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(Last updated 10/28/04)

Website of the Ohio State University-AAAS Fellows organization can be found here.

Previous stories citing faculty named to Fellow status:

"AAAS Honors Fifteen Ohio State Faculty With Rank Of Fellow," 10/30/03.

"AAAS Honors Seven Faculty With Rank Of Fellow," 11/14/02.


COLUMBUS, Ohio – For the second year in a row, more Ohio State University faculty members have earned the rank of Fellow from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) than any other single institution this year.

With 14 faculty members ranking among the new 2004-05 AAAS Fellows, Ohio State now boasts 90 Fellows.

“The fact that we’ve led the nation in new AAAS fellows for two years in a row underscores the quality of our faculty and the recognition of their success by their peers,” said President Karen Holbrook, herself a AAAS Fellow.

“This honor is the latest indication of the increasing quality and quantity of research that goes on at Ohio State,” said Robert McGrath, senior vice president for research. “Coupled with the news that the university received more than a half-billion dollars in research funding during the last year, it is evident that the university has developed a critical mass of nationally recognized scholars in a variety of disciplines and fields.”

The new Fellows include:

  • Barbara L. Andersen, professor of psychology, “for distinguished contributions to the field of behavioral medicine, particularly for studies in biobehavioral aspects of cancer and psychological interventions for cancer patients.” Andersen heads the Stress and Immunity Breast Cancer Project at Ohio State, which for the past 10 years has been examining women with breast cancer to determine if psychological and behavioral programs can help improve quality of life and possibly prevent recurrence. Her studies have been among the first to show that such interventions can lead to a stronger immune system among breast cancer patients, which may have implications for extending life. In addition, her research has shown that psychological interventions can lead to important behavior changes among cancer patients, such as healthier diets and reduced smoking.
  • L. Mark Berliner, professor of statistics, “for distinguished contributions to geophysical and environmental statistics and for development of collaborative research among statisticians and geophysical scientists.” Few scientists share Berliner’s dual expertise in geophysics and statistics, but his development of the first formal statistics program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research has assured that others will follow. He has designed unique computer models to quantify the uncertainty in forecasts of climatic phenomena such as El Niño, and has brought statistical insights to studies of global climate change.
  • Ching-Shih Chen, professor of pharmacy and internal medicine, "for fundamental studies of lipid-mediated signal transduction pathways in cancer and for discovery of novel therapeutic agents that modulate cancer cell activation and death." Chen's work merges synthetic organic chemistry with molecular and cellular biology to design novel chemotherapy agents that attack molecular defects in tumor cells. Currently, many of these promising compounds are undergoing tests at different laboratories in the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center to evaluate their effectiveness against a number of cancers -- including prostate, breast, lung, pancreatic, and ovarian cancers, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
  • Russ Hille, professor of molecular and cellular biochemistry, for "distinguished contributions to enzymology, particularly with regard to the molecular structure and mechanism of action of metalloenzymes that catalyze oxidation-reduction reactions." By identifying each chemical step involved in enzymatic reactions, Hille has helped unravel how an entire class of metal-containing enzymes works. A better understanding of how enzymes work could make it easier to design drugs that influence enzymatic activity in a desired way to treat various diseases.
  • Philip R. Johnson, the Henry G. Cramblett Chair in Medicine; professor of pediatrics and molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics; and president of the Columbus Children's Research Institute, "for distinguished scientific contributions to and leadership in the development of human immunodeficiency virus vaccine and gene transfer technology for gene therapy." In 2003, Johnson's laboratory began testing an HIV vaccine in human clinical trials. His work has also led to the development of a gene transfer vector that is currently being used in clinical trials for cystic fibrosis and rheumatoid arthritis at several centers in the United States.
  • Yang Liu, Kurtz Chair Professor and director, Division of Cancer Immunology, Department of Pathology; professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics; and co-leader, Immunology Program of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, “for fundamental studies relating innate immunity to adaptive immunity, particularly in establishing the field of T cell costimulation and studying tumor and immune response.” While all plants and animals share the ability to repel invading bacteria and viruses on a rudimentary chemical level, only humans and other highly evolved vertebrates possess immune systems that are sophisticated enough to produce customized antibodies or “killer T cells” to mount a counterattack and maintain lasting immunity. Liu performed early studies that proved these two types of immune systems are linked through induction of costimulatory molecules. He is working to develop new methods to help activate the body’s immune system in response to cancer, while damping it in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
  • Lawrence E. Mathes, professor of veterinary biosciences; interim associate dean for research in the College of Veterinary Medicine; and former director of OSU’s Center for Retroviral Research, “for distinguished contributions to retrovirus research, particularly in the understanding of viral pathogenesis and the development of chemotherapy for feline leukemia virus and immunodeficiency virus.” Mathes' research has provided critical knowledge of immunosuppressive factors in retrovirus infections and neoplastic disease and he has a long-standing interest in treatment and prevention of retrovirus disease. He also has established a research program to evaluate anti-retrovirus drug therapy.
