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Three SBU Professors Elected AAAS Fellows
James Bliska, Laszlo Mihaly and Dianna Padillato be honored for contributions to science and society

Stony Brook, NY, November 25, 2013 – Three Stony Brook University professors-- James Bliska, Laszlo Mihaly and Dianna Padilla--have been elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for their scientific and social efforts to advance science or its applications. Stony Brook’s three recipients are among 388 newly elected members who will be honored at the Fellows Forum held during the AAAS Annual Meeting on February 15, 2014 in Chicago. This year’s AAAS Fellows will be formally announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science on November, 29, 2013.

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James B. Bliska, Ph.D.

All Fellows receive a certificate and a blue and gold rosette pin as a symbol of their distinguished accomplishments.

“This year’s election of three internationally-known Stony Brook University scholars speaks volumes about the significant contributions they are each making in their respective fields of research,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. “Profs. Bliska, Mihaly and Padilla have joined the growing ranks of Stony Brook’s AAAS Fellows and I congratulate them on this well-deserved distinction.”

James B. Bliska, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, was elected for distinguished contributions to the field of microbial pathogenesis, particularly for establishing new paradigms at the interface of bacterial virulence factors and host cell biology. Dr. Bliska is internationally recognized for his work on a class of protein cytotoxins that are secreted by many important bacterial pathogens in humans. His work established that these toxins act on targets inside human cells and consequently activate immune response.

Laszlo Mihaly, Ph.D., chair and professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, was elected for major contributions in optical studies of high temperature superconductors and fullerene materials; and for developing far infrared methods to study electron spin resonance.

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Laszlo Mihaly, Ph.D.

Dianna K. Padilla, Ph.D., professor in the Ecology and Evolution Department, was elected for distinguished work in marine and freshwater ecology, particularly in aquatic invasion ecology and the role of phenotypic plasticity in plant herbivore interactions.

“Stony Brook University is extremely proud that three more of our distinguished faculty, James, Laszlo, and Dianna, will be joining the prestigious rank of AAAS Fellow,” said Dennis N. Assanis, Stony Brook University Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs. “This is a true testament to the diversity and robustness of research taking place at Stony Brook University.”

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) as well as Science Translational Medicine (www.sciencetranslationalmedicine.org) and Science Signaling (www.sciencesignaling.org). AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes 261 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.

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Dianna K. Padilla, Ph.D.

Currently, members can be considered for the rank of Fellow if nominated by the steering groups of the Association’s 24 sections, or by any three Fellows who are current AAAS members (so long as two of the three sponsors are not affiliated with the nominee’s institution), or by the AAAS chief executive officer. Fellows must have been continuous members of AAAS for four years by the end of the calendar year in which they are elected.

Part of the State University of New York system, Stony Brook University encompasses 200 buildings on 1,450 acres. Since welcoming its first incoming class in 1957, the University has grown tremendously, now with more than 24,000 students and 2,200 faculty. Its membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. U.S. News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 40 public universities in the nation and Kiplinger named it the 22nd best value in public colleges for in-state students and 9th for out-of-state students. One of four University Center campuses in the SUNY system, Stony Brook University co-manages Brookhaven National Laboratory, putting it in an elite group of universities that run federal research and development laboratories. As the largest single-site employer on Long Island, Stony Brook is a driving force of the regional economy, with an annual economic impact of $4.65 billion, generating nearly 60,000 jobs, and accounts for nearly 4% of all economic activity in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and roughly 7.5 percent of total jobs in Suffolk County.

 

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