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Photo (from left): Russell L. Ciochon, Vicki H. Grassian, Jim Jung-Ching Lin, David R. Soll and Chun-Fang Wu.

UI's Ciochon, Grassian, Lin, Soll And Wu Elected 2005 AAAS Fellows

Five University of Iowa faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) have been awarded the distinction of Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science.

They are:

--Russell L. Ciochon, professor, CLAS Department of Anthropology, with a joint appointment in the UI College of Dentistry Department of Pediatric Dentistry.

--Vicki H. Grassian, professor, CLAS Department of Chemistry, with a joint appointment in the UI College of Engineering Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering.

--Jim Jung-Ching Lin, professor, CLAS Department of Biological Sciences.

--David R. Soll, Emil Witschi-Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver Professor, CLAS Department of Biological Sciences.

--Chun-Fang Wu, professor, CLAS Department of Biological Sciences.

The new Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a rosette pin from 8-10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, 2006 at the AAAS Annual Meeting in St. Louis, Mo.

The five UI recipients are among 376 individuals elected this year by peers. AAAS members are elevated to the rank of "Fellow" because their efforts to advance science or its applications are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished. At the UI, the five join six current CLAS faculty Fellows and six emeritus CLAS faculty Fellows for a total of 17 CLAS AAAS Fellows out of a university-wide total of 25 AAAS Fellows, including emeritus faculty.

Russell L. Ciochon, who joined the UI faculty in 1987 and earned his doctorate in anthropology from the University of California-Berkeley in 1986, was elected in the anthropology section for his significant contributions to the fields of primate paleontology and paleoanthropology in Asia concerning "anthropoid origins" and Homo erectus evolution and dispersal. In 2004, Ciochon and his colleagues constructed the first 3-D, computerized map of its kind plotting the locations where early human remains have been unearthed since the 1930s at the famed Dragon Bone Hill site in China. His current field project in Indonesia documents when Homo erectus first arrived in Java and what paleoenvironmental conditions prevailed at the time of its arrival.

Vicki H. Grassian, who joined the UI faculty in 1990 and earned her doctorate in chemistry from the University of California-Berkeley in 1987, was elected in the chemistry section for her distinguished contributions to the fields of surface and atmospheric chemistry, most notably for laboratory studies to elucidate complex, heterogeneous reactions involving mineral dust aerosols. Grassian's work has included designing and implementing new laboratory experiments to better understand the link between the chemistry of mineral dust, or soil particles, in the atmosphere and other global processes, including climate and biogeochemical cycles as well as human health.

Jim Jung-Ching Lin, who joined the UI faculty in 1984 and earned his doctorate in molecular biology from the University of Connecticut Health Center in 1979, was elected in the biological sciences section for his contributions to understanding the role of actin-binding proteins in regulating cell motility, the control of cardiac-specific gene expression and the role of intercalated disc proteins in cardiac morphogenesis and function. His work includes studying the molecular basis of animal cell motility, as well as the molecular mechanisms regulating cardiac gene expression and function.

David R. Soll, who joined the UI faculty in 1972 and earned his doctorate in biology from the University of Wisconsin in 1969, was elected in the biological sciences section for his contributions to the fields of fungal pathogenesis and epidemiology, cell motility and the cytoskeleton, and computer-assisted motion analysis technology. His work includes investigating the molecular mechanisms regulating fungal infections, animal cell locomotion including white blood cell function, the effects of HIV on white blood cell behavior, the basis for Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome (a rare disease occurring mostly in children and affecting bone marrow, the pancreas and other organs) and the use of ultrasound in seed germination and waste management.

Chun-Fang Wu, who joined the UI faculty in 1979 and earned his doctorate in biology from Purdue University in 1976, was elected in the biological sciences section for his pioneering work in developing unique assays and standards for in vivo analyses of genes that regulate neuronal excitability, plasticity and behavior in Drosophila. His research involves studying the genetic framework underlying nervous system function and behavior.

The non-profit AAAS (www.aaas.org) was founded in 1848 and involves 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Its journal, Science (www.sciencemag.org), has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of one million.

For the latest research news, log onto the AAAS web site EurekAlert! at www.eurekalert.org.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009, gary-galluzzo@uiowa.edu