The American Academy of Microbiology (AAM) recently honored Peter Chien, professor in biochemistry and molecular biology, by naming him to the 2020 class of Fellows of the Academy, based on his record of “scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology.” The AAM is the honored leadership group within the American Society of Microbiology (ASM), one of the oldest and largest scientific societies in the world.
Chien says of the honor, “This recognition from the AAM reflects the cumulative work of the amazing group of students and trainees in my lab. I am thankful for all the work this team put into our science,and humbled by the recognition for our efforts."
Chien’s lab studies the highly-regulated cellular cleanup system in which specialized proteins called proteases degrade damaged or no-longer-needed proteins. In bacteria, these cleanup systems help cells defend against antibiotics and other stresses. One effort in the Chien lab is to find ways to target these proteases to improve the ability of antibiotics to kill pathogens, even for bacteria that have become antibiotic resistant.
The AAM says that its 68 new members join 2,500 others who represent all subspecialties of the microbial sciences and are involved in basic and applied research, teaching, public health, industry and government service. The academy reports that the class of 2020 represents fellows from 11 countries including Australia, Austria, Brazil, Chile, China, France, Germany, Israel, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Election to the Academy is by nomination only and is a distinction given for lasting contributions to the field of microbiology.