OHIO STATE LEADS COUNTRY IN FACULTY HONORED BY LEADING SCIENCE ORGANIZATION
COLUMBUS , Ohio – For the third straight year, Ohio State University leads the country in the number of faculty named as “fellows” of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
This year, 20 faculty from Ohio State were awarded the “fellow” rank within AAAS, the largest scientific organization in the world. Ohio State led the country for the last two years with the most newly named fellows, garnering 14 in 2004 and 15 in 2003. This recognition follows the recent National Science Foundation ranking of Ohio State among the nation's Top 10 public research universities.
"This is exceptional recognition of a highly accomplished faculty and it underscores the respect they have earned from their colleagues for their scientific contributions," said Karen Holbrook, president of Ohio State and a AAAS fellow herself. "Fellows are recommended by their scientific peers and the leaders in their individual fields."
Newly named fellows will be recognized during the next annual meeting of AAAS in February, 2006, in St. Louis , MO. Before this announcement, more than 90 faculty at Ohio State had earned the “fellow” ranking, making the community of AAAS fellows at Ohio State one of the largest in the country.
Trailing Ohio State in numbers of new fellows in 2005 were the University of Washington with 10 new fellows; University of Illinois and the University of California, Riverside, both with eight fellows, and the University of Wisconsin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University all tied with seven new fellows.
The Ohio State faculty newly honored as fellows are:Rolf Frederick Barth, professor of pathology, “for distinguished contributions to both basic and translational research on the use of boron neutron capture therapy for the treatment of brain tumors.” Barth's research focuses on innovative treatments for brain tumors, specifically boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) and gene therapy. Early studies by Barth and colleagues suggest BNCT may help treat previously incurable forms of brain cancer.
Jeffrey J. Chalmers, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, “for distinguished contributions to bioengineering, especially in identifying and separating cells based on specific immunological markers, and for contributions to the understanding of mass cell cultivation.” Chalmers has improved techniques for separating cells in the laboratory – techniques that can be used to sort cells for transplant or find cancer cells in blood samples. He has also determined the best conditions for growing certain animal cells in the lab.
E. Antonio Chiocca, professor and chair of neurological surgery and Dardinger Family Endowed Chair in Oncological Neurosurgery, “for distinguished contributions to the field of neurosurgery and cancer neurology, particularly in the development of genetically engineered viral vectors to target malignant gliomas.” Chiocca is a nationally recognized brain tumor specialist and leading investigator in the use of gene therapies for brain tumors and other central nervous system disorders. His research interests include engineering more efficient “tumor-killing” genes and defining more selective viruses that could be used to deliver therapeutics directly to tumors.
John D. Corrigan, professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, and psychology, “for distinguished contributions to the field of rehabilitation psychology and the study of traumatic brain injury, especially the consequences of substance abuse and brain injury.” At Ohio State, Corrigan helped establish the brain injury unit. He also is founder and director of the Ohio Valley Center for Brain Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation, which conducts research on the rehabilitation and long-term outcomes of people with traumatic brain injury.
Louis F. DiMauro, professor and holder of the Dr. Edward E. and Sylvia Hagenlocker Chair of Physics, “for pioneering the development and use of kilohertz repetition rate, ultrashort amplifiers that resulted in understanding the fundamental physics of an intense laser-atom interaction.” DiMauro has developed tools that generate intense pulses of laser light to probe the behavior of atoms and molecules with unprecedented sensitivity. His work has led to new insights into how scientists can control matter on a sub-atomic level.
P. Chris Hammel, Ohio Eminent Scholar in Experimental Materials Research, and professor of physics and electrical and computer engineering, “for distinguished contributions to studies of the magnetic properties of high temperature superconductors and for leadership in the application of magnetic resonance force microscopy.” Hammel's work helped explain how the magnetic properties of certain materials relate to the temperature at which they begin to transmit electricity with no resistance. He has led efforts to improve the capabilities of microscopes that enable high-resolution three-dimensional imaging, in particular for the study of magnetic, semiconducting and metallic materials and devices.
Ulrich W. Heinz, professor of physics, “for distinguished contributions to elucidating the collective dynamics of quark-gluon plasma formation and particle production in relativistic heavy-ion collisions.” Heinz is a theoretical nuclear physicist who works on describing and interpreting experiments done at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory. His research has helped explain the nature of exotic states of matter that existed at the very early moments of the universe.
Tina M. Henkin, professor of microbiology, “for the fundamental discovery of a novel regulatory system for gene expression in bacteria that depends entirely on the recognition of an intracellular metabolite by a structural element in small RNA molecules.” Henkin studies the mechanisms through which cells sense changes in their environment and send that information to the level of gene expression. These discoveries may lead to new targets for antibiotic treatment of bacterial infections.
Joan Herbers, dean of the College of Biological Sciences and professor of evolution, ecology and organismal biology, “for distinguished contributions to the study of evolution and regulation of insect societies.” Herbers' work on the organizational structure of some of the smallest of ant colonies has given researchers new insights into the roles and activities of these tiny social insects and what they can tell us about population dynamics.
