Three Researchers Named to American Association for the Advancement of Science

Kathryn Albers, Tao Han and Rob A. RutenbarThree University of Pittsburgh researchers have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). This year, 443 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

Kathryn Albers, a professor in the Department of Neurobiology in the School of Medicine, was recognized for accomplishments in molecular and cellular neuroscience, including studies of sensory neuron development and its relation to nerve injury and pain. 

“Receiving this recognition from the AAAS is a career highlight for me, and a reminder of all of the smart, creative and wonderful faculty and trainees I have worked with over the years in the field of cutaneous sensory biology,” said Albers.

Tao Han, Distinguished Professor of High Energy Physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, was recognized for contributions to understanding physics beyond the standard model, specifically his work at high energy particle accelerators. 

“The AAAS fellowship recognizes the extraordinary achievements in research, teaching and technological development across disciplines. I am particularly honored for my research work on exploring new physics with high energy accelerators, which will continue to be the frontier to understand nature at shortest distances,” Han said. 

Rob A. Rutenbar, senior vice chancellor for research, was recognized for his contributions to tools for the design of custom integrated circuits and systems, as well as novel architectures for curricula in computer science and engineering.

“I’m humbled by this honor. It has great meaning, as the award is an indication of recognition by our peers,” Rutenbar said. 

Albers, Han and Rutenbar will be honored at the 2020 AAAS Annual Meeting in Seattle in February. 

The tradition of honoring members of AAAS as fellows dates back to 1874. Members can be considered for the rank of fellow if they are nominated by the steering groups of the association’s 24 sections, 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. The AAAS Fellow honor comes with an expectation that recipients maintain the highest standards of professional ethics and scientific integrity.