Dean Johnson and Dr. Schmittgen named 2020 AAAS Fellows

Seven University of Florida researchers, including Dean Julie Johnson and Thomas Schmittgen from the UF College of Pharmacy, have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS.

Dean Julie Johnson
Dean Julie Johnson, Pharm.D.

This year, 489 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society, and the addition of seven new UF fellows brings the university’s total to 59.

Tom Schmittgen
Thomas Schmittgen, Ph.D.

Julie Johnson, Pharm.D., was appointed dean of the University of Florida College of Pharmacy in 2013 and holds the title of distinguished professor of pharmacy and medicine. She is a recognized leader in cardiovascular pharmacogenomics and precision medicine. Johnson was the founding director of the UF Health Precision Medicine Program and leads a National Institutes of Health-funded program in precision medicine implementation and genomic medicine training grant. She was elected to the AAAS Section on Pharmaceutical Sciences for significant discoveries in cardiovascular drug pharmacogenomics, and for advancing use of genetic data in clinical practice to improve clinical outcomes with drug therapy.

Thomas Schmittgen, Ph.D., serves as chair of the department of pharmaceutics in the UF College of Pharmacy and the V. Ravi Chandran Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He is an accomplished researcher focused on cancer therapeutics and co-author of one of the most cited scientific articles of all time. Schmittgen was elected to the AAAS Section on Pharmaceutical Sciences for distinguished contributions to the field of microRNA biology, particularly using real time PCR to quantify microRNA expression in tissues, extracellular vesicles, cell lines and tumors.

The other UF faculty named 2020 AAAS Fellows include:

  • Geoffrey Dahl, Ph.D., a professor in the UF/IFAS’ animal science department
  • Rosemary Loria, Ph.D., the chair of UF/IFAS’ plant pathology department
  • Rafael Muñoz-Carpena, Ph.D. a professor in the department of agricultural and biological engineering
  • Eric W. Triplett, Ph.D., the chair of the microbiology and cell science department in UF/IFAS
  • Nathalie A. Wall, Ph.D., a professor in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering

The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. Currently, members can be considered for the rank of Fellow if nominated by the steering groups of the association’s 24 sections, or 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. Fellows must have been continuous members of AAAS for four years by the end of the calendar year in which they are elected. The AAAS Fellow honor comes with an expectation that recipients maintain the highest standards of professional ethics and scientific integrity.