Ohio State continues to rank first in number of AAAS Fellows

News Release Date: 
12.08.11

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State University leads the country in the number of faculty just elected to the prestigious role of Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The university has ranked first or second each year for the past decade in the number of scholars chosen for this award, one significant because the Fellow designation is based on an evaluation by peers in the same academic discipline.

Twenty Ohio State faculty will be welcomed in a ceremony at AAAS’ annual meeting in February.  AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society.

“This university is a place of immense knowledge and talent, a place where people come together to make the kinds of discoveries that shape the future of our state, our nation, and the world.”


Ohio State surpassed other institutions with 20 new fellows.  Vanderbilt University was second with 14 faculty named, and the University of Michigan ranked third with 13.  The University of California, Berkeley was fourth with 11 and Michigan State University, Indiana University, the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Texas, Austin all ranked fifth with each offering 10 new fellows.

“The election of these faculty members is yet another example of the profound impact of Ohio State in the greater community,” said President E. Gordon Gee.

“This University is a place of immense knowledge and talent, a place where people come together to make the kinds of discoveries that shape the future of our state, our nation, and the world.”

“This honor recognizes the research, scholarship, and creativity of our faculty across disciplines who are improving our lives now and into the future,” said Caroline Whitacre, Ohio State’s vice president for research.

“It speaks to our faculty’s achievement in their fields as well as their dedication to teaching and their gift for inspiring our students.”

This year’s class of AAAS Fellows from Ohio State include:

Anne McCoy, professor of chemistry; for development of theoretical and computational tools for understanding the vibrational motion, spectroscopy, and dynamics of molecules.

Joseph Steinmetz, executive dean of arts and sciences and professor of neuroscience; for distinguished contributions to classical conditioning, the neurobiology of learning, clinical applications to predict underlying neural dysfunction, and academic leadership in the arts and sciences.

Joseph Williams, professor of evolution, ecology and organismal biology; for distinguished contributions to evolutionary physiological ecology, and for elucidating adaptive linkages between the pace of life, life-history, and extreme environments.

C.K. Shum, professor of earth sciences; for distinguished contributions to geodetic sciences and our understanding of sea level rise.

Kristen Sellgren, professor emeritus of astronomy; for distinguished contributions to infrared astronomy, particularly for the identification of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons as a major component of interstellar dust.

Martha Ann Belury, professor of human nutrition, of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism, and of public health; for distinguished contributions to the field of human nutrition, particularly for elucidating cellular mechanisms of dietary compounds that influence metabolism, inflammation, and carcinogenesis.

F. Robert Tabita, Ohio Eminent Scholar and professor of microbiology; for distinguished contributions to the field of microbial physiology, particularly for molecular and biochemical studies on the regulation of microbial CO₂fixation.

T.V. RajanBabu, professor of chemistry; for distinguished contributions to the field of organic synthesis and asymmetric catalysis mediated by transition metal complexes.

Joseph Heremans, Ohio Eminent Scholar and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and of physics; for distinguished contributions to the field of thermal engineering, specifically the development of high-efficiency thermoelectric materials and the discovery of thermal spin-polarization in semiconductors.

Randolph Roth, professor of history; for distinguished contributions to the history of homicide in America and beyond using statistical techniques and qualitative measures and for founding the Historical Violence Database.

Richard Steckel, professor of economics, of anthropology and of history: for distinguished contributions to the history of human wellbeing through analysis of heights and skeletal remains, and promoting collaboration between economic historians and physical anthropologists.

David Bisaro, professor of molecular genetics, of plant pathology, and of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics; for distinguished contributions to the understanding of geminivirus replication, host epigenetic defenses and pathogenesis, and for leadership in interdisciplinary graduate education.

Claudia Turro, professor of chemistry; for distinguished contributions to the understanding of photoinduced processes of inorganic complexes, including excited states and reactive intermediates important in solar energy and photodynamic therapy.

Amanda Simcox, professor of molecular genetics; for distinguished contributions to understanding the role of oncogenes and tumor suppressors in growth and development in Drosophila, and for outstanding contributions to undergraduate research.

Peter Culicover, professor of linguistics; for distinguished work in advancing our understanding of the relationship among linguistic theory, cognitive science and psychology, and in establishing cognitive science at three universities.

Dongping Zhong, professor of chemistry and of physics; for his outstanding and scholarly contributions to biophysics; by integrating techniques of molecular biology and state-of-the-art laser physics, he elucidated, in a definitive way, the mechanism of elementary processes in macromolecular dynamics.

Krzysztof Stanek, professor of astronomy; for key contributions to our understanding of the nature of gamma-ray bursts, the structure of the Milky Way Galaxy, and the Galactic distance scale.

Carlo Croce, professor and chair of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics, and professor of internal medicine; for widely ranging seminal contributions to the physics of quantum fluids and quantum gases, and his fertile international outreach.

Tin-Lun (Jason) Ho, professor of physics; for widely ranging seminal contributions to the physics of quantum fluids and quantum gases, and his fertile international outreach.

Also included in this year’s class of AAAS Fellows was Peter Houghton, director of the Center for Childhood Cancer at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.  Houghton also holds a faculty appointment as professor of pediatrics at Ohio State.

In the last dozen years or so, the number of current and former Ohio State faculty carrying the rank of Fellow has reached nearly 200, making it one of the largest contingent of such scholars at any institution in the country.