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Two chemistry faculty elected fellows of AAAS


Professor Jonathan Ellman

Chemistry professor Jonathan Ellman and emeritus professor of chemistry and molecular and cell biology Jack Kirsch have been elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Ellman and Kirsch will be recognized for their contributions to science and technology at the Fellows Forum on February 17, 2007, during the AAAS Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

The new fellows were announced in the Nov. 24 issue of Science. Ellman was recognized for "seminal contributions to bioorganic and medicinal chemistry," while Kirsch was recognized for "distinguished contributions to the field of mechanistic enzymology."

About his work, Ellman says, "Synthetic organic compounds are incredibly important to society. The majority of new therapeutics and materials are based on organic compounds. My group's primary focus is devising new strategies for making organic compounds more efficiently and at lower cost."

Kirsch studies enzymes, which he characterizes as "nature's catalysts." "Enzymes are responsible for helping almost every chemical reaction in life," says Kirsch. Although Kirsch has officially retired and is now an emeritus professor, he is still actively teaching undergraduate courses.


Professor Jack Kirsch

The AAAS Council elected 449 members as fellows. Seven faculty members from Berkeley were elected fellows, bringing the total number of fellows on campus to about 200. In addition to Ellman and Kirsch, new AAAS fellows from Berkeley include:

All are honored "because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications," according to AAAS, the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science that serve 10 million individuals. The tradition of AAAS fellows began in 1874, with members elevated to the position in any of 24 sections.

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Professor Jonathan Ellman

Professor Jack Kirsch

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