Faculty and administrators named as society fellows

PULLMAN — Six members of the WSU faculty and administration, including the university president, have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

The WSU honorees are Elson S. Floyd, president of the university; Howard D. Grimes, vice president for research; Michael D. Griswold, dean of the College of Sciences; Guy H. Palmer, director of the School for Global Animal Health; Bryan K. Slinker, interim dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine; and James P. Kehrer, dean of the College of Pharmacy.

According to a statement from AAAS, these six are among 486 individuals from around the nation chosen as fellows this year “because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. The official announcement will be made in the December 19 issue of the journal Science.

Elson S. Floyd is being honored “for distinguished leadership, emphasizing accessibility, affordability, accountability and achievement of excellence of three major universities: Western Michigan University, University of Missouri, and Washington State University,” said a statement from AAAS.

Floyd received a bachelor of arts in political science and speech, a master of education degree and a doctorate in higher and adult education from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He has held administrative posts at several universities since 1978. After serving as president at Western Michigan University and the University of Missouri, he assumed the presidency of Washington State University in 2007.

One of Floyd’s major accomplishments at WSU has been the establishment of the School for Global Animal Health, whose mission is to provide innovative solutions to global infectious disease challenges through research, education, global outreach and application of disease control at the animal-human interface.

Howard D. Grimes was chosen for his contributions to the field of plant biochemistry and to graduate education at WSU. He is a professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences and currently serves as Dean of the Graduate School and Vice President for Research.

His research deals with the transport and metabolism of carbon and nitrogen within plants. It has implications for agriculture in terms of plant productivity, and for medicine in terms of potential treatments for inflammation-related diseases of humans, such as arthritis.

Grimes received a doctoral degree in botany from North Carolina State University.

Michael D. Griswold is being honored for contributions to understanding the role of Sertoli cells in spermatogenesis and for effective leadership of the College of Sciences at WSU.

His work deals with the function of somatic (non-reproductive) cells in the mammalian male reproductive system, particularly their role in the development of sperm. It has led to new understanding of male fertility and infertility.

Griswold is Regents Professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences and has been dean of the College of Sciences since 2002. He received a bachelor of science in chemistry and a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Wyoming. He is the co-editor of an acclaimed book, “Sertoli Cell Biology, Vol. 1,”, has been president of the Society for the Study of Reproduction, and serves on the editorial boards of six major scientific journals.

Guy H. Palmer was chosen for his contributions to the field of infectious diseases, particularly for mechanisms of antigenic variation in bacterial pathogens and identifying determinants of genomic change.

Palmer’s research on how bacteria escape detection by the immune system has led to new strategies for developing vaccines against destructive animal diseases such as anaplasmosis, the most prevalent tick-borne disease of livestock worldwide. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and has authored more than 180 articles in scientific journals.

Palmer received a bachelor of science in biology and a DVM from Kansas State University and a doctorate in Veterinary Microbiology from WSU. He has been a member of the WSU faculty since 1988. He is now Regents Professor of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology and director of WSU’s School for Global Animal Health. He also chairs his department’s graduate studies program and is director of a National Institutes of Health Immunology Training Program. He was recently chosen to be a founding member of the state of Washington’s Academy of Science, and in 2006 was elected to the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine.

Bryan K. Slinker is being recognized for contributions to the understanding of cardiac ventricular interactions, development and application of multivariate statistics, and for leadership in developing institutional research at WSU.

His research focuses on the process of remodeling by heart muscle cells in individuals with high blood pressure or after a heart attack, and on how heart cells sense and adapt to abnormalities within the system. He has published more than 50 journal articles and book chapters.

Slinker is professor and chair of the Department of Veterinary and Comparative Anatomy, Pharmacology, and Physiology and interim dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. He received a bachelor of science in zoology from the College of Idaho and a DVM and doctorate from WSU.

James P. Kehrer is being recognized for distinguished contributions to the fields of toxicology and pharmacology as a researcher, editor of Toxicology Letters, and as dean of WSU College of Pharmacy.
Kehrer’s research interests involve investigating the mechanisms underlying tumor cell selectivity of certain anticancer agents. Kehrer has additional research interests in the field of free radical and antioxidant toxicology. He has also studied the toxicity of acrolein, a widespread environmental contaminant.

Before coming to WSU as dean in 2005, Kehrer served as the director of the Center for Molecular and Cellular Toxicology and Gustavus and Louise Pfeiffer Professor of Toxicology at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his doctorate in pharmacology from the University of Iowa.

For more information on the nomination process, and to search the database of current AAAS Fellows, go to http://www.aaas.org/aboutaaas/fellows/.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science. AAAS includes some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Its mission is “to advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs and science education, among others.


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