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December 6, 2012

4 faculty named AAAS fellows

Four Pitt professors have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for the contributions they have made toward the advancement of their respective fields.

Joining the 2012 class are Bruce A. Freeman, chair of the School of Medicine’s Department of Pharmacology; Peyman Givi, James T. MacLeod Professor of Engineering in the Swanson School of Engineering’s Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering; Valerian Kagan, vice chair in the Graduate School of Public Health’s (GSPH) Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, and Allan Sampson, statistics faculty member in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences with a joint appointment in the GSPH Department of Biostatistics.

The four Pitt faculty honorees are among 702 fellows selected this year. They will be honored Feb. 16 during the annual AAAS meeting in Boston.

Freeman• Bruce Freeman was honored for his contributions to the field of free radical biology and the regulation of cell function.

Freeman’s research focuses on the biochemical links between oxygen radicals — such as superoxide, hydrogen peroxide and nitric oxide (NO) — and NO-dependent cell signaling, as well as how those interactions influence cell and organ function.

His team pioneered the notion that NO, which plays critical roles in inflammation and cell regulation, displays unique signaling actions following a reaction with superoxide, oxidizing fatty acids and heme peroxidases.

Freeman has published more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals and written 61 book chapters and invited review articles. In 2003, he was named one of the 100 most highly cited authors in biology and biochemistry.

He has been awarded several patents related to novel anti-inflammatory therapeutic strategies. He has served on peer-review committees and study sections for the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and many other agencies, and has served on numerous editorial and advisory boards. In addition to receiving grants from the NIH’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, he has been funded by NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for a project focused on defining soil-based radicals and oxidants as part of the ongoing robotic missions to Mars.

Peyman Givi• Peyman Givi was honored for his contributions in computational combustion, for teaching the next generation of engineers and for his dedicated efforts to the engineering profession.

His research interests include turbulence, combustion, thermal fluids, computational methods and stochastic (random) processes. He aims to create more fuel-efficient engine designs, which he works on by simulating turbulent combustion using Pitt’s Center for Simulation and Modeling and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.

Givi serves as the deputy editor and book review editor of AIAA Journal. He also is an associate editor of the Journal of Combustion.

He was among the first 15 engineering faculty members to receive the Presidential Faculty Fellowship from former President George H.W. Bush. Givi also received the Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research and the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation.

Valerian Kagan• Valerian Kagan was honored for his contributions to the fields of free radical biology, medicine and programmed cell death.

Kagan is the director of Pitt’s Center for Free Radical and Antioxidant Health, a faculty member in pharmacology and chemical biology, radiation oncology and chemistry.

His research is focused on molecular mechanisms of oxidative stress, antioxidants, tissue and cell acute and chronic injury, and molecular and nanotoxicology. He is one of the pioneers of a field of research surrounding oxidative lipidomics, the study of lipids and their oxidation. He has had more than 500 peer-reviewed papers published on these subjects.

Kagan serves as an executive editor of Antioxidants and Redox Signaling and an associate editor of Chemistry and Physics of Lipids.

sampson• Allan R. Sampson was honored for his contributions to statistical methodology, advancing innovative statistical techniques in neuroscience and clinical trials, and fostering the studying and teaching of statistics at Pitt.

Sampson’s statistical research areas include multivariate analysis, clinical trial designs, order-restricted inference and meta-analysis. His interests include applications of statistics to psychiatry, medicine and drug development. He has coedited two books and has had nearly 150 papers published in various statistical, neuroscience and psychiatry peer-reviewed professional journals.

Sampson is an associate editor of Methodology and Computing in Applied Probability. He has served on a number of U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committees.

The AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 45 Issue 8

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