Seven UCLA scholars have been selected as fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world's largest general scientific society and the publisher of the journal Science. Members are chosen for their distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. The selection of fellows has been an AAAS tradition since 1874.
UCLA's new fellows are among 539 scholars selected this year. The new fellows will be honored Feb. 18, 2012, at the AAAS annual meeting in Vancouver, and they will be announced in the "AAAS News and Notes" section of the journal Science on Dec. 23. UCLA's new fellows are:
Chiappelli, a professor at the UCLA School of Dentistry and a member of both UCLA's Brain Research Institute and Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, was honored for "distinguished contributions to the field of oral, dental and craniofacial research, particularly for the unique contributions to development of the field of evidence-based dentistry." His research expertise also includes psycho-neuroendocrine-immune interactions.
Cole, associate professor in the division of hematology–oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, was honored for "pullulating research on the social regulation of human, viral and cancer genomes using functional genomics and bioinformatics to map the signal transduction pathways." His laboratory studies the social regulation of gene expression and the biochemical signaling pathways involved.
Green, professor of mathematics, has worked in a number of branches of math, including several complex variables, commutative algebra, Hodge theory and algebraic geometry. He was the co-founder and longtime director of UCLA's Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics, a national research institute funded by the National Science Foundation that fosters interdisciplinary collaboration among mathematical scientists and physical scientists, engineers, biologists, medical researchers, and researchers in the humanities and social sciences.
Modlin is UCLA's Klein Professor of Dermatology, Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, and chief of the dermatology division at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He was honored for "distinguished contributions toward understanding human antimicrobial pathways, including Th1/Th2 cytokines, TLR 2 recognition of microbial lipoproteins, and the role of vitamin D in immunity." Modlin's laboratory has made fundamental insights into T cell subsets, cytokine patterns, antigen presentation, innate immunity and antimicrobial mechanisms in the human immune response to infection and is studying patients with leprosy and tuberculosis.
Neelin, professor and chair of UCLA's Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, was honored for "distinguished contributions to the fields of theoretical climate dynamics and climate modeling, particularly for insights into the dynamical mechanisms underlying the behavior of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation phenomenon." A member of UCLA's Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Neelin conducts research on the interactions among various elements of the climate system, starting with ocean–atmosphere interaction and spreading to others — interactions "that must be understood as fully coupled processes," he says.
Wang, a professor and chair of the division of oral biology and medicine at the UCLA School of Dentistry, researches molecular signaling pathways. He was honored for "distinguished contributions to cancer therapy and bone biology, particularly for the role of NF-kB in cell survival, oral inflammation, bone loss and cancer metastasis."
Yeh, who holds the Richard G. Newman AECOM Chair in Civil Engineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, was honored for "pioneering and distinguished contributions in developing optimization models using advanced system analysis techniques to plan, manage and operate modern water resources systems." Yeh's research interests include groundwater modeling, conjunctive-use planning of surface water and groundwater, and the development of methodologies and models for optimizing large-scale water resources systems.
The AAAS, founded in 1848, is a nonprofit organization that includes 262 affiliated societies and science academies and serves 10 million people. The association's mission is to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy, international programs and science education, including its website devoted to science news, EurekAlert!, at www.eurekalert.org.
UCLA is California's largest university, with an enrollment of nearly 38,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The UCLA College of Letters and Science and the university's 11 professional schools feature renowned faculty and offer 337 degree programs and majors. UCLA is a national and international leader in the breadth and quality of its academic, research, health care, cultural, continuing education and athletic programs. Six alumni and five faculty have been awarded the Nobel Prize.