Two WSU faculty named AAAS Fellows

Legume geneticist Clarice Coyne and virologist Anthony Nicola have been elected by their peers as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

The 489 new Fellows for 2020 will be formally announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science on Nov. 27. A virtual induction ceremony for the new AAAS Fellows will be held on Feb. 13, 2021.

Closeup of Clarice Coyne.
Clarice Coyne

Clarice Coyne was elected as a Fellow for her international leadership in legume plant genetic resource conservation and contributions to the public understanding, global food security, and improved nutritional value of legumes. Coyne said this would not have been possible without the support of both national and international collaborators as well as current and past leaders in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences and WSU Hatch project administrators.

Coyne joined the USDA Western Regional Plant Introduction Station hosted by WSU in 1998 as a curator/geneticist and serves as adjunct faculty in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences. She is the principal or co-principal investigator on projects conducting international agronomic evaluations and the development of genetic and genomic resources for the cool season, food legume plant genetic resources of lentil, pea, faba bean, and chickpea.

Coyne became a Fellow of the Crop Science Society of America in 2019, and currently serves as a technical editor of the journal Crop Science. In 2016, she received the USDA Research, Education, and Economics (REE) Mission Area Merit Award as part of the ARS legume and oilseed plant breeding team.

Closeup of Anthony Nicola.
Anthony Nicola

Anthony Nicola, the Engle Distinguished Professor of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, was recognized as a AAAS Fellow for his contributions to the field of herpes simplex virus biology, specifically for his work uncovering new insights into how the herpesvirus enters host cells.

One of the most widespread viruses in the world, herpes can cause a lifelong, latent infection for which there is no cure. Nicola’s research program, which has been funded for more than 20 years by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), aims to provide a better understanding of how the virus interacts with human cells during early stages of infection – critical information needed to develop intervention strategies and antiviral drug targets. This year, his research team published a study on HSV‑1 which identified how a virus protein acts as a critical signaler for the virus to succeed in infecting a cell.

Nicola received the Zoetis Award for Research Excellence in 2017 and the Exceptional Mentor Award (2018) from ARCS, Achievement Rewards for College Scientists. He has served on numerous editorial boards including Current Clinical Microbiology Reports, PLoS Pathogens, and Journal of Virology as well as review panels for the NIH and National Science Foundation.

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