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Eight Distinguished UCSB Faculty Members Named AAAS Fellows

December 8, 2011

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) –– Eight UC Santa Barbara faculty members, including Nobel laureate Alan J. Heeger, have been awarded the distinction of Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as a Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. This is the second consecutive year that eight UCSB faculty members have been named AAAS Fellows.

"This year's election of eight of our faculty colleagues as AAAS Fellows is a testament not only to their remarkable individual achievements and leadership in their fields, but also to the broad spectrum of outstanding research across the disciplines at UC Santa Barbara," said Chancellor Henry T. Yang. "This prestigious honor is particularly meaningful because it represents a resounding affirmation from their peers of the extraordinary contributions that each of these eight scholars has made to advancing the frontiers of science and serving our society. I join with our campus and community in proudly congratulating our new AAAS Fellows."

The newly elected members from UCSB are:

Lars Bildsten, professor and permanent member of UCSB's Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, for distinguished contributions to theoretical astrophysics, including new insights that have advanced the understanding of neutron stars and of supernovae.

Kevin W. Plaxco, professor of chemistry and biochemistry and associate director of UCSB's new Center for BioEngineering, for distinguished contributions to the fields of molecular biophysics and biomolecular engineering, with particular emphasis on his contributions to our understanding of protein folding kinetics and the physics of the unfolded state, and for his pioneering efforts in the design of conformation-linked electrochemical biosensors.

Frederick Dahlquist, professor and chair of chemistry and biochemistry, for distinguished service to biochemistry and structural biology, particularly on the application of NMR techniques to elucidate signaling processes, including bacterial chemotaxis.

W. Patrick McCray, professor of history, for distinguished contributions to scholarship and education in history of science, technology and instrumentation, particularly in the areas of intellectual and social interactions in recent astronomy and physics.

Subhash Suri, professor and chair of computer science, for distinguished contributions to the field of computational geometry, networks, and computational economics.

Alan J. Heeger, Nobel Prize winner (Chemistry, 2000) and professor of physics and materials, for his contributions in the discovery and development of conductive polymers.

Philip A. Pincus, professor of materials and physics, for distinguished contributions to the theory of soft condensed matter physics.

Robert L. Sugar, professor of physics, for distinguished contributions to theoretical particle physics, especially for seminal advances in computing particle properties in quantum chromodynamics.

"AAAS is the largest and broadest scientific society in the world, and every year we are one of the leading universities in the number of new AAAS fellowships," said Michael Witherell, UCSB's vice chancellor for research. "That says a great deal about our place in the world of science."

This year, 539 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering) rosette pin on February 18 at the AAAS Fellows Forum, during the 2012 AAAS Annual Meeting in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

This year's AAAS Fellows will be announced in the December 23 edition of the journal Science, in the AAAS News & Notes section.

AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal Science (http://www.sciencemag.org), as well as Science Translational Medicine (http://www.sciencetranslationalmedicine.org), and Science Signaling (http://www.sciencesignaling.org).

AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The nonprofit AAAS (http://www.aaas.org) is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, and more.

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