Arts & Sciences Professors Elected AAAS Fellows


Three faculty from Penn Arts & Sciences have been elected 2022 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellows. They are among more than 500 researchers honored for their “scientifically and socially distinguished achievements.”

Since 1874, AAAS, a scientific society aimed at advancing science, engineering, and innovation “throughout the world for the benefit of all,” has annually named a class of fellows. This year, the work spans 24 scientific disciplines.

The new AAAS fellows are:

Brian D. Gregory, Professor and Graduate Chair of Biology, has pioneered the development and use of high-throughput sequencing and computational biology approaches to study the structure, modification, and interactions of ribonucleic acid (RNA), primarily working in plants. Elucidating the dynamics of RNA, Gregory’s studies have highlighted previously unappreciated regulatory processes that affect how genes are expressed or silenced. His insights into RNA regulation have important implications in plant biology but also extend to understanding gene regulation in other species, including humans. Training students to employ new genetic and computational technologies is a focus for Gregory, who has mentored dozens at all levels, including more than 50 undergraduates in his lab. He is the recipient of a National Science Foundation Career Award, the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by an Assistant Professor, and a University of Pennsylvania Department of Biology Excellence in Teaching Award, among other honors.

Eric J. Schelter, Professor of Chemistry, focuses mostly in synthetic inorganic and organometallic chemistry to address problems in critical metals separations, develop new materials with quantum properties, understand the roles of f-elements in biology, and gain insight into their unique chemical bonding. Among his many honors, Schelter has been named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, received the American Chemical Society Inorganic Chemistry Lectureship Award and the Anders Gustaf Ekeberg Tantalum Prize, and served as an editorial advisory board member on the American Chemical Society journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering.

Theodore Schurr is Professor of Anthropology, Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Anthropology, and a consulting curator in the Physical Anthropology and American sections of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. For more than three decades, Schurr has conducted anthropological genetics research, combining ethnographic field research with the laboratory analysis of DNA samples collected for his projects. Though his research has focused largely on elucidating the population history of Siberia and the Americas, other studies have involved populations from parts of the world such as Turkey, Georgia, Pakistan, and Australia. From 2005 to 2020, Schurr was director of the North American Center of the Genographic Project. During this time, he and his team conducted research with indigenous and native descendant populations from Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, and the United States.

To read the AAAS announcement, click here.


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