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Eleven professors at Illinois elected as 2007 AAAS Fellows

James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Eleven faculty members of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science: Mark B. David, John A. Gerlt, Gregory S. Girolami, Steven C. Huber, Stephen P. Long, Yi Lu, Ken N. Paige, Edmund G. Seebauer, Scott K. Silverman, Gregory Timp and Donald J. Wuebbles.

Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon members by their peers. This year 471 members were elevated to this rank because of their efforts to advance science or its applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.

“These faculty represent the creativity, innovation and vision that are hallmarks of the scholarship for which Illinois is known,” said Richard Herman, the chancellor of the Urbana campus. “They enrich the environment for our students, for their colleagues across campus and for their peers around the world. We are proud of all they have accomplished and all we know they will continue to achieve in the coming years.”

David, professor and associate head of the natural resources and environmental sciences department, was chosen for contributions to the field of agronomic and soil sciences, particularly for critical biogeochemical studies of agricultural and forested ecosystems.

Gerlt, the Gutgsell Chair of Biochemistry, Chemistry and Biophysics, was recognized for contributions to the field of mechanistic enzymology, including studies of mechanistically diverse enzyme superfamilies and the predictions of functions of unknown proteins discovered in genome projects.

Girolami, professor and former head of the chemistry department, was selected for contributions to the field of inorganic chemistry, particularly for pioneering the fields of organotransition metal chemical vapor deposition and the synthesis of room temperature molecule-based magnets.

Huber, a professor of plant biology and of crop sciences, a plant physiologist with the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture and an affiliate of the Institute for Genomic Biology, was honored for seminal research in plant carbon and nitrogen metabolism and regulation of carbon/nitrogen interactions by protein phosphorylation.

Long, the Robert Emerson Professor of plant biology and of crop sciences, and deputy director of the Berkeley-Illinois Energy Biosciences Institute, was recognized for contributions to the understanding of the physiological responses of natural and agronomic ecosystems to global change.

Lu, a professor of chemistry and an affiliate of biochemistry, biophysics, materials science and engineering, and the Beckman Institute, was chosen for pioneering work in biological inorganic chemistry, particularly for design and selection of metallozymes and their applications in catalysis, sensing and nanomaterial assembly.

Paige, professor and head of the animal biology department, was selected for his seminal work on overcompensation in plants and pioneering work on the application of molecular genetic techniques to enhance understanding of ecological and evolutionary processes.

Seebauer, the James W. Westwater Professor and head of the chemical and biomolecular engineering department, was honored for discovery and application of new mechanisms to engineer the behavior of defects within semiconducting solids and on their surfaces.

Silverman, a professor of chemistry and an affiliate of biochemistry and biophysics, was chosen for fundamental studies into the chemistry of nucleic acids, including the development of novel, DNA-based catalysts and new probes of RNA structure.

Timp, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, a researcher at the Beckman Institute and an affiliate of the Institute for Genomic Biology, was honored for pioneering contributions to the understanding of transport in nanostructures.

Wuebbles, professor of atmospheric sciences and director of the School of Earth, Society and Environment, was recognized for contributions in understanding of the role of halocarbons in ozone depletion and for placing model results in a policy context for decision-makers.

The election of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. This year’s fellows will be recognized during the AAAS annual meeting in Boston in February. AAAS, which publishes the journal Science, was founded in 1848; it is the world’s largest general scientific society.