UNC faculty elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Thursday, December 17, 2009 — Three University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill faculty members have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The association elects fellows to recognize their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

The three new fellows are pharmacologist Klaus Hahn and biologists Joseph Kieber and Mark A. Peifer.

Klaus Hahn, Ph.D., Ronald Thurman Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology in the School of Medicine, professor of medicinal chemistry and natural products in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy and a member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, was recognized for his contributions in cell biology, particularly the dynamics of living cells. His work focuses on understanding the subtleties of cell signaling, which is involved in processes such as aging and metabolism, and diseases ranging from cancer to neurological disorders. Hahn and colleagues are developing new methods of studying cell signaling networks using nanotechnology-based biosensors.

Joseph Kieber, Ph.D., professor of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences, was recognized for his contributions to plant hormone biology. Hormones influence virtually every aspect of plant growth and development. He was also cited for his service to the international community of arabidopsis researchers. Arabidopsis, a small flowering plant, is widely used as a model organism in plant biology. Studying model species can help provide insight into the workings of a wide variety of other organisms.

Mark A. Peifer, Ph.D., Hooker Distinguished Professor of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences and a member of UNC Lineberger, was recognized for his contributions to the understanding of interactions between cells and of cell signaling, particularly wnt signaling, during development. Disruptions in this cellular machinery contribute to various diseases, including cancer. His work, which explores how cells turn into tissues and organs, focuses on epithelial tissues such as skin, lung, colon and breast tissue, which form the basic architectural unit of human bodies and other animals.

The three are among 531 scientists awarded the honor this year. New fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a rosette pin at the association’s 2010 annual meeting in San Diego in February.

AAAS Web site: http://www.aaas.org/

UNC Lineberger Cancer Center contact: Dianne Shaw, (919) 966-7834, dgs@med.unc.edu
College of Arts and Sciences contact: Kim Spurr, (919) 962-4093, spurrk@email.unc.edu
News Services contact: Patric Lane, (919) 962-8596, patric_lane@unc.edu

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