Five Penn Professors Named AAAS Fellows

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | | 215-573-6604
Media Contact:Karen Kreeger | | 215-349-5658 November 30, 2012

PHILADELPHIA – Five faculty members at the University of Pennsylvania have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  Two are from Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, two are from its School of Arts and Sciences and one has appointments in both schools.

Shelley Berger, Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor and Daniel S. Och University Professor in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology and Department of Genetics at the Perelman School of Medicine, as well as in the School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology, was elected for seminal contributions to the elucidation of the role of chromatin structure and the biochemistry of histones in eukaryotic gene regulation. Her research is critical to the burgeoning field of epigenetics.

Feng Gai, professor in the Department of Chemistry in the School of Arts and Sciences, was elected for seminal contributions to the field of protein folding, particularly for pioneering new spectroscopic methods to probe protein conformational dynamics in real time. His research on the subject was published in the journal Angewandte Chemie last year.

Marisa Kozlowski, professor in the Department of Chemistry in the School of Arts and Sciences, was elected for insightful contributions to catalysis, particularly for the application of a broad range of computational tools to catalyst development and for biomimetic oxidative coupling catalysis. Kozlowski was also recently named a Penn Fellow and received the 2012 American Chemical Society Philadelphia Section Award.

Andrea Liu, Hepburn Professor in the Department of Physics in the School of Arts and Sciences, was elected for distinguished contributions in theoretical physics, particularly for demonstrating that slow relaxation in many different systems can be viewed within a common framework called “jamming.” Liu has also recently collaborated with researchers from Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine in studying the behavior of T-cells.

Reed Pyeritz, professor of medicine and director of Penn’s Center for the Integration of Genetic Healthcare Technologies, was elected for exemplary leadership as a distinguished investigator, educator, professional society contributor and administrator in the field of human-genetics research and its translation to care.

This year 701 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New Fellows will be honored on Feb. 16 at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2013 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston.