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January 15, 2014

Rochester scientists named AAAS fellows

Xi-Cheng Zhang and Karl Kieburtz will be honored at the organization’s February meeting

Karl Kieburtz
Karl Kieburtz

Karl Kieburtz and Xi-Cheng Zhang have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Kieburtz, the Robert J. Joynt Professor in Neurology, serves as director of the Medical Center’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the Center for Human Experimental Therapy.

Kieburtz’s primary clinical and research interests are neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. Over the years, he has served as principal investigator for more than two dozen clinical studies investigating new treatments for neurological disorders, including overseeing several late stage multimillion dollar government, foundation, and industry-sponsored clinical trials.

He is also an expert on the design and implementation of large-scale, multisite clinical studies. He has served as chair of the Food and Drug Administration’s Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee, which reviews and recommends new drugs for approval, and is an active consultant to the FDA, the National Institutes of Health, and industry.

Kieburtz was the former chair of the executive committee of the Parkinson Study Group, an international network of more than 350 researchers, whose studies have led to the approval of several new medications to treat the disease. Kieburtz has also served in leadership positions in the worldwide Huntington Study Group, whose work led to the approval of tetrabenazine, the first drug ever approved in the U.S. to treat the disease.

Xi-Cheng Zhang
Xi-Cheng Zhang

Zhang, the M. Parker Givens Professor of Optics and director of the Institute of Optics, is recognized for his contributions to the generation and detection of broadband terahertz waves, particularly for free-space electro-optic sampling and terahertz air photonics with femtosecond lasers. Research in Zhang’s group includes applying terahertz technology to study cultural artifacts, such as frescos and ceramic pots, and also to monitor the possible presence of explosive materials from a distance.

Zhang has received some 30 honors and awards during his career, most recently the Kenneth Button Prize from the International Society of Infrared, Millimeter and Terahertz Waves and the William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Photonics Society in recognition of his innovative work in the field of lasers and electro-optics.

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