AAAS and Emory University Announce Nine New 2014 Fellows

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has elected nine new 2014 AAAS Fellows, including the following seven faculty members from GDBBS:

Dr. Jeremy M. Boss, faculty member in GMB and IMP. Dr. Boss is recognized for distinguished contributions to the field of immunology, particularly in the area of gene regulation and epigenetics; and for editorial board service to the immunology community. He was editor-in-chief of the Journal of Immunology from 2008-2013. His research focuses on molecular and epigenetic mechanisms of immune system gene regulation, regulation of human major histocompatibility complex class II genes, and regulation of the PD-1 molecule during chronic viral infections. He directs a training grant in genetics and molecular biology.

Dr. Richard D. Cummings, faculty member in BCDB and IMP. Dr. Cummings is recognized for distinguished contributions to the fields of glycobiology and glycomics, particularly for identifying the structures and functions of complex carbohydrates involved in numerous cell processes. His laboratory studies the fundamental biological process by which cells adhere to each other and interact with the extracellular matrix or basement membrane. This research area also relates to processes by which viruses, bacteria, and parasites stick to animal cells and initiate disease.

Dr. Haian Fu, faculty member in CB and MSP. Dr. Fu is recognized for distinguished contributions to the field of chemical biology, particularly targeting protein-protein interactions in cell signaling networks for translational discovery. He is director of the Emory Chemical Biology Discovery Center, established in 2003 to enhance Emory’s capabilities in small molecule drug discovery and development.. The Center is anchored by investigators in the Winship Cancer Institute and is integrated with the Emory Institute for Drug Development.

Dr. Randy A. Hall, faculty member in MSP and NS. Dr. Hall is recognized for distinguished contributions to the fields of pharmacology and neuroscience, particularly to the understanding of G protein-coupled receptor pharmacology, regulation, and signaling pathways. His research is focused on understanding the mechanisms of signal transduction – the molecular signaling that activates cellular receptors.  Neurotransmitters and hormone receptors are common targets for therapeutic pharmaceuticals. Hall is director of the Molecular & Systems Pharmacology Graduate Program.

Dr. John R. Hepler, faculty member in BCDB, MSP, and NS. Dr. Hepler is recognized for distinguished research and service in the field of molecular pharmacology regarding the understanding of receptor, G protein and RGS protein signaling in physiology. Hepler’s research focuses on the cellular roles and regulation of signaling proteins and pathways used by neurotransmitters and hormones to exert their actions on target cells. He combines multidisciplinary approaches including modern techniques in cell biology, molecular biology and protein biochemistry.

Dr. David S. Stephens, faculty member in IMP and MMG. Dr. Stephens is recognized for distinguished contributions to infectious diseases by elucidating genetic and molecular pathogenetic and virulence mechanisms of organisms causing bacterial meningitis and identifying correlates of immunity.  He has led the development of successful programs in infectious diseases and microbial pathogenesis and was a major contributor to creating the Emory Vaccine Center and the Emory Center for AIDS Research. He is principal investigator for the NIH-funded Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

Dr. Stephen F. Traynelis, faculty member in MSP and NS. Dr. Traynelis is recognized for distinguished contributions to the field of neuroscience, particularly for advancing understanding of excitatory postsynaptic receptor structure, function, regulation and role in disease. His research centers on expanding the understanding of the structure-function relationship of NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors in the brain, which respond to the chemical messenger glutamate. NMDA receptors are a critical component of communication between brain cells and play important roles in neurological diseases, learning and memory.

Election as a AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. This year's AAAS Fellows were formally announced in the AAAS News and Notes section of the November 28 issue of the journal Science.

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