AAAS and Emory University announce nine new 2014 Fellows

Dec. 1, 2014

Story image
2014 AAAS fellows from Emory: Jeremy Boss, Richard Cummings, Haian Fu, Randy Hall, John Hepler, Fadlo Khuri, Pat Marsteller, David Stephens, Stephen Traynelis

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has elected nine scientists from Emory University as 2014 Fellows. Election as a AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.
 
"The selection by AAAS of nine Emory Fellows is an unprecedented accomplishment for Emory and its faculty," says Chris Larsen, MD, DPhil, dean of Emory University School of Medicine and vice president for health center integration in Emory's Woodruff Health Sciences Center. "As pioneers in their fields, these faculty exemplify the highest levels of scientific achievement that have made Emory a leading research university."
 
The following Emory faculty have been elected as 2014 AAAS Fellows:
 
Jeremy M. Boss, PhD, is professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in Emory University School of Medicine. He is recognized for distinguished contributions to the field of immunology, particularly in the area of gene regulation and epigenetics; and for editorial board service to the immunology community. He was editor-in-chief of the Journal of Immunology from 2008-2013. His research focuses on molecular and epigenetic mechanisms of immune system gene regulation, regulation of human major histocompatibility complex class II genes, and regulation of the PD-1 molecule during chronic viral infections. He directs a training grant in genetics and molecular biology.

Richard D. Cummings, PhD, is professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry in Emory University School of Medicine. He is recognized for distinguished contributions to the fields of glycobiology and glycomics, particularly for identifying the structures and functions of complex carbohydrates involved in numerous cell processes. His laboratory studies the fundamental biological process by which cells adhere to each other and interact with the extracellular matrix or basement membrane. This research area also relates to processes by which viruses, bacteria, and parasites stick to animal cells and initiate disease.

Haian Fu, PhD, professor of pharmacology in Emory University School of Medicine, is recognized for distinguished contributions to the field of chemical biology, particularly targeting protein-protein interactions in cell signaling networks for translational discovery. He is director of the Emory Chemical Biology Discovery Center, established in 2003 to enhance Emory’s capabilities in small molecule drug discovery and development. The Center’s work is aimed at discovering new chemical leads targeted to disease-related proteins for research tools and therapeutics, and training the next generation of drug discovery scientists. The Center is anchored by investigators in the Winship Cancer Institute and is integrated with the Emory Institute for Drug Development.

Randy A. Hall, PhD, professor of pharmacology, is recognized for distinguished contributions to the fields of pharmacology and neuroscience, particularly to the understanding of G protein-coupled receptor pharmacology, regulation, and signaling pathways. His research is focused on understanding the mechanisms of signal transduction – the molecular signaling that activates cellular receptors.  Neurotransmitters and hormone receptors are common targets for therapeutic pharmaceuticals. Hall is director of the Molecular & Systems Pharmacology Graduate Program.

John R. Hepler, PhD, professor of pharmacology, is recognized for distinguished research and service in the field of molecular pharmacology regarding the understanding of receptor, G protein and RGS protein signaling in physiology. Hepler’s research focuses on the cellular roles and regulation of signaling proteins and pathways used by neurotransmitters and hormones to exert their actions on target cells. He combines multidisciplinary approaches including modern techniques in cell biology, molecular biology and protein biochemistry.
 
Fadlo R. Khuri, MD, is recognized for advancing therapies for aerodigestive cancers, focusing on disease prognosis at the molecular level and developing novel treatment and prevention strategies for patients at risk. He is professor and chairman of the Department of Hematology & Medical Oncology in Emory University School of Medicine. He is also deputy director of the Winship Cancer Institute. He holds the Roberto C. Goizueta Distinguished Chair for Cancer Research and is a professor of Otolaryngology, Medicine, and Pharmacology. He serves as editor-in-chief of the journal Cancer. His research interests include development of molecular, prognostic, therapeutic, and chemopreventive approaches to improve the standard of care for patients with tobacco related cancers. His laboratory is investigating the mechanism of action of signal transduction inhibitors in tobacco-related cancers.
 
Pat Marsteller, PhD, professor of practice in Biology, is recognized for her distinguished contributions to the improvement of science education, education research and educational access, and for her efforts to diversify the ranks of the world’s future scientists. Marsteller joined Emory in 1990 and is director of the Hughes Science Initiative and the founder and director of the Emory College Center for Science Education. The center’s many programs aim to make science education more collaborative and diverse. They involve local K-12 students and teachers, undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and faculty across the University and at partner institutions.
 
David S. Stephens, MD, is recognized for distinguished contributions to infectious diseases by elucidating genetic and molecular pathogenetic and virulence mechanisms of organisms causing bacterial meningitis and identifying correlates of immunity. Stephens is vice president for research in the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, chair of the Department of Medicine, and chief of medicine for Emory Healthcare, is also professor of microbiology and immunology in Emory School of Medicine and professor of epidemiology in the Rollins School of Public Health. He has led the development of successful programs in infectious diseases and microbial pathogenesis and was a major contributor to creating the Emory Vaccine Center and the Emory Center for AIDS Research. He is principal investigator for the NIH-funded Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

Stephen F. Traynelis, PhD, professor of pharmacology in Emory University School of Medicine, is recognized for distinguished contributions to the field of neuroscience, particularly for advancing understanding of excitatory postsynaptic receptor structure, function, regulation and role in disease. His research centers on expanding the understanding of the structure-function relationship of NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors in the brain, which respond to the chemical messenger glutamate. NMDA receptors are a critical component of communication between brain cells and play important roles in neurological diseases, learning and memory.
 
This year 401 members were elected as AAAS Fellows because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015 at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2015 AAAS Annual Meeting in San Jose, Calif.
 
This year’s AAAS Fellows will be formally announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the November 28 issue of the journal Science.
 
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science as well as Science Translational Medicine and Science Signaling. AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes 254 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. The non-profit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, and more.