Three UMass Amherst Researchers Named 2020 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Alice Y. Cheung
Alice Y. Cheung

AMHERST, Mass. – Three University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an honor bestowed upon members by their peers to recognize their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. The three are:

Alice Y. Cheung, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, “for contributions to understanding the molecular and cellular biology of fertilization and polarized cell growth in plants.” Her research interests include understanding the signaling of pollen tube growth in plant sexual reproduction. Her lab works to identify female signal molecules, their receptors on the pollen surface and signalling molecules that regulate the pollen cellular machinery for growth. Another major area of research interest for the Cheung lab is to understand the signaling of plant growth regulators.

Triantafillos Mountziaris, professor of chemical engineering, “for significant research contributions in the synthesis of nanostructured photonic materials and for national research leadership impacting the science and engineering community.” Mountziaris’s research interests include developing efficient processes for manufacturing nanostructured materials with precise control on their size, shape, atomic structure and composition. This includes designing scalable, environmentally-friendly processes for producing II-VI semiconductor nanocrystals, also known as quantum dots.

James V. Staros, professor emeritus of biochemistry and molecular biology and retired provost, “for distinguished contributions in cell biology on the mechanisms by which binding of polypeptide hormones to their surface receptors are transduced into signals.” Staros’ lab focused on the mechanisms by which the binding of polypeptide hormones to their cell surface receptors are transduced into signals in the cell and mechanisms by which those signals are regulated.

This year’s AAAS Fellows will be formally announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science this week. A virtual Fellows Forum – an induction ceremony for the new Fellows – will be held on Feb. 13, 2021.

AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes more than 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. It is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science, as well as Science Translational Medicine; Science Signaling; a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances; Science Immunology; and Science Robotics.