Fellow of the AAAS
Vahe Bandarian is among the 506 newly-elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
AAAS members have been awarded this honor because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Other fellows currently at the U including Nancy Songer, dean of the College of Education, Thure Cerling, recipient of the 2022 Rosenblatt Prize and Mario Capecchi, 2007 Nobel laureate. The U’s first Fellow was geologist and former university president James Talmage, elected in 1906. Election as a Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.
New Fellows will be presented with a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin and gather in spring 2023 in Washington, D.C. Fellows will also be announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science in February 2023.
Bandarian, professor of chemistry and associate dean for student affairs in the College of Science, was elected for “discoveries in the field of tRNA modifications and key contribution to mechanistic basis of radical-mediated transformations leading to complex natural products.”
“I was thrilled when I heard the news and humbled by it,” he says.
Bandarian’s lab studies how bacterial enzymes participate in producing natural chemical products, including many products that aren’t required for the bacteria to grow, but can provide a competitive advantage in the bacteria’s ecosystem.
“These compounds span a large swath of chemical space and include modified bases in RNA, modified peptides and small molecules,” he says. “Our overall goal is to discover and understand the details of these enzymatic transformations.”
Beyond studying natural processes, Bandarian is also interested in how the process of biosynthesis, including these enzymes, can be used to produce designed compounds that could have therapeutic properties.