Six researchers from MD Anderson elected as AAAS Fellows

In recognition of their contributions to basic, translational, and clinical research, six faculty members from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as a Fellow, a tradition that began in 1874, is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. MD Anderson’s faculty now includes 46 AAAS Fellows.

“Election to AAAS is a prestigious honor that highlights the exceptional achievements of MD Anderson’s newest Fellows,” said MD Anderson President ad Interim Marshall Hicks, M.D. “We are proud to work alongside these excellent researchers who are working to improve cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and education.”

MD Anderson’s newly elected AAAS Fellows are:

  • John Heymach, M.D., Ph.D., chair of Thoracic Head and Neck Medical Oncology, honored for identifying new therapeutic targets, biomarkers, mechanisms of drug resistance and treatment paradigms that have advanced the treatment of lung cancer worldwide.
  • Kelly Hunt, M.D., chair of Breast Surgical Oncology, honored for practice-changing breast cancer research involving sentinel lymph node biopsy, breast conservation, novel surgical staging systems, contralateral mastectomy, skin-sparing mastectomy and quality outcome measures.
  • Dimitrios Kontoyiannis, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Infectious Diseases, honored for contributions to medical/translational mycology through advances in antifungal pharmacology, study-host defenses against fungi, novel diagnostics, clinical trials, professional service and life-saving patient care.
  • Frederick Lang, M.D., professor of Neurosurgery, honored for contributions to the field of cancer biotherapeutics, particularly for developing and translating gene, adenoviral and stem cell therapies in the treatment of brain tumors.
  • Zhimin (James) Lu, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Neuro-Oncology, honored for milestone discoveries that elucidated mechanisms of the Warburg effect, demonstrated protein kinase activity of metabolic enzymes and revealed non-metabolic functions of metabolic enzymes in tumorigenesis.
  • Shao-Cong Sun, Ph.D., professor of Immunology, honored for his contributions to the understanding of NF-kB signaling pathways and the regulation of immune responses and inflammatory diseases by protein ubiquitination.

About the AAAS
Founded in 1874, the AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society. Fellows must be nominated by either the steering groups of the association’s 24 sections, or by any three Fellows who are current AAAS members (so long as two of them are not affiliated with the nominee's institution), or by the AAAS chief executive officer. Each steering group then reviews the nominations within its respective section and a final list is forwarded to the AAAS Council, which votes on the aggregate list.

This year 396 members have been awarded this honor because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on February 17 at the 2018 AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin.