Cleveland Clinic researchers elected as AAAS Fellows for excellent contributions to science

Published on November 26, 2013 at 1:21 AM · No Comments

Richard A. Padgett, Ph.D., and Edward F. Plow, Ph.D., recognized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Cleveland Clinic researchers Richard A. Padgett, Ph.D., and Edward F. Plow, Ph.D., have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). This year's AAAS Fellows will be formally announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science on Nov. 29, 2013.

Dr. Padgett, who works in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the Lerner Research Institute, was elected as an AAAS Fellow for distinguished contributions to the field of RNA processing, particularly in the areas of RNA splicing, the diversity of splicing mechanisms, and connections with disease.

RNA, or ribonucleic acid, is a nucleic acid present in all living cells that translates the genetic code (DNA) into proteins. RNA splicing is the processing of RNA to remove portions that do not encode proteins. Many diseases are either caused by or associated with mistakes in the splicing process or mutations in the splicing machinery. Dr. Padgett's research aims to understand how these errors in RNA splicing lead to disease, such as cancer, and how the errors can be corrected.

Dr. Plow, Department Chair of Molecular Cardiology at the Lerner Research Institute, and The Robert C. Tarazi, M.D., Endowed Chair in Heart and Hypertension Research, is being honored as an AAAS Fellow for distinguished contributions to vascular biology, particularly for elucidating mechanisms of platelets, integrins, and plasminogen, and outstanding services to the cardiovascular community.

Dr. Plow's research involves dissecting the cellular mechanisms underlying hypertension and heart disease. Specifically, he studies the role of integrins, a type of cell adhesion molecule involved in blood coagulation, in cardiovascular disease. He also recently discovered that the blood protein plasminogen, which has long been associated with coronary artery disease, and a related enzyme are essential in the formation of foam cells-- a hallmark of advanced atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.

Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. This year 388 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

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