Dr. Patricia Berg Selected as 2016 AAAS Fellow for Contributions in Biological Sciences

Fellows will be recognized at the 2017 AAAS Meeting in Boston on Saturday, Feb. 18
December 15, 2016

Patricia Berg, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular medicine at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

As part of the biological sciences section, Berg was selected for her “important contributions to cancer research with the discovery of BP1 protein, activated in 80 percent of breast cancers and 70 percent of prostate cancers.” Berg also discovered that the presence of BP1 protein increases as breast cancer progresses from normal tissue to aggressive breast cancer. BP1 is associated with increased cell growth, resistance to drugs, and with metastasis. Moreover, BP1 protein can control other genes, including several oncogenes known to cause breast cancer. Her work has had a dramatic effect on cancer research.

“I am honored to have been selected as a AAAS Fellow and to be named among such an esteemed group of scientists,” said Berg. “I look forward to continuing my research on BP1 and detection methods for early cancer detection, which will save lives.”

This year 391 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2017 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.

This year’s AAAS Fellows were also formally announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science on Nov. 25, 2016.

The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. Currently, members can be considered for the rank of Fellow if nominated by the steering groups of the Association’s 24 sections, or by any three Fellows who are current AAAS members (so long as two of the three sponsors are not affiliated with the nominee’s institution), or by the AAAS chief executive officer. Fellows must have been continuous members of AAAS for four years by the end of the calendar year in which they are elected. Each steering group reviews the nominations of individuals within its respective section and a final list is forwarded to the AAAS Council, which votes on the aggregate list.

The Council is the policymaking body of the Association, chaired by the AAAS president, and consists of the members of the board of directors, the retiring section chairs, delegates from each electorate and each regional division, and two delegates from the National Association of Academies of Science.

For more information, please see the AAAS announcement at https://www.aaas.org/news/2016-aaas-fellows-honored-advancing-science-serve-society