CONTACT: GARY GALLUZZO
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0009; fax (319) 384-0024
UI's Nair Elected Fellow of American Association for the Advancement
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Vasu Nair, University of Iowa Foundation Distinguished
Professor of Chemistry in the UI College of Liberal Arts, has been elected
a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
The rank of Fellow, which will be formally recognized by a Jan. 23 presentation
of a certificate and gold and blue (for science and engineering, respectively)
rosette pin during the AAAS annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif., is bestowed
upon members "because of their efforts toward advancing science or
fostering applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished."
Linda Maxson, dean of the UI College of Liberal Arts, said, "I'm
delighted that Professor Nair's contributions to science have been recognized
by his peers in the AAAS. This is an important honor for both Professor
Nair and the University of Iowa."
Nair, who came to the UI in 1969, is internationally known for his work
on antiviral compounds and has developed and patented antiviral compounds
that may help slow the growth of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Commenting
on the award, Nair said, "I feel honored that the steering committee
of the AAAS nominated me for this recognition, and I am grateful for its
role and also that of the AAAS Council in including me in their final selection."
A native of the Fiji Islands, Nair became a U.S. citizen in 1975 after
receiving his bachelor of science degree with high honors from the University
of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand in 1963 and, under an Australian Commonwealth
Fellowship, his doctorate from the University of Adelaide in 1966. He
later studied with the world-renowned organic chemist Nelson Leonard at
the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1967 and, in 1968, was
a research fellow at Harvard University where he worked with Nobel Laureate
Nair was named UI Foundation Distinguished Professor in 1993 and has
also been honored through the receipt of various patents, research awards
and grants and major consultantships, as well as a science medal, distinguished
scholar award and a prestigious doctor of science degree -- which, in the
British academic tradition is an award senior to the doctorate -- "for
outstanding research" from the University of Adelaide. He has published
numerous scientific articles in professional journals.
Nair joins his UI colleague Dr. Nancy Andreasen, UI professor of psychiatry,
as one of 283 AAAS members elected to the rank of Fellow in 1998.
Founded in 1848, the AAAS is the world's largest federation of scientific
and engineering societies, with more than 282 affiliates and 144,000 individual