with ties to NIEHS are among the 539 members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) elected as 2011 Fellows. They were officially recognized for their contributions to science and technology at the Fellows Forum Feb. 18 at the annual meeting of AAAS in Vancouver, British Columbia, with a certificate and a blue and gold rosette as a symbol of their distinguished accomplishments.
NIEHS/NTP Director Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., offered her congratulations to the new fellows. “This level of recognition by your peers is an important milestone in your scientific careers,” she said. “The NIEHS community is proud to have helped support your outstanding work.”
AAAS began electing fellows in 1874, an honor bestowed upon members by their peers. Fellow nominations may be made by the steering groups of the association's 24 sections, by the chief executive officer, 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. Each nominee must receive the approval of a majority of the steering group members.
An honor roll of NIEHS grantees and research associates
• Joseph Caruso, Ph.D., of the University of Cincinnati (UC) — Caruso is being honored for distinguished contributions to the fields of trace metal analysis, speciation, and metallomics, the study of metals and metal species in biological systems, and for past service as head of the chemistry department at UC and dean of the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.
• Andrew Feinberg, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University (JHU) — Feinberg was elected for seminal contributions to our understanding of epigenetics and the role it plays in cancer and other human disease. He is the Daniel Coit Gilman Scholar and Professor of Medicine, Molecular Biology and Genetics, Oncology, and Biostatistics, as well as director of the Center for Epigenetics in the Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences at the JHU School of Medicine.
• Stuart Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., of the Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute — Lipton studies the molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases, including the role of excessive stimulation of ion channels and redox (S-nitrosylation-mediated) signaling pathways in nerve cells. His lab developed the first neuroprotective drug, memantine (Namenda®), approved for treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease.
• Jason Moore, Ph.D., of Dartmouth College — Moore’s work centers on improving the prediction, prevention, and treatment of common human diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and psychiatric disease, through the development, evaluation, and application of statistical and computational methods for genetic, genomic, and proteomic analysis.
• Prakash Nagarkatti, Ph.D., of the University of South Carolina (USC) — Nagarkatti was elected for distinguished contributions in the field of immunology, specifically immune regulation, and for providing outstanding leadership as an associate dean to advance education and research. He has also made significant contributions in the field of immunotoxicology. In November 2011, he was appointed vice president for research at USC.
• Fernando Pardo-Manuel de Villena, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — Pardo-Manuel de Villena was recognized for contributions in the fields of mouse genetics and genomics and the evolution of the mammalian karyotype. His laboratory studies nonrandom segregation of chromosomes during meiosis in mammals and is part of the Collaborative Cross project.
• Cheryl Walker, Ph.D., of the Texas A&M Health Science Center — Walker is internationally recognized as a leader in developmental reprogramming and has been instrumental in defining this new field, which seeks to understand how environmental exposures early in life increase risk of disease in adulthood. She has shown that exposure to environmental estrogens during development reprograms the epigenome to increase expression of genes that promote tumor development in adulthood.