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Microbial Genomics Trailblazer Claire M. Fraser Named AAAS President-Elect

Claire M. Fraser
Claire M. Fraser will become the next president-elect of AAAS in February. | Tom Jemski/University of Maryland School of Medicine

Claire M. Fraser, director and founder of the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Institute for Genome Sciences and a pioneer in the field of microbial genomics, has been chosen as president-elect of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Fraser is among the 114 officers selected during the 2018 election, AAAS announced today. She will begin her term on Feb. 18 after the AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., serving for one year as president-elect, one year as president and one year as chair of the AAAS Board of Directors.

“One of the most important roles of the AAAS President is to serve as an ardent spokesperson for science and to promote application of the scientific method to the solution of our most pressing problems,” said Fraser in her candidacy statement, citing such challenges as climate change, antimicrobial resistance and food, water and energy security.

“Our ability to respond to these challenges has been hampered to a considerable extent by a lack of adequate funding, a tendency to fund ‘safer’ research projects, and a relative lack of public trust in science,” Fraser said, noting the increasing political attacks on science in the U.S. and abroad.

“During these challenging times, it is essential that we find a strong collective voice to speak on the value of science,” she said.

Issues like health, security and environmental protection “have no boundaries and can only be tackled by strong multi-disciplinary international collaborations,” Fraser said. “I am energized by the opportunity to help deliver the message that science matters to all of us.”

Before launching the Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Fraser was with the Institute for Genomic Research, where she served as vice president for research before serving for nine years as president and director of the independent research group. While at TIGR, Fraser was part of a team that for the first time sequenced the full genetic code of any free-living organism, Haemophilus influenzae, which causes respiratory tract infections and meningitis in young children. The discovery launched the field of microbial genomics, which has enabled researchers to better understand the evolution of micro-organisms, information that can inform vaccine development.

Fraser, whose current research focuses on the structure and function of the human gut microbiome, earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Fraser was honored by AAAS as an elected Fellow in 2004 for her pioneering work in sequencing and analyzing microbial genomes. Her prior involvement with AAAS also includes serving on the AAAS Committee on Nominations from 2006 to 2008, on the AAAS Board of Directors from 2013 to 2017 and on the AAAS Section on Biological Sciences’ Electorate Nominating Committee from 2014 to 2017.

When Fraser assumes her role as president-elect in February, current AAAS president-elect Steven Chu will become president for one year. Current president Margaret Hamburg will begin a one-year term as chair of the AAAS Board of Directors. Fraser will become AAAS president in February 2020 and chair of the Board of Directors in February 2021.

AAAS members voted in the annual election for president-elect, members of the Board of Directors, members of the Committee on Nominations, and officers for AAAS’ 24 sections between Oct. 26 and Nov. 26, 2018.

2018 Annual Election Results

General Election

President-Elect:
Claire M. Fraser, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Board of Directors:
Maria M. Klawe, Harvey Mudd College
Ann Bostrom, University of Washington

Committee on Nominations:
Marcia C. Linn, University of California, Berkeley

Paula T. Hammond, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Michelle Vaughn Buchanan, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Elaine Fuchs, Rockefeller University

 

Section Elections

Agriculture, Food, and Renewable Resources

Chair Elect:
Edward S. Buckler, USDA-ARS

Member-at-Large of the Section Committee:
Neelima R. Sinha, University of California, Davis

Electorate Nominating Committee:
Isgouhi Kaloshian, University of California, Riverside

Chris van Kessel, University of California, Davis

 

Anthropology

Chair Elect:
Anne Stone, Arizona State University

Member-at-Large of the Section Committee:
Phoebe R. Stubblefield, University of Florida

Electorate Nominating Committee:
Sharon N. Dewitte, University of South Carolina

Joan T. Richtsmeier, Pennsylvania State University

Council Delegates:
Nathaniel J. Dominy, Dartmouth College

 

Astronomy

Chair Elect:
Heidi B. Hammel, Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy

Member-at-Large of the Section Committee:
Nancy A. Levenson, Space Telescope Science Institute

Electorate Nominating Committee:
Lucy McFadden, NASA (Retired)
Jill Tarter, SETI Institute

Council Delegates:
Joan R. Najita, National Optical Astronomy Observatory

 

Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Sciences

Chair Elect:
Cindy Lee, Stony Brook University

Member-at-Large of the Section Committee:
Ronald C. Cohen, University of California, Berkeley

Electorate Nominating Committee:
Christopher Field, Stanford University

Margaret A. Palmer, University of Maryland, College Park

 

Biological Sciences

Chair Elect:
David Burgess, Boston College

Member-at-Large of the Section Committee:
Joan E. Strassmann, Washington University in St. Louis

Electorate Nominating Committee:
Mónica Medina, Pennsylvania State University

Phillip A. Newmark, Howard Hughes Medical Institute/University of Wisconsin–Madison

Council Delegates:
David A. Baum, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Susan K. Dutcher, Washington University in St. Louis
Paul E. Turner, Yale University

 

Chemistry

Chair Elect:
Angela K. Wilson, Michigan State University

Member-at-Large of the Section Committee:
Cynthia J. Burrows, University of Utah

Electorate Nominating Committee:
Rebecca J. Abergel, University of California, Berkeley

Theodore Goodson III, University of Michigan

Council Delegate:
Cynthia K. Larive, University of California, Riverside
Debra Rolison, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

 

Dentistry and Oral Health Sciences

Chair Elect:
Rena N. D’Souza, University of Utah

Member-at-Large of the Section Committee:
Paul H. Krebsbach, University of California, Los Angeles

