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4 faculty members elected as AAAS fellows

By Dave Jones on November 23, 2015 in University

Four UC Davis faculty members — Peter A. Barry, Xi Chen, Jan W. Hopmans and Chih-Ling Tsai — are newly elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as announced today (Nov. 23).

See all the AAAS fellows from UC Davis.

The AAAS membership elected 347 fellows this year, recognizing their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

Founded in 1848, the AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society. It plans to honor its new fellows at the next AAAS annual meeting, being held in February in Washington, D.C.

Each new fellow receives an official certificate and a gold-and-blue rosette — the gold representing science, the blue representing engineering.

In presenting UC Davis' newest AAAS fellows, we've included information from the society on the basis for each new fellow's election:

• Peter A. Barry is a professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine of the UC Davis Health System, director of the Center for Comparative Medicine, and the core scientist (and former director) at the California National Primate Research Center. Honored for distinguished contributions to research and development of a vaccine for cytomegalovirus, or CMV, in humans, using the rhesus macaque as a model. CMV is a common infection in adults around the world, with a 50-percent infection rate among adults. CMV is a significant cause of illness and death in infected people whose immune systems are not fully functional. Barry’s lab was instrumental in developing a nonhuman primate model for CMV persistence and pathogenesis.

• Xi Chen, professor of chemistry, honored for distinguished contributions to the field of glycoscience, which is the study of carbohydrates, or sugars. These molecules can be attached to proteins or other biological molecules and play important roles in health and disease, affecting, for example, how cells interact with one another, cancer metastasis and the course of infections. Chen’s lab works at the interface of chemistry and biology, developing new methods for producing biologically important carbohydrates and glycoconjugates and investigating their roles. She is a member of the UC Davis Foods For Health Institute.

• Jan W. Hopmans, a soil hydrology professor in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources and director of International Programs for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, honored for his extraordinary contributions to the soil science fields through research, teaching and outreach. His work, including field research and laboratory studies, encompasses a broad range of topics, including irrigation systems, hydrologic system analysis, shallow groundwater and drainage-water disposal, and management of soil and water resources. In 2014, he and two colleagues received an award of excellence for decades of research aimed at making microirrigation more sustainable and economical.

• Chih-Ling Tsai is a distinguished professor in the Graduate School of Management, where he holds the Robert W. Glock Endowed Chair in Management. Honored for distinguished contributions to statistical theory and application, particularly for regression and time series model selection as well as dimension reduction, and for excellence in teaching. He is an expert in the application of statistics to business, including modeling and analyzing business-oriented data. Tsai has been named the GSM’s teacher of the year multiple times and is a fellow of the American Statistical Association.

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Media contact(s)

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556,