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Environmental Factor, January 2013

Resnick elected AAAS Fellow

By Eddy Ball

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Newly elected AAAS fellow Mike Resnick holds seven patents for research conducted in his lab and has published more than 160 peer-reviewed studies indexed by PubMed. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

In the Nov. 30, 2012 issue of Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) announced the election of lead researcher Michael Resnick, Ph.D., as a new fellow. Resnick is head of the Chromosome Stability Group in the NIEHS Laboratory of Molecular Genetics.

The organization will present Resnick with a certificate and gold rosette Feb. 16 in Boston during the AAAS Fellows Forum, which is part of the 2013 AAAS annual meeting, (http://www.aaas.org/meetings/future_mtgs/)  honoring him for seminal contributions in understanding the molecular basis of DNA repair by homologous recombination.

“This is an honor Mike richly deserves,” said NIEHS/NTP Director Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., when she learned of the award. “His work is an excellent example of the way basic research can broaden understanding of environmental health and inform clinical research, especially with his group’s cross-divisional collaboration with our Clinical Research Unit physicians on the role of the master regulator p53, an early responder to DNA damage, in inflammatory responses.” 

Resnick and his group are interested in genetic and structure-function relationships between repair, replication, mutation avoidance, and signaling responses; sources of DNA damage, especially double-strand breaks, mechanisms of repair, and genetic consequences; and environmental agents and conditions that impact genome stability. The findings are integrated into his studies on the organization and evolution of the human p53 tumor suppressor master regulatory network and consequences of cancer-associated mutations.

Resnick joined NIEHS in 1979 following postdoctoral fellowships with the Medical Research Council in London and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, and positions at the University of Rochester in New York and the MRC National Institute for Medical Research in London. He was the NIEHS Scientist of the Year in 2008. His group has been awarded three NIEHS Best Paper of the Year Awards and authored numerous Division of Intramural Research papers of the month.

AAAS – 164 years of advancing scientific excellence

Founded in 1848, AAAS serves some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, representing more than 10 million individuals. The AAAS journal Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of one million.

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.


In good company

Resnick joins a select group of NIEHS scientists elected as AAAS fellows in previous years:

  • Joel Abramowitz, Ph.D., special assistant to the scientific director
  • Marian Johnson-Thompson, Ph.D., former director of Education and Biomedical Research Development
  • James Mason, Ph.D., researcher in the Drosophila Chromosome Structure Group in the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics 
  • James Putney, Ph.D. head of the Calcium Regulation Group in the Laboratory of Signal Transduction
  • Anne Sassaman, Ph.D., director emeritus of the Division of Extramural Research and Training
  • Barbara Shane, Ph.D., former NTP staff scientist and executive secretary of the NTP Board of Scientific Counselors
  • Samuel Wilson, M.D., head of the DNA Repair and Nucleic Acid Enzymology Group in the Laboratory of Structural Biology
  • Jerrel Yakel, Ph.D., head of the Ion Channel Physiology Group in the Laboratory of Neurobiology


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