Five UC San Francisco researchers have been selected as 2020 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society and a leading publisher of cutting-edge research through its Science family of journals. They are among 489 newly elected fellows announced Nov. 24.
AAAS Fellowship recognizes important contributions to STEM disciplines, including pioneering research, leadership within a given field, teaching and mentoring, fostering collaborations, and advancing public understanding of science. AAAS Fellows are elected each year by their peers serving on the Council of AAAS, the organization’s member-run governing body.
These are the new fellows from UCSF:
Pui-Yan Kwok, MD, PhD, professor at the Cardiovascular Research Institute in the School of Medicine, is recognized for distinguished contributions to the development of human genomic technologies for assaying genome variation in all forms, and genome discoveries for human disease. His lab has developed tools to analyze whole genomes and search for genetic factors associated with complex human traits, such as susceptibility to diseases, response to drugs, kidney transplantation outcomes, and longevity.
Hiten D. Madhani, MD, PhD, professor of biochemistry and biophysics in the School of Medicine, is recognized for distinguished contributions to the fields of molecular biology and genetics, particularly in developing fungal systems, to uncover mechanisms of chromatin modifications and RNA splicing. For over a decade, his lab has developed Cryptococcus neoformans, a yeast that is the leading cause of fungal meningitis, as a model system for investigating mechanisms of fungal pathogenesis.
Mark Seielstad, PhD, professor of laboratory medicine in the School of Medicine, is recognized for distinguished contributions to the genetics of type 2 diabetes, the genetics of immune and inflammatory diseases, and population genetic studies in diverse human populations. His lab conducts research at the interface of genetic epidemiology and population and anthropological genetics, with much work carried out in geographically and culturally diverse human populations.
Patricia Babbitt, PhD, professor emeritus of bioengineering in the School of Pharmacy, is recognized for distinguished contributions to the field of computational biology and bioinformatics particularly related to protein structure and function and applications to drug target identification and drug design. Her lab uses computational approaches to understand how nature has evolved the enzyme reactions necessary for life, and to apply that knowledge to guide enzyme engineering in the lab.
Walter H. Moos, PhD, adjunct professor of pharmaceutical chemistry in the School of Pharmacy, is recognized for distinguished contributions to the fields of pharmaceutical sciences and medicinal chemistry targeting human health and disease. He is also managing director of Pandect Bioventures, which provides funding for early-stage biotechnology and pharmaceutical therapeutics companies.
A virtual induction ceremony for the 489 newly elected fellows will take place on Feb. 13, 2021, following the AAAS Annual Meeting.