UW Today

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January 8, 2009

Six UW profs named Fellows of AAAS

Six UW professors were among 486 scientists honored recently as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS. The UW Fellows are Phyllis Wise, Michael Bevan, Eliot Brenowitz, Caroline Harwood, Rodney Ho, and Alan Weiner. Election as a Fellow of AAAS is an honor bestowed upon members by their peers. Fellows are recognized for meritorious efforts to advance science or its applications.

In addition to serving as the UW’s provost and executive vice president, Phyllis Wise is professor of biology, physiology and biophysics and obstetrics and gynecology. Before coming to the UW in 2005, she was dean of the College of Biological Sciences at the University of California at Davis. At the UW, Wise continues an active research program in issues concerning women’s health and gender-based biology. The two projects she brought with her when she arrived have to do with how the brain ages and how estrogen helps prevent brain injury and degeneration. Wise earned her doctorate at the University of Michigan, and was a faculty member at the University of Maryland at Baltimore and chair of the Department of Physiology at the University of Kentucky before going to UC Davis.

Michael Bevan is professor of immunology in the School of Medicine and an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The AAAS citation notes that he “identified processes of positive selection and cross-priming of T cells.” He was also honored for outstanding mentoring. Bevan received his doctorate in immunology at Mill Hill, London, in 1972. Before joining the UW in 1990, he held positions at Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif. and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of London, and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Eliot Brenowitz was cited for distinguished contributions to the fields of neuroethology and animal behavior, particularly for successfully integrating behavioral, endocrine, aneural and comparative approaches to the study of animal communication. Brenowitz is a professor of psychology and biology. He received his doctorate from Cornell University and has been a UW faculty member since 1987.

Caroline Harwood is professor of microbiology in the School of Medicine. The AAAS citation notes that she “advanced knowledge about anaerobic degradation of aromatic compounds, biological hydrogen production, chemotaxis and biofilm formation in pathogens.” She received her doctorate in microbiology at the University of Massachusetts and completed postdoctoral work at Yale University. She held academic appointments at Cornell University and the University of Iowa before joining the UW faculty in 2005.

Rodney Ho is associate dean for research and new initiatives at the School of Pharmacy and the Milo Gibaldi endowed professor in the Department of Pharmaceutics. His AAAS citation was for distinguished research on targeted drug delivery — particularly in the development of lipisomes and other lipid-based delivery systems for antiviral therapy for HIV and herpes. He also directs the DNA Sequencing and Gene Analysis Center at the School of Pharmacy. Ho earned his doctorate from the University of Tennessee and completed a fellowship in infectious diseases at Stanford before joining the UW faculty in 1990.


Alan Weiner is professor and Davie/Zymogenetics chair of the Department of Biochemistry. In RNA biochemistry, Weiner showed that SINEs (short, interspersed nuclear repetitive DNA elements) transpose through RNA intermediaries; elucidated mammal messenger RNA splicing, and rescued CCA-adding enzymes from premature oblivion. CCA is the sequence found at the business end of transfer RNA. Weiner earned his doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard and completed postdoctoral work at Stanford and MIT. He was a faculty member at Yale until 2000, when he joined the UW.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world by serving as an educator, leader, spokesperson and professional association. In addition to organizing membership activities, AAAS publishes the journal Science, as well as many scientific newsletters, books and reports, and spearheads programs that raise the bar of understanding for science worldwide. Founded in 1848, AAAS serves some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals.

The new Fellows will be recognized at the Fellows Forum to be held on Feb, 14 during the AAAS Annual Meeting in Chicago.