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Record Number Elected AAAS Fellows

November 29, 2012

Seventeen members of Vanderbilt University’s faculty have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) this year. This is the largest number of Vanderbilt fellows to be elected in a single year. Vanderbilt University now has 80 AAAS fellows among its current and emeritus faculty.

Vanderbilt’s fellows are among 702 new fellows from around the country selected by their peers because of their “scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.”

Jennifer Pietenpol

Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D.

Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D., director of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, and five other VICC faculty members are among the newly elected members.

The AAAS is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science and the world by serving as an educator, leader, spokesperson and professional association. In addition to membership activities, the AAAS published Science, as well as many other publications that raise the bar of the understanding of science worldwide.

AAAS fellows help governments formulate science policy, promote advancement of science education, increase diversity in the scientific community, use science to advance human rights, and communicate the value of science to the general public.

Vanderbilt’s fellows are among 702 new fellows from around the country selected by their peers because of their “scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.”

“We are very proud of the great work of these outstanding faculty colleagues through their research, teaching and mentoring,” said Richard McCarty, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University provost, vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and professor of Psychology. “This special recognition by AAAS is fitting tribute to them and reflects well on the University.”

“The election of a record 17 faculty as new fellows offers further validation of the University’s significant advancements to medicine and science,” said Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs and dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “We celebrate the recognition of these individuals by the AAAS while recognizing the important contributions they bring to their respective fields.”

The new fellows who are also VICC faculty members and their achievements are:

  • Richard Caprioli, Ph.D., Stanford Moore Chair in Biochemistry and director of the Mass Spectrometry Research Center.
    For distinguished research in the fields of chemistry and biochemistry, for seminal advances in mass spectrometry and innovation in imaging/profiling mass spectrometry (IMS).
  • Robert Coffey Jr., M.D., Ingram Professor of Cancer Research.
    For distinguished contributions to the study of growth factor signaling in intestinal cell biology and neoplasia and in the pathogenesis and treatment of Ménétrier’s disease.
  • Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D., Benjamin F. Byrd Jr. Endowed Chair in Oncology and director, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.
    For outstanding contributions to the field of cancer research, particularly the involvement of signaling networks in breast and other cancers.
  • Dan Roden, M.D., assistant vice chancellor for Personalized Medicine, and William Stokes Chair in Experimental Therapeutics.
    For distinguished contributions to elucidating molecular and genetic mechanisms of drug-induced cardiac arrhythmias, and for pioneering efforts in pharmacogenomics that enable personalized medicine.
  • William Tansey, Ph.D., Ingram Professor of Cancer Research and professor of Cell and Developmental Biology.
    For pioneering discoveries that revealed connections between the transcription and ubiquitin systems, including critical advances in understanding the functions of ubiquitin and proteasome in gene expression.
  • Christopher V. Wright, D.Phil., professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, and Louis B. McGavock Chair.
    For distinguished contributions to the field of developmental biology and genetics, particularly for seminal discoveries in pancreas organogenesis and embryonic body patterning.

The new fellows will be recognized on Feb. 16 at the 2013 AAAS annual meeting in Boston.

For more information on AAAS Fellows, see