Five current and former NIEHS grantees are among the 347 new fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), elected in 2015 in recognition of their contributions to innovation, education, and scientific leadership.
The new fellows will be recognized Feb. 13 at the 2016 AAAS annual meeting in Washington, D.C. The tradition of electing AAAS fellows began in 1874, to recognize members for their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.
Pat Mastin, Ph.D., deputy director of the NIEHS Division of Extramural Research and Training, congratulated recipients on joining an elite group of scientists who have been nominated and elected by their peers in the association's 24 sections.
“It’s a prestigious award that always shows up prominently in the CV [curriculum vitae] of any scientist who has achieved that honor, and it is especially gratifying to see early-career researchers among this year’s winners,” he said.
• Karlene Cimprich, Ph.D., professor of chemical and systems biology at the Stanford School of Medicine — Cimprich is receiving NIEHS support to study the regulation of two critical regulatory genes that help to reduce mutations arising from DNA replication stress.
• John DiGiovanni, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and toxicology and Coulter R. Sublette Chair at the University of Texas at Austin — DiGiovanni was an NIEHS-supported training program director and cancer researcher during his 1996-2009 tenure at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
• Gerd Pfeifer, Ph.D., professor and head of the Laboratory of Epigenetic Pathways in Disease at the Van Andel Research Institute — The recipient of a National Institutes of Health Merit Award, Pfeifer was previously a longtime NIEHS grantee, studying the mechanisms of ultraviolet radiation in producing mutations and epigenetic modifications linked to cancer.
• LuZhe Sun, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio — With NIEHS grant support, Sun is exploring the effects of bisphenol A exposure on mammary gland stem cell function and transformation involved in cancer development.
• Janos Zempleni, Ph.D., Willa Cather Professor of Molecular Nutrition and director of the Nebraska Center for the Prevention of Obesity Diseases Through Dietary Molecules at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln — Zempleni previously received NIEHS grants to identify epigenetic mechanisms through which changes in the dietary uptake of biotin (vitamin B7) alter expression of retroviral elements involved in cancer and other genomic events.
(Eddy Ball, Ph.D., is a contract writer with the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison.)