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Biology professor becomes 5th at UH to reach prestigious AAAS status
Date:2/2/2010

HOUSTON, Feb. 2, 2009 Stuart Dryer, the John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Biology and Biochemistry and biology department chair at the University of Houston, has been awarded the distinction of fellow from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society and each year honors those who have made distinguished contributions to the advancement of science. A candidate must be nominated by three current AAAS fellows and then reviewed by an AAAS committee in their respective fields. This prestigious career distinction has been achieved by only a handful of other UH faculty, and Dryer will be recognized Feb. 20 at the association's annual meeting in San Diego.

Fellows span the range of scientific fields, and Dryer was chosen by the AAAS neuroscience committee for his work in the field of molecular physiology and in the long-term regulation of ion channel gating and trafficking. Dryer's research on ion channels a type of protein found in cell membranes could lead to new treatments for cancer, asthma and kidney diseases.

Ion channels regulate a cell's electrical activity by acting as tiny gates, opening and closing to allow charged particles inside the cells. Dryer's most recent paper explored the role of ion channels in kidney cells. In many forms of kidney disease, certain ion channels become hyperactive and lead to protein in the urine. This research could lead to the development of a molecule that can reduce the number of those ion channels on the surface of cells.

"Being named an AAAS fellow is one of the top honors a scientist can achieve," said John Bear, dean of UH's College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. "But this news is more than just a major career milestone for Professor Dryer it demonstrates the growing recognition within the scientific community that UH is a world-class center for research and education."

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Contact: Lisa Merkl
lkmerkl@uh.edu
713-743-8192
University of Houston
Source:Eurekalert  

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