Bryant, Fu, Szabo, White Elected AAAS Fellows

December 18, 2008 — Four University of Virginia professors have been named fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

The faculty members are Robert G. Bryant, professor of chemistry; Shu Man Fu, professor of medicine; Gabor Szabo, professor of molecular physics and biological physics; and Judith M. White, professor of cell biology.

The tradition of AAAS fellows began in 1874 and is regarded as a prestigious distinction among scientists. AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society and includes 262 affiliated societies and academies of science serving 10 million individuals.

Bryant was elected for distinguished contributions to the field of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy of biomaterials, especially toward understanding the molecular dynamics of water.

Judith White, Robert Bryant, Gabor Szabo and Shu Man Fu

Fu was chosen for identifying main elements of the human immune response, including the mapping of complement components and providing novel insights on the origin of lupus nephritis.

Szabo was cited for important contributions to the field of membrane physiology, particularly for his work on the biophysics of membrane permeability.

White was named for outstanding contributions to understanding mechanisms by which proteins mediate membrane fusion and the importance of this process in enveloped virus infections and sperm-egg fusion.

"New insights from scientific discoveries are a cornerstone of modern society, producing improved health, human dignity and freedom," noted Thomas C. Skalak, vice president for research.

"The U.Va. scientists honored by AAAS this year have exhibited the highest levels of individual creativity and scholarship. They are also the basis for a world-class collaborative research environment that attracts the brightest young minds to come to U.Va."

This year 486 members of AAAS have been named fellows in honor of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Their names are announced in the Dec. 19 issue of the journal Science, which is published by AAAS.

The new fellows will be presented with a certificate and a rosette pin next February at the annual meeting of the association in Chicago.

— By Fariss Samarrai