Pinned with honor: Trio of new AAAS Fellows from MU

Story by: Brian Consiglio

Dec. 7, 2018

Photos of three new AAAS Fellows from MU

Three faculty members from the University of Missouri have been named 2018 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), honored for their efforts to advance science in their related fields. These new fellows represent the university’s mission to produce and disseminate knowledge that improves the quality of lives throughout Missouri and the nation.

Scott C. Peck is being honored for his “distinguished contributions to the field of plant-microbe interactions and disease resistance in plants with major contributions to proteomics technology.” He is a biochemistry professor in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and an investigator in the Bond Life Sciences Center. Peck’s research interests focus on how plants recognize and respond to bacterial pathogens and how plants continue to grow with low water availability.

Johannes Schul is being honored for his “distinguished contributions to animal behavior, as related to integrating evolutionary and mechanistic aspects of acoustic communication, and for substantial contributions to inclusive biology education.” He is a biological sciences professor in the MU College of Arts and Science. Schul’s research interests focus on the evolution and neuroethology of acoustic communication systems in insects and amphibians.

Shi-Jie Chen is being honored for his “distinguished contributions to the field of computational and theoretical biological physics, particularly for theoretical modeling and computational predictions of RNA folding and function.” He is a MU Curators Distinguished Professor of Physics in the MU College of Arts and Science, Joint Curators Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and MU School of Medicine, and serves on the core faculty of the MU Informatics Institute. Chen’s research interests include developing computer models for biomolecular structure and function with a particular focus on RNA molecules.

“These remarkable researchers have made outstanding and lasting contributions to their respective research fields,” said Mark McIntosh, vice chancellor of research, graduate studies and economic development at MU. “Each will continue to raise the academic and research profiles of the university while training the next generation of undergraduates and graduates tackling the grand challenges facing the region, nation and the world. Congratulations to these newest Fellows.”

The new Fellows join 413 others who will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019 at the AAAS Fellows Forum in Washington, D.C.

“This recognition demonstrates the contribution University of Missouri researchers have on the advancement of science and service to society through their work,” MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright said. “Their innovation and collaboration make our institution such a special place to learn and work, and validates MU as one of America’s leading research universities.”

Founded in 1848, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society. Its mission is to advance science and serve society through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education and public engagement. The tradition of AAAS fellows began in 1874.