Seven UF researchers named 2020 AAAS Fellows
Seven University of Florida researchers have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society.
This year, 489 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874.
This year's new Fellows bring UF's total to 59.
UF's seven Fellows include:
- Geoffrey E. Dahl, professor in the UF/IFAS animal science department, maintains research and teaching programs focused on how environmental conditions such as photoperiod (light exposure) and ambient temperature affect dairy cattle health and productivity. Dahl has devoted his career to applied and basic research that has helped dairy farmers optimize animal performance and enhanced scientific understanding of animal reproduction. He was elected to the Section on Agriculture, Food, and Renewable Resources for his accomplishments in lactation biology and environmental physiology, particularly for his research demonstrating developmental programming of postnatal function caused by late-gestation heat stress.
- Julie A. Johnson, dean of the University of Florida College of Pharmacy and distinguished professor of pharmacy and medicine, is a recognized leader in cardiovascular pharmacogenomics and precision medicine. Johnson was the founding director of the UF Health Precision Medicine Program and leads a National Institutes of Health-funded program in precision medicine implementation and genomic medicine training grant. She was elected to the AAAS Section on Pharmaceutical Sciences for significant discoveries in cardiovascular drug pharmacogenomics, and for advancing use of genetic data in clinical practice to improve clinical outcomes with drug therapy.
- Rosemary Loria, chair of the UF/IFAS plant pathology department, has made distinguished contributions to the study of the molecular basis of bacterial diseases of plants, particularly regarding genetics and biochemistry of Streptomyces bacteria, which cause an economically important disease in potatoes known as “scab.” Loria’s work not only identified the genes that confer pathogenicity (the ability to cause disease), but also showed that a phenomenon called horizontal gene transfer spread pathogenicity genes among Streptomyces species. She was elected to the Section on Agriculture, Food, and Renewable Resources for her distinguished contributions to the field of the molecular basis of bacterial diseases of plants, particularly regarding genetics and biochemistry of plant pathogenic Actinobacteria.
- Rafael Muñoz-Carpena, professor in the department of agricultural and biological engineering, studies one of Florida’s most important natural resources: water. He takes a holistic approach to hydrology, researching not just how water moves through the environment but also interacts with local ecosystems and people. Muñoz-Carpena develops computer models that account for these multiple factors and can inform management scenarios and best practices. He was elected to the Section on Agriculture, Food, and Renewable Resources for his distinguished contributions to the field of hydrological water quality modelling in agricultural systems, particularly for mechanistic evaluation of agricultural best practices for water protection.
- Thomas D. Schmittgen, chair of the department of pharmaceutics in the UF College of Pharmacy and the V. Ravi Chandran professor of pharmaceutical sciences, is an accomplished researcher focused on cancer therapeutics and co-author of one of the most cited scientific articles of all time. Schmittgen was elected to the AAAS Section on Pharmaceutical Sciences for distinguished contributions to the field of microRNA biology, particularly using real time PCR to quantify microRNA expression in tissues, extracellular vesicles, cell lines and tumors.
- Eric W. Triplett, chair of the microbiology and cell science department in UF/IFAS, has researched a range of topics, from autoimmune diseases, premature birth, citrus greening and antimicrobial resistance in agriculture. As department chair, Triplett has worked to increase student diversity and enrollment of underrepresented groups, and the microbiology and cell science major has become one of the most popular among undergraduates at UF. In August of this year, the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) recognized Triplett with the William A. Hinton Award for Advancement of a Diverse Community of Microbiologists. He was elected to the Section on Biological Sciences for his distinguished contributions in biology, particularly microbial ecology, metagenomics, and host-microbe interactions, and for increasing access of underrepresented minorities to STEM education.
- Nathalie A. Wall, professor in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering's Department of Materials Science and Engineering, researches a range of topics including fundamental radiochemistry, nuclear waste management, and fission product behaviors in molten salt systems. She was elected to the Section on Chemistry for her distinguished contribution to the field of radiochemistry, particularly for experimental work on the fate of radionuclides in the environment.
The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. Currently, members can be considered for the rank of Fellow if nominated by the steering groups of the association’s 24 sections, or by any three Fellows who are current AAAS members (so long as two of the three sponsors are not affiliated with the nominee’s institution), or by the AAAS chief executive officer. Fellows must have been continuous members of AAAS for four years by the end of the calendar year in which they are elected. The AAAS Fellow honor comes with an expectation that recipients maintain the highest standards of professional ethics and scientific integrity.