Five Dartmouth faculty members have been selected as 2011 fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society and the publisher of the journal Science. Professors Duane Compton, Russell Hughes, Lee Lynd, Jason Moore, and George O’Toole are among 539 new fellows recognized by AAAS this year for their distinguished efforts to advance science.
Dartmouth has seen an increasing number of faculty elected AAAS fellows in recent years, with one in 2008, two in 2009, four in 2010, and five this year. A total of 26 Dartmouth faculty are currently AAAS fellows (see complete list at bottom of page).
“We are so pleased that the achievements of Dartmouth faculty in the sciences are being honored by the AAAS,” says Provost Carol Folt. “From developing biofuels to understanding the mechanisms of cancer cell division, these faculty members have ambitious research programs that seek solutions to urgent problems.” Folt is also the Dartmouth Professor of Biological Sciences.
“The election of these outstanding faculty members illustrates Dartmouth Medical School’s creative curiosity, scientific rigor, and passion to improve lives,” says Wiley “Chip” Souba, dean of the medical school, whose faculty includes three of the new fellows. “A high-performing research enterprise is fundamental to our mission of transforming lives through innovations in learning, discovery, and teaching.”
2011 Dartmouth AAAS fellows
Duane Compton is the senior associate dean for research and professor of biochemistry at Dartmouth Medical School (DMS). During his 18 years at DMS, Compton has developed a research focus in mechanisms of chromosome segregation during cell division in human cells and the effects of chromosomal instability in human tumor cells. His work is published in leading journals internationally.
Compton’s work is aimed at understanding how chromosomes segregate efficiently during mitosis and meiosis in vertebrate cells. Chromosome instability complicates treatment by helping cancer tumors evade the effects of chemotherapeutic drugs. Compton and his DMS research team identified two proteins that play an important role in regulating chromosome segregation. By manipulating levels of these proteins, they facilitated correct chromosome division—the first time anyone has successfully suppressed chromosome instability. His pioneering work was first reported in the journal, Nature Cell Biology.
Russell Hughes, the Frank R. Mori Professor of Chemistry, has been a Dartmouth faculty member since 1976 and is engaged in organometallic fluorine research. A focus of Hughes’ work involves compounds of carbon, chlorine, and fluorine, known as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)—potent greenhouse gases. Used as refrigerants and aerosol propellants for decades, they are known to have damaged Earth’s protective atmospheric ozone layer. Hughes’ research is specifically directed at reducing atmospheric ozone destruction by finding new molecules that take the place of and do the job of CFCs. He aims to lower the cost of developing replacement molecules by seeking new ways to break the carbon-fluorine bond.
He has been a fellow of the Alfred P. Sloan and Alexander von Humboldt Foundations, and was awarded a degree of Doctor of Science by the University of Manchester in 1990. In 2010 he was the winner of the American Chemical Society Award for Creative Work in Fluorine Chemistry, and was elected a fellow of the American Chemical Society earlier this year.
Lee Lynd, Thayer ’83 and ’87, is an expert on the production of energy from plant biomass and conducts leading research on microbial cellulose utilization. A member of the faculty since 1987, Lynd is the Paul E. and Joan H. Queneau Distinguished Professor in Environmental Engineering Design at Thayer School of Engineering and an adjunct professor of biological sciences at Dartmouth College. His research group has been active for over two decades, authoring more than 125 papers, book chapters, and reviews as well as 11 patents and patent applications. Lynd is also director and chief scientific officer of Mascoma Corporation, a biomass energy start-up he co-founded.
A frequent presenter on the technical and strategic aspects of biomass energy, Lynd has testified three times before the United States Senate, and his work has been featured in both national and international media such as Wired, Forbes, Nova, and the Nobel Conference. He holds masters and doctoral degrees in engineering from Dartmouth and is also professor extraordinary of microbiology at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Jason Moore is the Third Century Professor as well as professor of genetics and of community and family medicine at DMS. He serves as director of the Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Sciences at Dartmouth Medical School. Moore’s research seeks to develop, evaluate, and apply novel computational methods and software for identifying genetic and genomic biomarkers associated with human health and disease. The focus is on methods that embrace, rather than ignore, the complexity of the genotype-to-phenotype mapping relationship due to phenomena such as epistasis.
Moore’s work centers on improving the prediction, prevention, and treatment of common human diseases such as cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and psychiatric diseases through the development, evaluation, and application of statistical and computational methods for genetic, genomic, and proteomic analysis. He serves as editor-in-chief of the journal BioData Mining.
George O’Toole is professor of microbiology and immunology at DMS. He also serves as associate director of Dartmouth Medical School’s cystic fibrosis research program, one of only a few sites in the United States funded by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to carry out CF research. O’Toole and his research team identified an entirely different mechanism that protects bacteria in biofilms. This finding led to a better picture of how antibiotic resistance works.
O’Toole is developing new anti-biofilm treatments that would reduce infections associated with medical implants, lessen hospital stays, and lower health care costs. He is also developing new therapies to treat biofilms in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients, and working on a new class of antibiotics. His internationally recognized work is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF), and through private foundations, such as The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Gates Foundation, and from industry and biotechnology companies.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science, founded in 1848, is a nonprofit organization that includes 262 affiliated societies and science academies and serves 10 million people. Its mission is to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs and science education, including its website devoted to science news, EurekAlert!.
Additional Dartmouth faculty (active and emeriti) who are AAAS fellows
- Charles K. Barlowe, professor of biochemistry, Dartmouth Medical School
- Ta-Yuan Chang, professor of biochemistry, Dartmouth Medical School
- Ambrose Cheung, professor of microbiology and immunology, Dartmouth Medical School
- Robert Christy, the Appleton Professor of Natural Philosophy and professor of physics emeritus
- Jay Dunlap, professor of genetics and of biochemistry, Dartmouth Medical School
- Carol Folt, the Dartmouth Professor of Biological Sciences
- John Gilbert, professor of biology emeritus
- Richard Granger, the William H. Neukom 1964 Distinguished Professor in Computational Science (psychological and brain sciences)
- Mary Lou Guerinot, the Ronald and Deborah Harris Professor in the Sciences (biological sciences)
- Jennifer Loros, professor of biochemistry and of genetics, Dartmouth Medical School
- Martin Lubin, professor of microbiology and immunology, Dartmouth Medical School
- C. Robertson McClung, the Patricia F. and William B. Hale 1944 Professor in the Arts and Sciences (biological sciences)
- M. Douglas McIlroy, adjunct professor of computer science
- Mark McPeek, the David T. McLaughlin Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences
- Elmer Pfefferkorn, professor of microbiology and immunology, Dartmouth Medical School
- Carl Pomerance, professor of mathematics
- Hilda Weyl Sokol, professor of physiology emeritus, Dartmouth Medical School
- Melvin Spiegel, professor of biology emeritus
- Michael Sporn, professor of pharmacology and toxicology and of medicine, Dartmouth Medical School
- Harold Sox, professor of medicine, Dartmouth Medical School
- William T. Wickner, the James C. Chilcott 1920 Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry, Dartmouth Medical School