MBL Scientific Community Members Named HHMI Professors; AAAS Fellows

MBL Scientific Community Members Named HHMI Professors; AAAS Fellows
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Congratulations to several members of the MBL scientific community who recently received professional accolades, including selection as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Professor or the distinction of Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Of the 14 scientists named HHMI Professors earlier this month, two are former MBL course faculty: Margaret McFall-Ngai of University of Hawaii, Mānoa (MBL Microbiology course,1988; Embryology, 2009) and Andrew Ellington of University of Texas, Austin (MBL Molecular Evolution Workshop, 1999).

The professorship recognizes “excellence in research and education and empowers recipients to explore new approaches to important challenges in science education.” HHMI Professors receive grants of up to $1 million each to pursue a project of their design.

McFall-Ngai (pictured above) uses the Hawaiian bobtail squid and its symbiont, luminous Vibrio bacteria, to study the essence of symbiosis and the colonization of bacteria on animal surfaces. Her HHMI project proposes to “transform the teaching of biology at the undergraduate level by promoting the integration of microbiology and macrobiology into a single, comprehensive ‘systems biology.’”

Ellington is partnering with UT-Austin colleague Eric Anslyn to “establish a unique training experience for undergraduate and graduate chemistry and biochemistry majors, aimed at creating the next generation of both scientist-leaders and scientist-entrepreneurs.”

In late November, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) awarded the distinction of Fellow to 396 of its current members “in recognition of their contributions to science and technology, scientific leadership and extraordinary achievements across disciplines.” MBL course faculty and alumni or Whitman Scientists named as 2017 AAAS Fellows include:

Keith A. Trujillo, Faculty, SPINES (2004-2010, 2017); Director, SPINES (2011-2016)

Thomas Edward Spencer, Faculty, Frontiers in Reproduction (2010-2014, 2016, 2017)

Ellen V. Rothenberg, Faculty, Gene Regulatory Networks (2009-2017)

Matt R. Kaeberlein, Faculty, Biology of Aging (2012); Director, Biology of Aging (2013-14)

David J. Odde, Faculty, Physiology (2009-2013)

Chris Tsuyoshi Amemiya. Alumnus, Molecular Evolution (1989); Faculty, Physiology (1987, 1988)

John A. Cooper, Alumnus, Physiology (1978)

Judith S. Eisen, Alumnus, BUMP – Neurobiology (1976); Faculty, Zebrafish Development & Genetics (1998-2001, 2003, 2005)

Jay F. Storz, Alumnus, Molecular Evolution (2002)

Joshua S. Weitz, Alumnus, Microbial Diversity (2006)

Monte Westerfield, Faculty, Neurobiology (1988-89); MBL Society Member (1980-2010)

Wei Yan, Faculty, Frontiers in Reproduction (2012)

Julie A. Haack, Alumnus, Neurobiology (1990)

Floyd E. Dewhirst, Alumnus, Molecular Evolution (1992)

Susan Jean Roberts, Alumna, Microbial Ecology (1981)

Mari N. Jensen, Alumna, Logan Science Journalism Program (2001)

Ron Amundson, Alumna, History of Biology Seminar

Edward J. Hackett, Alumna, History of Biology of Seminar

Jonathan Chernoff, Faculty, Physiology (1997-98)

Stephen L. Helfand, Faculty, Biology of Aging (2002, 2007)

Leslie C. Griffith, Faculty, Neurobiology (1999, 2000, 2008)

Michael N. Lehman, Whitman Center Scientist (1990)

Jeffrey L. Noebels, Faculty, Neurobiology (2004)

Marina E. Wolf, Alumna, Rapid Electrochemistry (1998)

Photo: Margaret McFall-Ngai of University of Hawaii, Mānoa. Credit: Kent Nishimura