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Eight Named AAAS Fellows

Professors recognized by international science society

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January 25, 2012 | by Megan Fellman

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Eight Northwestern University faculty members have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society.

The eight professors were nominated for meritorious efforts to advance science or its applications. New fellows will be honored Feb. 18 at the AAAS annual meeting in Vancouver.

The faculty members are:

Wesley Burghardt, professor of chemical and biological engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. He was honored for his development of pioneering optical and X-ray scattering methods for studying the structural dynamics of polymers during flow and processing.  

Burghardt has previously been awarded the Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation and the John H. Dillon Medal from the American Physical Society. Burghardt’s research seeks to understand the dynamics of complex fluids during flow. Specifically, his research emphasizes in-situ investigation of such flow-induced structural changes to elucidate the origins and mechanisms of complex rheology in polymers.

He was chair of the department of chemical and biological engineering from 2005 to 2009.

Antonio Facchetti, adjunct professor of chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. He was honored for seminal contributions to the design, synthesis and characterization of novel organic/hybrid materials, to the development of unconventional fabrication strategies and to commercially viable electronic devices.

Facchetti’s research interests include plastic electronics, organic photovoltaics, metal oxide/transparent electronics, electro-optic materials and devices and organic materials for multiphotonics. He is the cofounder and chief technology officer of Polyera Corporation. Polyera is a leading supplier of high-performance functional materials for the electronics industry.

In 2009, Fachetti was awarded the Research Prize from the Italian Chemical Society for his contributions to the field of mechanisms and theoretical aspects of organic chemistry.

Joseph T. Hupp, professor of chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. He was honored for exceptional accomplishments in experimental physical, inorganic and materials chemistry, with an emphasis on chemistry that is relevant to our energy future.

Hupp studies molecular materials and supramolecular assemblies.

He has been awarded the Presidential Young Investigator Award, the Teacher-Scholar Award by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, the National Fresenius Award by Phi Lambda Upsilon and the Carl Wagner Memorial Award. Past fellowships include the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and Junior Faculty Fellowship from the Atlantic Richfield Foundation.

Kelly Edward Mayo, professor of molecular biosciences in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. He was honored for distinguished contributions to molecular endocrinology and the understanding of cell signaling and gene expression in the mammalian reproductive axis.

Mayo is the director of the Center for Reproductive Science and serves as an associate dean in Weinberg. He was chair of the department of molecular biosciences from 2004 to 2011. Mayo was previously awarded the E. LeRoy Hall Award for distinguished teaching at Northwestern and the Ernst Oppenheimer Award of The Endocrine Society for meritorious accomplishments in endocrine research.

Mayo’s laboratory investigates signaling pathways that regulate cell interactions during ovarian development and follicle formation, as well as the actions of hormones to regulate ovarian gene expression across the reproductive cycle.

Enrico Mugnaini, professor of cell and molecular biology in the Feinberg School of Medicine and director emeritus of the Northwestern University Institute for Neuroscience. He was honored for studies on the development, architecture and afferent and efferent connections of the cerebellum and the auditory system and for characterizing the fine structure and chemical phenotypes of specific neuron classes in different brain regions.

Mugnaini’s research presently focuses on defining the signaling systems of specific cell classes in the forebrain, cerebellar cortex and dorsal cochlear nucleus to promote understanding of the development of neuronal microcircuits and the focal specificity of neuronal degeneration in human disease processes and experimental animal models.

He is affiliated with the departments of physiology and neurobiology and the Northwestern University Institute of Neuroscience.

Karl Scheidt, associate professor of organic chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. He was honored for distinguished contributions to the field of catalysis focusing on the use of N-heterocyclic carbenes and developing new stereoselective methods and strategies for chemical synthesis.

Scheidt is co-director of Northwestern’s Center for Molecular Innovation and Drug Discovery. His research interests include organic, synthetic, bio-organic and medicinal chemistry, as well as chemical biology, catalysis and materials.

He has been awarded the Amgen Young Investigator Award, the Northwestern University Distinguished Teaching Award and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award.

Randall Q. Snurr, professor of chemical and biological engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. He was honored for advancing the application of nanoporous metal-organic frameworks in energy storage and separations and showing the power of molecular simulation to design new materials.

Snurr’s research focuses on adsorption, diffusion and catalysis in nanoporous materials. He is particularly interested in the development of nanoporous materials to solve environmental and energy problems.

He recently was selected to receive the 2011 Institute Award for Excellence in Industrial Gases Technology by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ board of directors.

Jane Y. Wu, professor of neurology in the Feinberg School of Medicine. She was honored for her contributions to understanding the role of regulated messenger RNA splicing in neural functions and the dysregulation of RNA binding proteins in neurologic diseases.

Wu’s research seeks to elucidate the pathogenetic mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disorders and cancer. Her research lab is focused on understanding how genetic mutations affect the expression and function of genes important for cell death and critical for the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration and cancer.

Wu is affiliated with the Center for Genetic Medicine and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

AAAS is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world. It publishes the journal Science, as well as newsletters, books and reports. In 2011, AAAS elected 539 of its members as fellows.