USC professors recognized for work in a variety of scientific fields

Four professors from Dornsife, Viterbi and the Ostrow School of Dentistry earned the lifetime distinction of American Association of Advancement of Sciences Fellow

Four USC professors have been honored with fellowships in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the association announced last Tuesday. The fellowship honors those “whose efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications in service to society have distinguished them among their peers and colleagues,” according to the AAAS.

In their yearly selection process, which took place in October, fellows on the AAAS governing council nominated and elected 443 new members. Those representing USC were: Dr. Stephen A. Bradforth, Dr. Luis Chiappe, Ewa Deelman, and Dr. Janet Moradian-Oldak.

The AAAS, founded in 1848, is the largest general scientific society in the world. The fellowship program, which began in 1874, has honored scores of scientists and their work, including the work of 36 USC faculty members in previous years. Some notable AAAS honorees include Thomas Edison, Margaret Mead and Linus Pauling.

Dr. Bradforth, the USC Dornsife Divisional Dean for natural sciences and mathematics, has been at USC since 1996. His research with the Bradforth group studies how molecules in chemical reactions behave by capturing them with ultrafast lasers. He has applied his work to fields such as solar cell technology and describes the process as being similar to an “extremely fast stopwatch.”

“It’s always great to have recognition from your peers more broadly,” Bradforth said of the AAAS accolade. “These [awards] come and go, but this was a particularly nice surprise.”

Another awardee, Professor Dr. Janet Moradian-Oldak, a professor of dentistry at the USC Ostrow School of Dentistry and a professor of biomedical sciences at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, has used her background in structural chemistry and expertise in biomineralization to understand the structure of proteins in tooth enamel. Her research has been used to find new alternatives for teeth restoration.

Oldak said she is grateful for the acknowledgment from her peers and for knowing “the community trusts her work.”

Ewa Deelman, a research professor of computer science and principal scientist at the USC Information Sciences Institute, is a computer scientist who researches how computer programs can be implemented to optimize workflow. Many students have contributed to her studies, she said, and winning this award is the result of teamwork.

“I was extremely honored to receive it,” she said. “But, it goes beyond just my work.”

Deelman said the accolade allowed her work to be at the forefront of people’s minds. She added that science is a collaborative effort and that she hopes more will be willing to work in large groups like her research team to make advances in their field.

Dr. Luis Chiappe, an adjunct professor of earth sciences and biological sciences was unavailable for comment.