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Four Scientists Named AAAS
Fellows for Medical Research

Achievements may advance diagnosis and treatment for patients

Four University of Missouri researchers were recently named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), one of the world's most prestigious research organizations and publisher of the journal Science. The four MU faculty members were primarily recognized for contributions to the advancement of human health.

One of the four researchers, K. Krishna Sharma, PhD, has an appointment in the MU Health System. Sharma is a professor of ophthalmology at the Mason Eye Institute and joint professor of biochemistry in the MU School of Medicine and College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

Krishna Sharma

For more than two decades, Sharma has studied the mechanisms involved in cataracts, a degenerative disease that begins with the clouding of the lens in the eye and can lead to vision loss. Discoveries in his lab are advancing both the understanding of how cataracts develop and the process of aging. His research contributions to the understanding of proteins in the eye lens led to his recognition by the AAAS.

“To have your body of work recognized by your peers is a true compliment to our research and its significance,” Sharma said. “I’m honored to receive the fellowship.”

Hank Foley

Hank Foley, PhD, executive vice president for academic affairs for the UM System, was named a fellow by AAAS for his distinguished contributions to the synthetic and physical chemistry of nanoscale carbons and nanoporous membranes and for outstanding service in university administration. He is a pioneer in the study of nanoporous carbon, or tiny membranes and systems that allow energy sources to pass through or become stored in these structures. His analysis and scholarship in nanosystems and how they are composed continues to inform research fields of study, including medicine, materials processing, energy and the environment.

“I am both honored and humbled by this recognition from the best of my scientific colleagues,” Foley said.

Silvia Jurrison

Silvia Jurisson, PhD, professor of chemistry and radiology in the College of Arts and Science and a research investigator with MU Research Reactor, was recognized for her distinguished contributions to the field of radiopharmaceutical chemistry and for establishing one of the top radiochemistry programs in the country. Her research continues to develop breakthrough materials used in the detection and treatment of cancer.

Jerry Atwood

Jerry Atwood, PhD, Curators Professor of Chemistry and chair of the Department of Chemistry, was named a fellow for his distinguished contributions to the fields of inorganic, organometallic and materials chemistry, including innovations and advances in chemical crystallography and supramolecular chemistry. His discoveries have led to new ways of developing drugs more efficiently and better fuel storage capabilities.

Election as a Fellow of AAAS is an honor bestowed upon members by their peers. In 2014, 401 members nationally were awarded the AAAS honor due to their scientific contributions.

Posted Feb. 10, 2015

MU Health Magazine


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