3 UCSF Researchers Named 2017 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

By Mitzi Baker

Three UC San Francisco researchers have been selected as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of Science and three other peer-reviewed journals.

The honor, announced Nov. 20, is bestowed annually on AAAS members for their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications, a tradition that began in 1874.

This year, members of three UCSF schools are among the 396 new researchers to be recognized by the AAAS.

The new fellows are:

Deanna Kroetz
Deanna L. Kroetz, PhD

Deanna L. Kroetz, PhD, professor of bioengineering in the School of Pharmacy, who aims to understand the molecular basis for clinical observations of drug response and toxicity. The AAAS recognized her contributions to the field of molecular pharmacology, particularly the role of genetic variation in response to drug therapy. Kroetz’s lab is identifying the genetic factors responsible for a number of medical conditions, including nerve damage that is a major side effect of some breast cancer chemotherapy drugs, high blood pressure caused by a common colorectal cancer therapy and response to antiretroviral therapy against HIV.

Neil Powe
Neil Richard Powe, MD, MPH, MBA

Neil Richard Powe, MD, MPH, MBA, professor of medicine, who applies basic discoveries in biology and clinical medicine to improve the health of those with chronic kidney disease, which disproportionately affects African-Americans. Powe, who leads the Medicine Service at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, was recognized for his contributions to the field of clinical research, particularly using clinical epidemiology and outcomes research to study the science of kidney disease and health disparities. His studies include racial differences in cardiovascular procedure use among chronic kidney disease patients and access to transplantation and organ donation.

Terumi Kohwi-Shigematsu
Terumi Kohwi-Shigematsu, PhD

Terumi Kohwi-Shigematsu, PhD, professor of orofacial sciences in the School of Dentistry, who was recognized for her studies unraveling how long, highly compacted strands of DNA behave dynamically within living cells to unwind DNA to allow access for genes to be expressed. She studies how bundles of DNA and proteins within cells – called chromatin – activates or suppresses specific sets of genes at the proper time. Her group introduced the concept of “genome organizer” proteins, which bring distant genes and other sequences together. This organizing activity plays an essential role in breast cancer metastasis and in dozens of other cancer types.

The new fellows will be announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the Nov. 27 issue of the journal Science and will be recognized formally on Feb. 17 during the 2018 AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas.

A list of current fellows and further information about the fellowships can be found in the association’s press release.

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