  • Michael C. Ostrowski, professor of molecular genetics, for "distinguished contributions to the field of tumor biology, particularly in the elucidation of the role of signaling molecules, oncogenes, and transcription factors in cancer." Ostrowski's work has shed light on the wiring within cells that allows them to communicate with other cells throughout the body, during both normal cell differentiation as well as cancer progression. His research has helped to define how this internal wiring -- called a signal transduction pathway -- gets altered during cancer progression. Ostrowski played a pivotal role in securing for Ohio State this year a nearly $9-million grant from the National Cancer Institute to study how genes in the tumor microenvironment -- the non-cancerous tissue surrounding a tumor cell -- influence breast cancer progression.
  • Electra Diane Paskett, Marion R. Rowley professor of cancer research, College of Medicine and Public Health; and associate director for population sciences in the Comprehensive Cancer Center, "for distinguished contributions to cancer control, in early detection amongst underserved and minority populations, and for leadership roles in cancer control, population sciences, and diversity enhancement." An internationally recognized epidemiologist and expert on health issues that affect women and minorities, Paskett focuses heavily on early detection as well as cancer prevention. Through involvement in multiple cancer control studies, she has helped design intervention strategies that persuade people to change their behavior and take control of their health. She has spent a good portion of her career working in poor, minority and underserved communities in order to improve cancer screening rates.
  • Thomas J. Rosol, professor of veterinary biosciences and senior associate vice president for research, “for distinguished contributions to endocrinology and bone pathobiology, particularly in cancer-associated hypercalcemia and the pathogenesis of bone metastases in mouse models of human cancer.” Both prostate cancer and breast cancer metastasize to bones but the end disease can differ. Rosol’s research programs are aimed at determining how those variations occur and what approaches might be useful in reducing the migration of cancer. Through the use of bioluminescence, he has developed an improved method of producing images of tumors within animal models and is even exploring the use of nanoparticles to enhance such images.
  • Fred Sanfilippo, dean of the College of Medicine and Public Health; senior vice president for health sciences; and chief executive officer of the OSU Medical Center, “for distinguished contributions to the field of transplantation immunology, while simultaneously having a significant impact on enhancing medical research as a senior administrator.” Before taking his current medical leadership post as head of one of the country’s largest medical centers, Sanfilippo’s research focused on the humoral mechanisms of rejection in xenotransplantation and chronic graft vasculopathy, and on immunology and transplantation, especially emphasizing renal and corneal transplants.
  • Daniel R. Schoenberg, professor of molecular and cellular biochemistry, for "fundamental studies of mRNA synthesis and turnover, particularly for studies of RNA stability, translation regulation, RNA-protein interaction, and genetic disorders of mRNA metabolism." Schoenberg was the first to identify a class of enzymes called messenger RNA (mRNA) endonucleases. These enzymes help control the overall amount of mRNA in a cell, which in turn controls new protein synthesis. His fundamental research on these enzymes led to the identification of the molecular mechanism responsible for the defect in hemoglobin production in beta-thalassemia, an inherited disease of red blood cell production.
  • Altaf A. Wani, professor of radiology and molecular and cellular biochemistry, and Director of the Molecular Carcinogenesis Laboratory, “for distinguished contributions to the field of genomic damage and repair, particularly repair regulation in human cells by tumor suppressor p53 and its target proteins.” From exposures to the sun’s ultraviolet light to cigarette smoke, many environmental factors damage the DNA in our cells every day. Wani discovered that the gene known as p53 participates in repairing such damage -- and is critical for preventing the genetic mutations that lead to cancer development.
  • Caroline C. Whitacre, professor and chair of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics, and associate vice president for health sciences research within the Ohio State University Medical Center, “for distinguished contributions to the field of neuroimmunology, particularly the application of oral tolerance to autoimmunity and gender differences in the incidence/progression of autoimmune disease.” Whitacre’s laboratory uses both cellular and molecular approaches to devise therapeutic regimens aimed at thwarting multiple sclerosis, and focusing on the animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). The primary focus of this research is to understand the mechanisms underlying the disease suppression that can follow the oral administration of an antigen (oral tolerance). The laboratory also studies the effects of stress and central nervous system trauma on the immune system.

AAAS represents the world's largest federation of scientists and works to advance science for human well being through its projects, programs and publications. It conducts programs in the areas of science policy, science education and international scientific cooperation. AAAS members are elevated to the rank of Fellow for their efforts in advancing science or fostering applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.

The association will publish the names of all 308 new Fellows in the October 29 issue of the journal Science. The Fellows will be honored in February 2005, during the AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.


Contact: Robert McGrath, (614) 292-1582; Mcgrath.66@osu.edu

Written by Earle Holland, Jeff Grabmeier, Holly Wagner, and Pam Frost Gorder, (614) 292-9475; Gorder.1@osu.edu