SEATTLE — Jan. 11, 2011 — Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center basic scientists Roger Brent, Ph.D., a systems biologist, and Robert Eisenman, Ph.D., a molecular biologist and geneticist, have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS. Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.
Brent, a member of the Hutchinson Center’s Basic Sciences Division, is being honored “for outstanding contributions in the area of biochemistry, transcription, genomics, and systems biology.”
Brent’s studies are highly interdisciplinary. Using single cells as model systems, his studies focus on how cell signaling pathways represent and transmit information. This work may have particular relevance to cancer, since abnormal signaling plays a role in cancer development. His research draws on molecular biological methods, genetics and computational biology, and has led to the development of a number of innovative technologies for understanding quantitative cell behavior that have utility for addressing wider biological problems.
Before he joined the Basic Sciences faculty at the Hutchinson Center in July 2010, he was director and research director of the Molecular Sciences Institute in Berkeley, Calif.
In addition to his academic work, Brent has been a longtime adviser to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. He is an inventor of 12 issued and several pending patents. He also advises various U.S. federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, on functional genomics and computational biology. His other honors include the 2003 Gabbay Award in Biotechnology and Medicine for his work on protein interactions.
Eisenman, also a member of the Center’s Basic Sciences Division, is being recognized “for his pathbreaking studies on the role of oncogenes in the transcriptional regulation of cell growth and proliferation.”
He is a leader in the field of oncogenes, aberrantly regulated genes that cause cancer. His studies on a gene known as myc are seminal to scientists' understanding of how normal cells progress to cancer cells. Eisenman's work has paved the way for the discoveries of other oncogenes that work by interacting with DNA.
Eisenman has been a member of the Hutchinson Center's faculty since 1976. His other honors include being an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the recipient of the Kirk A. Landon Prize for Basic Cancer Research from the American Association of Cancer Research. He is also an American Cancer Society research professor.
Brent and Eisenman are among 503 AAAS Fellows selected this year for their “scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.” For their contributions they will be presented with an official certificate and gold rosette pin Feb. 19 at the Fellows Forum during the 2011 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.
Other AAAS Fellows from the Hutchinson Center include Nobel laureate Linda Buck, Ph.D., Mark T. Groudine, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president and deputy director of the Hutchinson Center; Maxine L. Linial, Ph.D., Paul Neiman, Ph.D., and Gerald Smith, Ph.D., all of the Center’s Basic Sciences Division; Denise Galloway, Ph.D., of the Center’s Human Biology and Public Health Sciences divisions; M. Elizabeth Halloran, M.D., M.P.H., of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division; John Potter, M.D., Ph.D., former head of the Center’s Public Health Sciences Division; and Meng-Chao Yao, Ph.D., formerly of the Center’s Basic Sciences Division who is now head of the Institute of Molecular Biology, Academia Sinica, in Taipei, Taiwan.
The AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science. The organization was founded in 1848 and the tradition of electing AAAS Fellows began in 1874.
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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, our interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Our researchers, including three Nobel laureates, bring a relentless pursuit and passion for health, knowledge and hope to their work and to the world. For more information, please visit www.fhcrc.org.
American Association for the Advancement of Science
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science as well as Science Translational Medicine and Science Signaling. AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes 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 non-profit AAAS 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. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.