Public Release:  4 from University of Cincinnati named AAAS Fellows

University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center

CINCINNATI--University of Cincinnati (UC) President Santa Ono, PhD, and three other UC faculty have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Ono is joined by Bruce Ault, PhD, Prabir Bhattacharya, PhD, and Alvaro Puga, PhD. The four will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, during the AAAS annual meeting in Boston.

AAAS fellowship status is given annually to distinguished individuals by society members and their peers. Ault, Bhattacharya, Ono and Puga are among 702 AAAS members elected this year for their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. UC now has 24 faculty members who are AAAS Fellows.

Bruce Ault, PhD

Ault, a professor of chemistry in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences who in 2009 was awarded the title of Distinguished Professor at UC, was elected as a Fellow of AAAS for his contributions to the field of matrix isolation spectroscopy. He is also being recognized for his teaching and service.

Ault studies the mechanisms of chemical reactions by isolating various steps throughout the course of a reaction to identify and characterize the reactive intermediates created and destroyed through the process. The overall goal of the research is to develop ways to direct or control the course of a chemical reaction through a detailed understanding of the reaction mechanism.

Ault's prior awards include "Cincinnati Chemist of the Year" from the Cincinnati Section of the American Chemical Society, the Distinguished Research Award from the Sigma Xi Society (Cincinnati Chapter) and the George Barbour Award for Promoting Good Faculty-Student Relations and Faculty Service Award from UC.

"I am certainly delighted to be selected as a Fellow of AAAS," says Ault. "The university has a number of very distinguished faculty who are Fellows of AAAS and I am honored to be a member of this group."

Prabir Bhattacharya, PhD

Bhattacharya, professor in the College of Engineering and Applied Science's School of Computer Sciences and Informatics, was selected as a Fellow for his contributions to the fields of computer and information sciences, "particularly for image understanding and computer network security, and for services to professional societies."

Bhattacharya's research interests include human-computer interaction, image processing and secure communications, among others.

Bhattacharya has authored or co-authored nearly 300 publications and co-authored four books. He holds four U.S. patents and his work has been cited as a reference in nearly 70 U.S. patents by major technology companies, including Microsoft, AT&T, SAP, Sony, Kodak, Morgan Chase Bank and Samsung.

"I'm pleased with this professional recognition," says Bhattacharya.

Santa Ono, PhD

Ono, UC president, professor in the College of Medicine's pediatrics department and professor of biology in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, has been named a AAAS Fellow for his research in the field of molecular immunology and gene expression. AAAS also recognizes him for his "leadership of all academic and research activities of a major research university."

Ono's research focuses on the pathogenesis of allergic inflammation in the eye and the role of the immune response in age-related macular degeneration.

"I feel very honored to be elected into the company of so many distinguished researchers and scientists, both here at the University of Cincinnati and around the world," says Ono.

Ono served as UC's senior vice president for academic affairs and provost from 2010 until he was named interim president in August 2012. In October 2012, UC's Board of Trustees voted unanimously to appoint Ono as 28th president of the university.

Ono's prior awards as a researcher include: Helen Hay Whitney Fellow at Harvard University, the American Diabetes Association Career Development Award, the Arthritis Foundation Investigator Award, the Roche Award and the Pharmacia International Award in Allergy Research. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Societies of Medicine and Chemistry and the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology.

Alvaro Puga, PhD

Puga, a professor in the College of Medicine's top-ranked environmental health department, was named an AAAS Fellow for his contributions to the field of environmental genetics. Puga is an associate director for UC's Center for Environmental Genetics and is considered to be the pioneer of the use of molecular biology to study the biological responses to toxic insult.

"I feel honored and elated with the thought that other scientists considered my work worthy of this distinction," says Puga.

Puga has previously been named by the UC Department of Environmental Health as recipient of the Director's Award for Excellence in Research. His department and the UC College of Medicine have also honored him with faculty and teaching awards.

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The AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society and publishes the journal Science. Founded in 1848, the society includes more than 261 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.

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