Electorate Nominating Committee:
Luisa A. DiPietro, University of Illinois at Chicago
David H. Kohn, University of Michigan

 

Education

Chair Elect:
Nancy Pelaez, Purdue University

Member-at-Large of the Section Committee:
Deborah Allen, University of Delaware

Electorate Nominating Committee:
Sarah G. Allen, *a Federal Environmental Agency
David J. Asai, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

 

Engineering

Chair Elect:
Nicholas L. Abbott, Cornell University

Member-at-Large of the Section Committee:
Anne Skaja Robinson, Tulane University

Electorate Nominating Committee:
Johney Green, Jr., National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Gail G. Mattson, Brookhaven National Laboratory

 

General Interest in Science and Engineering

Chair Elect:
Carol Lynn Alpert, Museum of Science, Boston

Member-at-Large of the Section Committee:
Keegan Sawyer, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Electorate Nominating Committee:
Jennifer Cutraro, Science Storytellers

Donna Gerardi Riordan, Washington State Academy of Sciences

 

Geology and Geography

Chair Elect:
Linda Rowan, UNAVCO

Member-at-Large of the Section Committee:
Nancy L. Jackson, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Electorate Nominating Committee:
Mei-Po Kwan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Lynn M. Resler, Virginia Tech

Council Delegate:
Tie (run-off election will be conducted)

 

History and Philosophy of Science

Chair Elect:
Susan Lindee, University of Pennsylvania

Member-at-Large of the Section Committee:
Robert T. Pennock, Michigan State University

Electorate Nominating Committee:
Helen E. Longino, Stanford University

Roberta L. Millstein, University of California, Davis

 

Industrial Science and Technology

Chair Elect:
Carl J. Williams, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Member-at-Large of the Section Committee:
Sudarsanam Suresh Babu, University of Tennessee, Knoxville/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Electorate Nominating Committee:
Philip Shapira, University of Manchester/Georgia Institute of Technology

Edmund G. Seebauer, University of Illinois

 

Information, Computing, and Communication

Chair Elect:
Daniel A. Reed, University of Utah

Member-at-Large of the Section Committee:
Deborah L. McGuinness, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Electorate Nominating Committee:
Eugene Santos Jr., Dartmouth College

Tandy Warnow, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

Linguistics and Language Science

Chair Elect:
Judith F. Kroll, University of California, Riverside

Member-at-Large of the Section Committee:
Richard K. Larson, Stony Brook University

Electorate Nominating Committee:
Fernanda Ferreira, University of California, Davis

Colleen M. Fitzgerald, University of Texas at Arlington/National Science Foundation

 

Mathematics

Chair Elect:
Barbara Lee Keyfitz, Ohio State University

Member-at-Large of the Section Committee:
Bonnie Berger, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Electorate Nominating Committee:
Susan Friedlander, University of Southern California
Talitha Washington, Howard University

Council Delegate:
Joceline Lega, University of Arizona

 

Medical Sciences

Chair Elect:
Mary Fedarko Roberts, Boston College (Retired)

Member-at-Large of the Section Committee:
Pierre A. Coulombe, University of Michigan

Electorate Nominating Committee:
Valerie P. Opipari, University of Michigan

Andrew I. Schafer, Weill Cornell Medical College

Council Delegate:
Thea D. Tlsty, University of California, San Francisco

Channing J. Der, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 

Neuroscience

Chair Elect:
Thomas D. Albright, Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Member-at-Large of the Section Committee:
Elly Nedivi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Electorate Nominating Committee:
Beverly L. Davidson, University of Pennsylvania

Julie H. Simpson, University of California, Santa Barbara

Council Delegate:
Leslie P. Tolbert, University of Arizona (Retired)

 

Pharmaceutical Sciences

Chair Elect:
Donna M. Huryn, University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy

Member-at-Large of the Section Committee:
Karlyne M. Reilly, National Cancer Institute/NIH

Electorate Nominating Committee:
John E. Macor, Sanofi

Kerry Leigh McPhail, Oregon State University

 

Physics

Chair Elect:
Andrea J. Liu, University of Pennsylvania

Member-at-Large of the Section Committee:
Marilyn Gunner, City College of New York

Electorate Nominating Committee:
Tony F. Heinz, Stanford University/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Paul L. McEuen, Cornell University

Council Delegate:
Pushpa Bhat, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

 

Psychology

Chair Elect:
Morton Ann Gernsbacher, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Member-at-Large of the Section Committee:
Anthony D. Wagner, Stanford University

Electorate Nominating Committee:
Barbara L. Fredrickson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Alison Gopnik, University of California, Berkeley

 

Social, Economic, and Political Sciences

Chair Elect:
Nicole Woolsey Biggart, University of California, Davis

Member-at-Large of the Section Committee:
Luís M.A. Bettencourt, University of Chicago

Electorate Nominating Committee:
Gretchen Goldman, Union of Concerned Scientists

Jill J. McCluskey, Washington State University

 

Societal Impacts of Science and Engineering

Chair Elect:
Tobin L. Smith, Association of American Universities

Member-at-Large of the Section Committee:
Jane Maienschein, Arizona State University/Marine Biological Laboratory

Electorate Nominating Committee:
Jean Goodwin, NC State University

Rachel E. Levinson, Arizona State University

 

Statistics

Chair Elect:
Rebecca W. Doerge, Carnegie Mellon University

Member-at-Large of the Section Committee:
Victoria Stodden, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Electorate Nominating Committee:
Jennifer L. Clarke, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Richard D. De Veaux, Williams College

Related Focus Areas

Author

Andrea Korte