SEATTLE - Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center scientists Denise Galloway, Ph.D., a microbiologist, and Gerald Smith, Ph.D., a geneticist and microbiologist, have been awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow. Election as a Fellow is an honor bestowed upon members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS, by their peers.
Galloway, a member of the Hutchinson Center's Human Biology and Public Health Sciences divisions, is being honored, according to the AAAS, "for distinguished contributions to the field of virology, particularly for the elucidation of mechanisms by which human papillomaviruses cause anogenital malignancies." Galloway studies the role of HPVs in cancer development. She and her colleagues firmly established that nearly all cervical cancers - a leading cause of cancer deaths in women worldwide - and the majority of other anogenital cancers are caused by HPVs. Breakthrough studies by her lab and others laid the groundwork for Gardasil®, a vaccine that protects against the two most common cancer-causing HPVs. Galloway is also a research professor of microbiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
Smith, a member of the Center's Basic Sciences Division, is being honored "for distinguished contributions to our understanding of the genetics and enzymology of homologous recombination, DNA break repair and meiosis." Smith studies the molecular mechanisms of genetic recombination to better understand diseases such as cancer and, possibly, ways to predict or prevent them. For example, his laboratory studies the genetics and enzymology of DNA-break repair, or recombination, proteins in Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that causes stomach cancers and ulcers. Studies of these enzymes could lead to the development of new, more-effective drugs to combat many bacterial infections. Smith's lab also studies recombination during meiosis, the formation of sex cells. Mistakes in recombination during meiosis can lead to chromosome aberrancies, such as inheritance of an extra chromosome, which is the cause of Down syndrome. Smith is also an affiliate professor of genome sciences and pathology at the UW School of Medicine.
Galloway and Smith are among 486 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. 14 at the Fellows Forum during the 2009 AAAS Annual Meeting in Chicago.
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.
At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Hutchinson Center 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 fhcrc.org.
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). AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes some 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 (www.aaas.org) 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!, www.eurekalert.org, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.