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5 Brown faculty elected to world's largest scientific body
Date:12/18/2008

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] Five Brown University faculty have been awarded the distinction of fellow from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

The new fellows, among 486 chosen from the AAAS membership this year, include visual neuroscientist David M. Berson; marine ecologist Mark D. Bertness; brain scientist John P. Donoghue; cell biologist Susan A. Gerbi; and Jimmy Xu, a professor who focuses on laser science, nanotechnology and bio-nanoelectronics.

Fellows are elected by their peers in the AAAS,which is the world's largest general scientific society. The AAAS, founded in 1848, publishes the journal Science. The organization has chosen AAAS fellows since 1874.

New fellows will be announced in the Dec. 19, 2008, issue of Science and honored during a formal ceremony at the AAAS annual meeting in Chicago in February.

David Berson: Neuroscientist, vision specialist David Berson Neuroscientist, vision specialist David M. Berson

Berson is the Sidney A. Fox and Dorothea Doctors Fox Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and has been a neuroscience researcher for more than 30 years 23 as a Brown professor. He is a 1975 Brown graduate with an A.B. in psychology.

Berson was recognized for his contributions to the field of visual neuroscience. His lab focuses on what the eye tells the brain. Specifically, he explores structural and functional diversity among the ganglion cells of the eye, the retinal neurons that communicate directly with the brain. Current research focuses on one very unusual type of ganglion cell that senses light directly. These neurons drive reflexive responses to daylight, such as synchronizing biological clocks to the rising and setting of the sun.

Berson's discovery of that third light-sensing cell in the eye was reported in Science on Feb. 8, 2002.

Berson's research is funded by the National Eye Ins
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Contact: Mark Hollmer
Mark_Hollmer@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert

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