CINCINNATI—Three University of Cincinnati (UC) professors have been awarded the distinction of Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Receiving the national honor are: Jerry Lingrel, PhD, university distinguished research professor in the College of Medicine’s molecular genetics, biochemistry and microbiology and cancer and cell biology departments; Marepalli Rao, PhD, professor in the College of Medicine’s environmental health department; and Andrew Steckl, PhD, Gieringer Professor and Ohio Eminent Scholar in the College of Engineering and Applied Science’s electrical and computer engineering department.
Lingrel, Rao and Steckl are among 503 AAAS members recognized in 2011 for their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.
AAAS fellowship status is given annually to distinguished individuals by society members and their peers. UC now has 17 faculty members who are AAAS fellows—10 from the College of Medicine.
Lingrel, Rao and Steckl will receive official certificates and special rosette pins on Feb. 19, 2011, at the Fellows Forum during the AAAS annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
Lingrel was granted this distinction for research in the fields of globin gene regulation (the first isolation of an mRNA), ion transport and vascular biology. A UC faculty member since 1962, Lingrel currently serves as interim chair of the College of Medicine’s cancer and cell biology department. His work focuses on gene expression and function, primarily in the heart and the vascular system. Recognized as a keen educator as well as researcher, he is the recipient of the George Rieveschl Award for Distinguished Scientific Research, the UC College of Medicine Daniel Drake Medal and UC’s Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring Award. He also serves as an associate editor of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. He has presented at more than 100 national and international meetings and published more than 250 scientific manuscripts.
"The AAAS is one of the most prestigious organizations in the world and to be named as a Fellow of this group is a very high honor that anyone would be pleased to receive. I am truly honored,” says Lingrel.
Rao was recognized for contributions to a broad spectrum of research fields spanning probability to mathematical statistics to applied statistics and excellence in education and mentorship. He has been a UC faculty member since 2003, with dual appointments in the College of Medicine’s environmental health department and College of Engineering’s biomedical engineering department. During his career, he has published more than 140 scientific manuscripts and two books and presented at more than 225 national and international meetings. A respected leader in his field, he has served as president of the Mathematical Association of America-North Central Section and is a fellow in both the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the American Statistical Association. He received a national award (Mathematical Association of America) for distinguished teaching. He currently serves as editor of Sankhya, the Indian Journal of Statistics, and was previously editor of Journal of Multivariate Analysis.
"I view the honor as bestowed on all who helped me develop intellectually and educationally,” says Rao. "The environment surrounding my job here (at UC) played a critical role in my growth.”
Steckl was honored for contributions to optoelectronic devices. A faculty member at UC since 1988, he is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and a winner of the Rieveschl Award. He specializes in three major areas of research: organic and biopolymeric (DNA) materials for photonic and electronic devices; electrofluidics for novel materials and devices (electrospinning of nanofibers, electrowetting transistors and displays, biochips); and rare-earth light-emitting elements that possess potential for use in devices like flat-panel displays and lasers. For example, his research has focused on using biological materials, specifically salmon DNA, to develop green electronics. A recent breakthrough in his lab could revolutionize display technology with "e-paper on paper" that is fast enough for video yet cheap enough to be disposable. Together with his students, Steckl has published 400 articles in the scientific literature. His work and research breakthroughs routinely receive international attention in prestigious specialized academic journals as well as consumer news media.
"As an electrical engineer who has worked at the interface between engineering (electronics and materials) and science (physics and chemistry), I feel this is both a great honor for me and a critical recognition of the importance of interdisciplinary research by the AAAS,” says Steckl.
The AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science. Founded in 1848, the society includes more than 260 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. A nonprofit organization, the society is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs and science education.