F. Kay Huebner, professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics with the Human Cancer Genetics Program and a researcher with Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center, “for distinguished contributions to the cancer genetics field through identification and characterization of tumor suppressor genes, including the first at a chromosome fragile site.” Huebner is helping to figure out how certain tumor-suppressing genes lose their ability to prevent controlled cell growth, and if these genes can recover that capability in a cancer cell. Understanding these mechanisms could lead to new strategies for treating a number of cancers, including lung, breast, oral and esophageal.
Sissy Meihua Jhiang, professor of physiology and cell biology, “for distinguished contributions to the field of thyroid tumor biology, particularly RET oncogene, and the use of the Na+/I- Symporter for imaging and gene therapy.” Jhiang is an expert in endocrinology at the university's Comprehensive Cancer Center and has won the prestigious Van Meter Award from the American Thyroid Association. The award honors young scientists under the age of 45 who have made outstanding contributions to the field of thyroid research.
Michael D. Lairmore, professor and chair of veterinary biosciences and professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics, for “distinguished contributions to the field of virology, particularly for fundamental studies on the biology of the human T-cell leukemia virus and its medical applications.” Lairmore's work on HTLV has helped uncover the mechanisms driving and controlling how this serious human virus attacks its host and offers new possibilities for additional treatments for people now infected by the virus.
Terry A. Miller, Ohio Eminent Scholar of Experimental Physical Chemistry and professor of chemistry, “for far-ranging contributions to spectroscopy and chemical physics of molecules, ions, and radicals and for stewardship of the Ohio State Spectroscopy Conference.” Miller studies chemical intermediates, compounds that form in chemical reactions as intermediate steps between the starting material and the final product; he has developed a number of techniques for observing the spectrum of light absorbed or emitted by these compounds as a means of identifying them. Since 1992, he has hosted the International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy, which draws together the world's top researchers from all disciplines that concern molecular structure.
Berl R. Oakley, professor of molecular genetics, “for distinguished contributions to the study of the microtubule cytoskeleton, especially for the discovery of gamma-tubulin and the elucidation of its essential role in mitosis.” His discovery of g-tubulin, a critical component in the construction of a cell, resulted in the creation of a new field of study, microtubule nucleation. The full significance of the discovery continues to evolve, with implications for the greater understanding of human cancer.
Christoph Plass, professor molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics, division of human cancer genetics, and researcher with Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center, “for fundamental contributions to understanding the epigenetic alterations and DNA methylation patterns in mouse and human malignancies.” Sometimes, gene behavior and expression is altered without any change to that gene's DNA, which could lead to disease. By detecting these kinds of genetic alterations in tumors, Plass has helped to explain certain changes that happen in human cancers.
Yasuko Rikihisa, professor of veterinary biosciences, “for distinguished contributions to the field of rickettsiology, particularly for fundamental studies of the cellular and molecular biology of Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, and Neorickettsia species.” Rikihisa is an expert on these emerging human pathogens – they were once thought to only infect animals – that cause a host of debilitating diseases, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever and typhus fever. Her work has helped to explain how these bacteria invade and replicate inside cells.
Steven A. Ringel, Neal A. Smith Professor of Electrical Engineering and professor of physics, “for pioneering studies of electronic materials and devices, optoelectronic and high-speed device technologies, space and terrestrial photovoltaics, and defect characterization and engineering.” Ringel succeeded in combining silicon with electronic materials that were once considered incompatible with it. He's developed the resulting hybrid materials into working electronic devices, such as solar cells and light-emitting diodes.
Andrej Rotter, professor of pharmacology and neuroscience, “for pioneering studies on the visualization of transmembrane signaling molecules and their gene expression in the CNS, particularly for studies of muscarinic and GABA receptors.” An expert in bioinformatics and computational biology, Rotter uses techniques from both disciplines to study how cells of the central nervous system send and receive messages. His work has helped to explain how key cellular components interact in the developing nervous system.
Fred Sack, professor and chair of plant cellular and developmental biology, “for distinguished contributions to the field of gravity detection by plants and development of stomates in plant leaves.” Sack's research has led him to design projects that send rudimentary plants on missions into space to determine how gravity affects growth progress back on earth. His work on stomata has dramatically improved our knowledge of the respiration of plants.
Lonnie G. Thompson, Distinguished University Professor of geological sciences and research scientist with the Byrd Polar Research Center, “for seminal contributions to our understanding of climate change and for pioneering work investigating high-elevation temperate and tropical glaciers.” The work of Thompson and his research team unveiled the dramatic climate records trapped deep within ice masses around the world and warned of the impending loss of those records as climate changes throughout the globe.
In total, AAAS named 376 faculty from institutions around the country as new fellows of the organization.
Contact: Earle Holland, (614) 292-8384; Holland.firstname.lastname@example.org