June 18, 2019 | 72° F

10 Rutgers professors named fellows for scientific advancements

Photo by Nick Romanenko and Nick Romanenko |
Chemistry and Chemical Biology Chair Martha Greenblatt and Chemistry and Chemical Biology distinguished professor (Gerard) Charles Dismukes PhD.

For scientists, whose individual research depends heavily on collaboration and feedback within the field, the appointment by peers to a nationally-recognized fellowship program is one of the highest honors possible. On Oct.19, Rutgers professors were named fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

In addition to being the publisher of the prominent peer-reviewed academic journal, the AAAS is “the world's largest multidisciplinary scientific society,” according to the organization’s website.

The association sought “members whose efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished,” according to its website. The newly-elected fellows were  recognized in 24 scientific categories through a nomination process, according to the AAAS’s guideline of the nomination process.

There are now 51 current elected fellows of AAAP who are affiliated with Rutgers University, listed on the AAAP’s directory of fellows.

The 10 Rutgers professors elected this year will be honored at the annual Fellows Forum, a part of the annual AAAS Meeting, to be hosted in February 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Clinton Andrews, professor and associate dean for Planning and New Initiatives at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, whose research involves building based on simulation models, was cited for his contribution to the field of built environment and for stimulating the public’s discourse on “social implications of technological change,” according to the Rutgers Energy Institute.

"My work sits at the science-policy intersection and explores better ways for scientists and technologists to contribute constructively to public decisions," Andrews said in an email.

He said he used computer simulation modeling techniques to play out "what if?" scenarios, which can model and prevent unintended consequences.

"Simulation modeling is a science-based method that allows careful, systematic and rigorous explorations of these what-if questions, making it useful for factually anchoring public debates," he said.

Andrews is currently involved with a "heat waves" project, in which he and collaborators are investigating the vulnerability of elderly, impoverished residents of public housing during hot seasons. Using a new type of simulation model, he said he hopes to make the case for a "right to air conditioning" in the future.

Andrews and his collaborators recently received funding to support several graduate students interested in studying coastal climate risk and resilience, he said.

Charles Dismukes, a distinguished professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and Pal Maliga, a professor in the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, are both principal investigators at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology who was cited for his research involving photosynthesis and chloroplast biotechnology, respectively, according to the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

Henry John-Alder, a professor and the chair of the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources, was recognized for his work with evolutionary physiological ecology, according to an article by the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences' Newsroom website.

“My general approach crosses traditional levels of biological organization and includes a blend of laboratory and field research,” he said in his research statement.

Terri Goss-Kinzy, a professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and Christopher J. Molloy, the senior vice president for the Office of Research and Economic Development, were recognized for their scientific research, but also for their administrative roles at their respective institutions, according to the Office of Economic and Research Developent.

Peter Lobel, a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Monica Roth, a professor in the Department of Pharmacology, both of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, were cited for their molecular work with cell biology and virology, respectively, according to the University’s release.

Ah-Ng Tony Kong and Suzie Chen are also both professors at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, and were recognized for their research in pharmaceutics.

Chen was recognized for her work with translational research, a multidisciplinary style of research, dubbed “bench-to-bedside” by the NIH.

In an email, Chen said that this approach improved therapeutic treatment strategies. It allowed her to move her lab results to a clinical setting to better understand Melanoma.

“As a basic scientist our ultimate goal is always improving human health,” Chen said. “To be named as AAAS Fellow means recognition by your peers, which really means a lot to me.”

Minna Kim is an Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy first-year student. She is a staff writer for The Daily Targum.

Minna Kim

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