Northwestern University professors Luisa Iruela-Arispe, PhD, Murali Prakriya, PhD, Linda A. Teplin, PhD and Teri Odom, PhD, have been selected as 2022 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the largest general scientific society in the world.
The 2022 class of AAAS Fellows includes 508 scientists, engineers and innovators spanning 24 scientific disciplines, recognized for their scientifically and socially distinguished achievements.
Luisa Iruela-Arispe, PhD
Her research focuses on signaling pathways that regulate vascular morphogenesis and vascular dysfunction in diseases. She has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and is recognized as a leader in the field of vascular biology.
“Our research focus is to understand how blood vessels grow and regenerate. We hope that this fundamental information will allow us to control vascular responses in pathological conditions. I am deeply honored by this recognition and grateful to all my trainees that contributed along the way. ”
Iruela-Arispe is also an enthusiastic mentor, having trained 21 PhD students and 24 postdoctoral fellows in her laboratory.
“Mentoring women and underrepresented individuals in science has become a commitment,” she said. “When I began my career 30 years ago, it was very noticeable that women were underrepresented in the sciences. I made a conscious decision that I was going to do what I could personally to change this landscape.”
Murali Prakriya, PhD
Murali Prakriya, PhD, is the Magerstadt Professor of Pharmacology and of Medicine in the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Research in his laboratory is focused on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of intracellular calcium (Ca2+) signaling, especially in the brain and lung tissues.
Ca2+ is a ubiquitous intracellular signaling messenger, mediating essential functions such as gene expression, neurotransmitter release and muscle contraction.
In earlier work, Prakriya and his collaborators helped identify a novel gene which encodes calcium release-activated ion channels. Now, Prakriya and his laboratory are building upon that discovery.
“We are trying to understand how CRAC channels operate at an atomic level and define their physiological roles in the brain and the lung,” Prakriya said. “We’ve found these channels are involved in cognition, learning, memory and drive a variety of pathologies including neuropathic pain and lung inflammation.”
In the future, Prakriya said he hopes to aid in the development of a small-molecule inhibitor for the channels, which is currently in the clinical trial phase.
“I’m humbled and delighted that our contributions are recognized,” Prakriya said. “It’s very gratifying to see our work having an impact and moving the field forward. But this wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions of the many students and postdocs that I have had the good fortune to work with. Also, we collaborate with a number of groups here at Northwestern, and I can’t thank them enough for their help. These are exciting times for the field.”
Linda Teplin, PhD
Linda Teplin, PhD, is vice chair for research in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, the Owen L. Coon Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Teplin has conducted the first large-scale epidemiologic studies of psychiatric disorders in jails, prisons and juvenile detention centers, examining both women and men.
In the mid-nineties, she developed the Northwestern Juvenile Project, still the only large-scale longitudinal study of the health needs and outcomes of juvenile detainees. In this study, her team tracked and interviewed 1,829 youth who were initially arrested and detained between 1995 and 1998. The study is still ongoing.
Teplin has published landmark papers from her studies, examining timely topics such as the criminalization of psychiatric disorders, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS risk, child maltreatment, trauma, suicidal ideation, mortality and service utilization.
Now, Teplin and her collaborators are conducting Next Generation, a follow-up to the Northwestern Juvenile Project. For the study, investigators will interview the children of the original participants. Once complete, it will be the first intergenerational prospective study of a correctional population.
“It’s validating to have our work recognized by AAAS,” Teplin said. “I’ve been in this field for forty years. What fuels my determination is improving health in correctional populations and reducing the disproportionate incarceration of minorities and persons who are economically disadvantaged. My work is not yet done.”
Teri Odom, PhD
Teri Odom, PhD, is chair of the Department of Chemistry at Northwestern University Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.
Odom’s laboratory focuses on designing structured nanoscale materials with exceptional properties.
Odom and her collaborators have made precious metals more precious by tuning the size and shape of these metals at the nanoscale, and have transformed ordinary materials into extraordinary ones by controlling their architectures over multiple length scales.
Her lab’s unique materials have applications in nanomedicine, nano-lasing, photovoltaics, wetting and imaging.