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Five PNNL Scientists Elected AAAS Fellows

The quintet of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientists have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for their efforts to advance science or its applications.

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RICHLAND, Wash. – Five Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientists have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for their efforts to advance science or its applications.

The PNNL honorees and the AAAS sections that elected them are: Nathan Baker, chemistry; Theodore (Ted) Bowyer, physics; Karl Mueller, chemistry; Karin Rodland, biological sciences; and Hussein Zbib, engineering.

The five will be honored at an induction ceremony Feb. 18, 2012 at the AAAS annual meeting in Vancouver, Canada.

The five selections bring the Richland-based national laboratory's total of AAAS fellows to 52.

Nathan Baker

Baker's research is in the areas of computational biophysics, nanotechnology, and informatics. He currently serves as the chief scientist for Signature Sciences at PNNL and the laboratory's Signature Discovery Initiative. Signatures are distinguishing collections of features that identify, detect or predict a phenomena of interest, such as cyber intrusion, energy grid failure or disease progression.

Baker is actively involved in the development of new algorithms and software for computational biology and modeling in support of several research projects. He leads a National Cancer Institute activity called the caBIG Nanotechnology Working Group that is developing computational methods for the prediction of nanomaterial properties and the design of improved nanoparticles. He is also chair for an American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) subcommittee on nanotechnology informatics that is working to develop new standards for data sharing and analysis in nanotechnology. Baker is an editorial board member for the Biophysical Journal and editor-in-chief for Computational Science & Discovery.

After his research training at the University of California, San Diego, Baker joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Washington University in St. Louis in 2002 and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2006. He joined PNNL in 2010. Baker earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa and a doctorate from UC San Diego.

Ted Bowyer

Bowyer is an internationally recognized expert in nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear physics, specifically the detection of extremely low level airborne radioactive emissions that are definitive signatures for nuclear explosions.

At PNNL, he manages the Nuclear Explosion Monitoring and Policy program. In addition to performing fundamental and applied research in the development of systems to detect signs of proliferation, Bowyer has served as a scientific advisor on issues related to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. He has also served as an advisor to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.S. State Department, National Academy of Sciences and at the Conference on Disarmament.

Bowyer joined PNNL in 1995 and was named a Laboratory Fellow in 2011. He is a recipient of the Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for the design of the Automated Radioxenon Sampler-Analyzer, or ARSA, which detects nuclear detonations by analyzing the atmosphere for traces of radioactive material that seeps from underground nuclear explosions. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan, and a doctorate from Indiana University in Bloomington.

Karl Mueller

Mueller's research focuses on the development and utilization of solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance, or NMR, techniques to address unresolved questions in materials and environmental science that require advanced characterization tools and multi-disciplinary approaches. Mueller joined PNNL in 2010 after serving 17 years as a professor at Penn State University. At PNNL, Mueller is establishing a research program that uses novel NMR methods to address problems such as the development and characterization of industrial catalysts and the molecular-level understanding of the fate and transport of pollutants in the environment.

Mueller is based at EMSL, the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory located on the PNNL campus. Before joining the PNNL staff at EMSL, Mueller was an active and prolific EMSL user, and was a member of EMSL's User Advisory Committee from 2007 to 2010.<.p>

Mueller is a Laboratory Fellow, the highest rank awarded to scientists and engineers at PNNL. He earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Rochester, a Certificate of Post Graduate Studies from Cambridge University in England, and a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley. He remains on the Penn State faculty and is an adjunct faculty member at Washington State University.

Karin Rodland

Rodland, a cancer cell biologist, is the science lead for National Institutes of Health programs at PNNL. She has an international reputation for using proteomics — the study of the structure and function of proteins — to identify biomarkers that can provide early detection of cancer and other diseases. Rodland's research is focused on understanding the fundamental differences between cancer cells and their normal counterparts, which can assist in early detection of diseases.

Before coming to PNNL, Rodland spent 17 years on the faculty at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland where she focused, among other projects, on characterizing "signal pathways," or chemical reactions in cells, to detect ovarian cancer. At PNNL, Rodland has been recognized for taking a systems biology approach to her research, characterizing the complex interactions between various signaling pathways in breast cancer. She has also promoted the use of PNNL's proteomics capabilities for the discovery of biomarkers for cancer and other diseases. She has funding from the National Cancer Institute to integrate PNNL's proteomic capabilities with gene-level studies conducted by The Cancer Genome Atlas to develop biomarkers for breast and ovarian cancer.

Rodland was named a Laboratory Fellow in 2008. She earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Hood College in Frederick, Md., and a doctorate in biology from Syracuse University.

Hussein Zbib

Zbib's research focuses on the behavior of materials — particularly the thermo-mechanical behavior — at the nano and micro scales in an effort to create more durable materials that will stand stress.

On the small end of the spectrum, nanometer to micrometer, his work includes investigating the physical characteristics and mechanical performance of metals and composites with implications to nanostructured materials and thin films, such as those used in micromechanical systems, microelectronics and medical diagnostics. On the large end of the length scale spectrum, micrometer to macrometer, his research focuses on the behavior of metals and geological materials under extreme conditions, such as shockwaves, metal forming and high speed machining, superplastic forming, as well as earthquake and soil engineering.

Zbib joined PNNL in 2011 and has a dual appointment, serving as a professor of mechanical and materials engineering at Washington State University as well as a Laboratory Fellow at PNNL. Zbib earned bachelor's and master's degrees and a doctorate from Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, or ASME, a member of the Lebanese Academy of Sciences and serves as editor of the Journal of Engineering Materials and Technology.