Ten Rutgers professors have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an honor conferred on 381 other experts in the U.S. and abroad.
The fellows were chosen by their AAAS peers for efforts to advance science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished, according to the AAAS.
The new fellows will receive an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin at the AAAS Fellows Forum on Feb. 18, 2017. The forum will be held during the 2017 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.
The new Rutgers AAAS fellows are:
Clinton J. Andrews, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, School of Arts and Sciences
Andrews, a professor and associate dean for planning and new initiatives, also directs the Rutgers Center for Green Building. His research interests include the use of technical knowledge in environmental decision-making, environmental management, energy policy and the social science aspects of industrial ecology. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a LEED-accredited professional and a licensed professional engineer.
The association cited Andrews for “distinguished contributions to the field of planning the built environment, particularly using simulation modeling to enhance public discourse on social implications of technological change.”Suzie Chen, Department of Chemical Biology, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy
Professor Chen’s research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of melanoma development using a transgenic mouse model system. Her lab showed and confirmed the aberrant expression of a G-protein-coupled-receptor (metabotropic glutamate receptor 1, or Grm1) in melanocytes to be responsible for the generation of melanoma in their model system. Expression of Grm1 has been detected in some human melanoma cell lines and biopsy samples, suggesting possible involvement of this receptor in some cases of human melanoma.
The association cited Chen for “significant contributions in translational research in melanoma biology, particularly for identifying the critical role of glutamatergic signaling in the etiology of melanoma.”
G. Charles Dismukes, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, School of Arts and Sciences, and Waksman Institute of Microbiology
Dismukes, a distinguished professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and principal investigator at Waksman, is a member of the executive committee of the Institute for Advanced Materials and Device Nanotechnology (IAMDN) and the graduate training faculty in microbiology and biochemistry. His research focuses on biological and chemical methods for renewable solar-based fuel production, catalysis, photosynthesis, metals in biological systems and tools for investigating these systems.
The association cited Dismukes for “distinguished contributions to our understanding of natural and artificial photosynthesis, particularly catalysis of water splitting and its translation to device applications.”
Henry B. John-Alder, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
Professor John-Alder chairs the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources. He is interested in the general area of ecological and evolutionary physiology and endocrinology, including the study of functional traits of organisms, their underlying (endocrine) regulation and the significance of their variation in the natural world. His general approach crosses traditional levels of biological organization from biochemical to behavioral and includes a blend of laboratory and field research.
The association cited John-Alder for “distinguished contributions to the field of evolutionary physiological ecology, particularly in activity energetics and locomotion and the determinants of sexual size dimorphism.”
Terri Goss Kinzy, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Kinzy, vice president for research, works in the area of post-transcriptional control of gene expression, the mechanism of action of G-proteins and drug development. Some of her most recent work has utilized the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae model system to understand structure/function relationships in proteins of the translational apparatus and how this process affects efficient and accurate gene expression.
The association cited Kinzy for “distinguished contributions to the field of molecular biology, particularly translational control of gene expression, and for administrative service to science.”
Ah-Ng Tony Kong, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy
Kong is director of Graduate Program in Pharmaceutical Science and Glaxo Endowed Professor of Pharmaceutics. His research interests center on the health benefits of dietary phytochemicals – biologically active compounds found in plants; cancer initiation/prevention; and epigenetics, the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code.
The association cited Kong for “distinguished contributions to the field of pharmaceutical sciences of dietary phytochemicals, Nrf2-mediated signaling, and cancer chemoprevention, as well as academic leadership at Rutgers University.”
Peter Lobel, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Professor Lobel studies lysosomes and associated human diseases. His laboratory pioneered proteomic approaches to characterize the lysosome and identify the molecular basis for lysosomal diseases. This work led to the discovery of the underlying disease genes in two fatal childhood diseases, Niemann-Pick Type C2 disease (NPC2) and late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (LINCL), allowing development of tests used for diagnosis as well as prenatal and carrier screening. The laboratory laid the foundation for the first successful clinical trial for LINCL, which involves administration of a protein therapeutic to the brain of affected children. A drug based on this work is currently pending FDA approval.
The association cited Lobel for “distinguished contributions to the fields of human genetics and cell biology, particularly for identifying new lysosomal proteins and the basis for hereditary neurodegenerative diseases.”
Pal Maliga, Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, and Waksman Institute of Microbiology
Maliga is professor of plant biology and principal investigator at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology. His research centers on plastids, double-membraned organelles found in plant cells that are necessary for essential life processes, like photosynthesis and food storage. Maliga’s research interests are the biotechnological applications of plastid transformation, the biosafety of plastid transgenes and the genetic control of plastid inheritance.
The association cited Maliga for “developing the technology of plastid genome engineering in flowering plants, and for pioneering applications to basic research on plastid function and to chloroplast biotechnology.”
Christopher J. Molloy, Senior Vice President for Research and Economic Development
Molloy is a molecular and cellular pharmacologist with extensive drug discovery research and management experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. His specific research interests include the molecular mechanisms involved in inflammation and carcinogenesis, with an emphasis on the role of growth factors/cytokines and their intracellular signaling pathways in the control of tissue remodeling. Molloy joined Rutgers in 2007 as dean of the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy.
The association cited Molloy for “distinguished contributions to the advancement of medical sciences, particularly achievements in molecular pharmacology, drug discovery and administrative leadership in research and economic development.”
Monica Roth, Department of Pharmacology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
The research lab of Roth, Merck Research Laboratory Professor in Clinical Pharmacology, seeks to understand fundamental processes of the retroviral life cycle with a focus on applying this information toward gene and protein delivery. Recent studies have focused on the tethering and integration of murine leukemia virus (MLV). The studies define how the viral p12 and IN proteins interact with host proteins.
The association cited Roth for “distinguished contributions to the field of virology, particularly the molecular mechanisms of retrovirus integration.”
The AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science (www.sciencemag.org) as well as Science Translational Medicine, Science Signaling, a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances, Science Immunology, and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes nearly 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world. The nonprofit AAAS (www.aaas.org) is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert! (www.eurekalert.org), the premier science-news ebsite, a service of AAAS. See www.aaas.org.