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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 25, 2007

UI's Bhattacharya, Flatté, Stinski elected 2007 AAAS Fellows

Three University of Iowa faculty members, two from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) and one from the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, have been awarded the distinction of 2007 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science.

They are:

--Debashish Bhattacharya (photo, left), professor in the CLAS Department of Biological Sciences, faculty member of the Roy J. Carver Center for Comparative Genomics and director of the UI Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Genetics, "for fundamental studies of the origin and spread of photosynthetic organelles through endosymbiosis, genome evolution and phylogeny of microbial eukaryotes, and group I intron evolution." Bhattacharya, who received his doctorate in 1989 from Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada, joined the UI faculty in 1997. He currently is using a two-year, $2 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to research how early plant cells developed the ability to make use of sunlight through photosynthesis.

--Michael E. Flatté (photo, right), professor in the CLAS Department of Physics and Astronomy, "for distinguished contributions to the advancement of semiconductor technology, particularly for innovations in the theory and design of spintronic and infrared opto-electronic materials and devices." Flatté, who received his doctorate from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1992, joined the UI faculty in 1995. He currently is researching the technology of "spintronics," in which data manipulation and long-term storage may one day be combined in a single computer chip so that data manipulation would be faster and cheaper, leading to a much smaller and more energy-efficient computer.

--Mark F. Stinski (photo, left), UI Distinguished Professor of Microbial Virology in the UI Carver College of Medicine, "for distinguished contributions to the field of virology, particularly for studies of the replication of human cytomegalovirus (CMV) and its regulation." Stinski, who received his doctorate from Michigan State University in 1969, joined the UI faculty in 1973. His UI laboratory cloned and discovered the functions of the CMV promoter, a tool that "promotes" the expression of proteins used to produce various protein-based drugs. Companies use the promotor (patented by the UI Research Foundation) to produce drugs to treat serious viral infections, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Fabry's disease and hemophilia, and to prevent acute organ rejection after a transplant.

The three UI recipients are among 471 individuals elected this year by peers. AAAS members are elevated to the rank of "Fellow" because their efforts to advance science or its applications are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished. The new Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a rosette pin on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2008, at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston.

The nonprofit AAAS ( was founded in 1848 and includes 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Its journal, Science (, has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of one million. For the latest research news, log onto the AAAS Web site EurekAlert! at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, University News Services, 319-384-0009,