February 23, 2012

Denison elected to American Academy of Microbiology

Denison elected to American Academy of Microbiology

Mark Denison, M.D., Craig-Weaver Chair in Pediatrics, has been elected to fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM) for “excellence, originality and creativity” in the field of microbiology.

Mark Denison, M.D.

Mark Denison, M.D.

He is among seven current Vanderbilt faculty members who are AAM fellows. The 2,700-member academy is an honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology, the oldest and largest life science organization in the world.

Denison, who also is professor of Pediatrics and of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology, is an internationally known expert on coronavirus biology. A coronavirus was responsible for the 2003 epidemic of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed more than 900 people worldwide.

Last year, he was among 14 Vanderbilt faculty members who were elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

The AAAS honored him for “for distinguished contributions to the field of RNA virus biology, particularly for the development of coronavirus synthetic biology and discovery of proteins regulating coronavirus replication fidelity.”

“I am deeply honored to be elected to the AAM and to the AAAS,” Denison said. “I certainly owe a debt of thanks for the recognition to the students, postdocs and scientists in my lab, as well as to my colleagues who nominated me.

“Both organizations are focused on education and advocacy for science,” he said. “I hope I can work in these organizations to help on a national level, particularly in emerging areas of science and policy around synthetic biology, biosafety and biosecurity.”

A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Denison joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 1991.

He and the other 2012 AAM fellows will be recognized during the academy’s 112th general meeting June 19 in San Francisco.

Other fellows currently on the Vanderbilt faculty are James Crowe, M.D.; Terence Dermody, M.D.; Ellen Fanning, Ph.D.; Jacek Hawiger, M.D., Ph.D.; George C. Hill, Ph.D.; and Charles Stratton, M.D.