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For release: Dec. 22, 2008

Surya Mallapragada, (515) 294-7407
Klaus Schmidt-Rohr, (515) 294-6105
George Kraus, (515) 294-7794
Kerry Gibson, (515) 294-1405



Mallapragada, Schmidt-Rohr and Kraus elected by peers

AMES, Iowa—Three researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory have been named AAAS Fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  The honor is bestowed on association members by their scientific peers. The association named 486 fellows this year for "their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications."

Ames Laboratory's new AAAS Fellows are:

  • Surya Mallapragada, a field work proposal leader for Bioinspired Materials at Ames Laboratory and professor of chemical and biological engineering.  Mallapragada was honored for "research in the field of biomaterials and biomolecular engineering, particularly for important scientific advances in polymer design, relevant to nerve cell regeneration and drug delivery."  Mallapragada's research group is working on bioinspired self-assembling nanocomposites, a bottom-up approach to materials design as seen in nature. The group is also developing new biomaterials for drug and gene delivery and neural tissue engineering.
  • Klaus Schmidt-Rohr, a field work proposal leader for the Solid State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) program at Ames Laboratory and a professor of chemistry.  Schmidt-Rohr was honored for "using and developing solid-state NMR to answer important questions about diverse materials, including synthetic polymers, bone, soil and fuel-cell membranes."  Schmidt-Rohr's research program includes studies of thermoelectric materials, the nanostructure of diatom cell walls and the structure-property relations in Nafion fuel-cell membranes.
  • George Kraus, associate of the Division of Materials Science and Engineering at   Ames Laboratory, director of the Institute for Physical Research and Technology, and University Professor of Chemistry.  Kraus was honored for "developing syntheses of natural products and other imaginative applications of organic chemistry; also for promoting chemistry through visionary administrative leadership in the university environment."  Kraus' research program includes developing biobased products using catalysts.  He's also working to synthesize biologically active molecules, including antiviral agents and plant-based drugs for treatment of type 2 diabetes.

"AAAS is the premier member-driven association serving the field of science," said Ames Laboratory Director Alex King.  "It has incredible breadth, depth and impact, and the people who represent the association make significant contributions in an exceptionally wide range of ways. 

"The recognition of Surya, Klaus and George with AAAS Fellowships is especially significant because AAAS crosses all fields of science, and standing out from the crowd is so much harder when the crowd is that large," King continued.  "It's a real distinction, and we are very proud of the outstanding work that they are doing at the Ames Laboratory."

 This year's class of AAAS Fellows was announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science on Friday, Dec. 19.  The new fellows will be presented with official certificates and pins on Feb. 14 in Chicago at the association's annual meeting.

The three join nine other Ames Laboratory researchers who are currently listed as AAAS Fellows: Andreja Bakac, John Corbett, John Hill, David Lynch, Gordon Miller, Marit Nilsen-Hamilton, Jacob Petrich, Klaus Ruedenberg, and Costas Soukoulis.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is the world's largest general scientific society.  It was founded in 1848, includes 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, and publishes the journal Science.

Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science laboratory operated for the DOE by Iowa State University.  Ames Laboratory creates innovative materials, technologies and energy solutions. We use our expertise, unique capabilities and interdisciplinary collaborations to solve global challenges.