AAAS Fellows Announced

The distinguished recognition for science advancement is bestowed upon individuals by their peers.



TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 14, 2011) – Professors Huntington Potter, Ashok Kumar and Salvatore Morgera of the University of South Florida have been awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellows. Election as a Fellow is an honor bestowed upon American Association for the Advancement of Science members by their peers.


This year 503 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on Saturday, Feb. 19, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2011 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.


This year’s AAAS Fellows were announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science on Jan. 11.


As part of the College of Medicine, Potter was elected as an AAAS Fellow in the section on biological sciences. As part of the College of Engineering, Kumar and Mogera were elected as AAAS Fellows in the section on engineering. 


Potter, a professor in USF Health’s Department of Molecular Medicine and Eric Pfeiffer Professor at the USF Health Johnnie B. Byrd Sr. Alzheimer’s Institute and director of the Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, was elected to Fellow of AAAS “for distinguished contributions to the fields of genetic recombination, electroporation, and neuroscience, particularly the findings that inflammation and aneuploidy link Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome.”  Recently, Potter and colleagues at the Byrd Institute discovered that a protein produced in cases of rheumatoid arthritis appears to protect against the development of Alzheimer’s disease. 


The author of well over 100 scientific articles and books, Potter holds 15 U.S. and foreign patents.  He has served on many scientific advisory and review committees in academia, industry and government.  He is the recipient of the American Society for Cell Biology Glenn Foundation Award for "Outstanding Research in Aging", the Kaul Foundation Award for Excellence for “Outstanding Achievements in the Field of Neurobiology and Gerontology” and the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s “Health Care Heroes Award” for Health Care Innovation and Research. The National American History Museum of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. contains his electron micrographs of DNA on permanent exhibit.


Kumar, who serves as director of USF’s Nanotechnology Research and Education Center and is a mechanical engineering professor, was elected to Fellow of AAAS "for pioneering research in broad field of thin film technology for multifunctional applications and for untiring service to the broader materials community.” His excellence as a researcher has been recognized by a number of honors, including ASM Fellow, Theodore and Venette Askounes Ashford Distinguished Scholar Award, USF Outstanding Faculty Research Achievement Award, USF President Faculty Excellence Award, NSF Faculty Early CAREER Development Award and National Research Council Twining Fellowship Award. He also received the Professor Honorario award from the Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia.


Morgera was elected as a Fellow of the AAAS “for pioneering research in structured estimation theory, adaptive communications, and pattern analysis and for academic program development in undergraduate Engineering Leadership and graduate Bioengineering.”  Chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering, he is a Fellow of the IEEE, a Professional Engineer, and a Tau Beta Pi Eminent Engineer.  He has had a number of highly distinguished appointments and awards from the governments of Canada and the United States and has been recently honored for bringing engineering innovation to scientific discovery in support of medicine.  He has published 95 journal papers and 113 conference papers and the book Digital Signal Processing – Applications to Communications and Algebraic Coding Theories.


“USF is very proud to have three new Fellows among our group,” said Karen Holbrook, senior vice president for Research, Innovation & Global Affairs and president of the USF Research Foundation, Inc.  “We recognize that we have many more faculty who could be recognized by this award and look forward to a significant number of nominees next year to continue increasing the size of the group.”  Holbrook herself is an AAAS Fellow and has been a board member or the organization.


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.


Each steering group then reviews the nominations of individuals within its respective section and a final list is forwarded to the AAAS Council, which votes on the aggregate list.


The Council is the policymaking body of the Association, chaired by the AAAS president, and consisting of the members of the board of directors, the retiring section chairs, delegates from each electorate and each regional division, and two delegates from the National Association of Academies of Science.


About AAAS

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science ( as well as Science Translational Medicine ( and Science Signaling ( AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The non-profit AAAS ( is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!,, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.


-       Media contact: Lara Wade, 813-974-9060.