The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has elevated Dr. Meng-Chao Yao, of the Center's Basic Sciences Division, to the rank of fellow. The honor, bestowed by peers, acknowledges scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.
Yao was recognized for seminal studies using the single-celled pond organism Tetrahymena that have revealed the mechanisms behind certain changes that can occur in chromosomes. These changes, which include events known as DNA rearrangements, gene amplification and other processes, cause segments of DNA to become repeated, inverted or moved to different locations in the genome. Although these can be normal events in certain types of cells, they are also characteristics found in many cancer cells.
New fellows were announced in the Oct. 28 issue of the journal Science. They will receive an official certificate and pin during AAAS annual meeting on Feb.18 in St. Louis.
The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. Today, members can be considered for the rank of fellow if they receive nomination by the steering groups of the association's 24 sections, or by any three fellows who are current AAAS members or by the AAAS chief executive officer. Two of the three sponsors must not hold affiliation with the nominee's institution. Yao is among 376 AAAS members receiving the 2005 fellow distinction.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science, www.sciencemag.org. The AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals.