Share this story

Two researchers elected to prestigious scientific society

Reppert and Morrison named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

UMass Medical School scientists Steven Reppert, MD, and Trudy G. Morrison, PhD, have been elected by their peers as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal Science.

As part of the AAAS Section on Biological Sciences, Dr. Reppert, the Higgins Family Professor of Neuroscience and chair and professor of neurobiology, was elected for his distinguished contributions to the physiological, cellular and molecular basis of circadian rhythms in mammals and to the navigational mechanisms of migratory monarch butterflies. In 2011, Reppert and other UMMS neurobiologists were the first to sequence the genome of the monarch butterfly, providing a powerful new tool for unlocking the genetic and regulatory elements important in long-distance migration.

Also named to the Section on Biological Sciences, Dr. Morrison, professor of microbiology & physiological systems, was elected for her contributions to the field of virology, most recently in the area of Newcastle disease, and for teaching excellence, including service to UMass Medical School. Her research explores the molecular mechanisms involved in how paramyxoviruses—a family of viruses in humans and animals that includes mumps, measles and respiratory syncytial virus among others—gain entry into susceptible cells and the assembly and release of infectious virus from these infected cells. In 2003, her work with students was recognized when she received the Sarah Stone Excellence in Education Award.

Reppert and Morrison are among more than 500 AAAS members who were named fellows this year in honor of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Each new fellow will be presented with an official certificate and a rosette pin of gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2012 AAAS Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Reppert and Morrison join other distinguished UMMS faculty to be named AAAS Fellows, including:


  • Gary S. Stein, PhD, the Gerald L. Haidak, MD, and Zelda S. Haidak Professor of Cell Biology and chair and professor of cell biology
  • Thoru Pederson, PhD, the Vitold Arnett Professor of Cell Biology and professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology 
  • C. Robert Matthews, PhD, the Arthur F. and Helen P. Koskinas Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology and chair and professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology 
  • Raymond M. Welsh, PhD, professor of pathology and microbiology & physiological systems