Professors Alexandridis, Morris and Sen Elected AAAS Fellows

Release Date: December 3, 2012


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New AAAS Fellow Marilyn Morris, PhD, is a professor of pharmaceutical sciences.

New AAAS Fellow Paschalis Alexandridis, PhD, is a UB Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

New AAAS Fellow Surajit Sen, PhD, is a professor of physics.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Three University at Buffalo professors have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science.

The fellows, among 702 chosen by AAAS this year, were listed in Friday's edition of Science. They are:

-- Paschalis Alexandridis, PhD, UB Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

-- Marilyn Morris, PhD, professor of pharmaceutical sciences, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

-- Surajit Sen, PhD, professor of physics, College of Arts and Sciences.

"We are very proud of the individual achievements of each of these outstanding faculty members. Professors Alexandridis, Morris and Sen truly represent the excellence of UB's faculty," UB Provost Charles Zukoski said. "We are tremendously proud of their accomplishments and congratulate them on this much-deserved national recognition."

AAAS elected Alexandridis "for fundamental discoveries on block copolymer thermodynamics, structure and dynamics, for development of functional products utilizing self-assembly methodologies, and for outstanding graduate student mentoring."

Morris was chosen for "distinguished contributions to the field of pharmaceutical sciences in the area of membrane transport and its influence on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of drugs."

Sen received the distinction "for pioneering research on solitary waves and their collisions in granular media and for sustained outstanding service and leadership in international physics."

The fellows will be presented with a certificate and rosette pin at AAAS's annual meeting Feb. 16 in Boston.

Founded in 1848, AAAS is a nonprofit organization that includes 261 affiliated societies and academies of science. Its mission is to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education and more.

Additional information on UB's three newest fellows is below.

Paschalis Alexandridis

A chemical engineer specializing in soft materials and nanotechnology, Alexandridis has been a UB faculty member since 1997.

His research addresses interconnections between molecular interactions and supramolecular assemblies, and between structured assemblies and their properties and function. Ongoing projects focus on molecular self-assembly and colloidal directed assembly; structured ionic liquids for functional products; novel electrolytes for lithium batteries; polymer nanocomposites; nanoparticle synthesis; dissolution processing for effective biomass utilization; and dispersants for sea oil releases.

Alexandridis has co-authored more than 120 journal articles and 60 conference proceedings, edited two books and given more 130 lectures worldwide. He is co-inventor of 10 patents on pharmaceutical formulations, superabsorbent polymers, and metallic and semiconductor nanomaterials. His work has been cited roughly 7,500 times.

He received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activity (2011), American Chemical Society Jacob F. Schoellkopf Medal (2010), Bodossaki Foundation Academic Prize in Applied Science (2005), UB Exceptional Scholar Award (2002), Sigma Xi International Young Investigator Award (2002), Japan Research Institute of Material Technology Lecturer Award (2001) and National Science Foundation CAREER Award (1999).

His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Petroleum Research Fund, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, Dow Chemical, Bausch & Lomb and Kao Corp.

Named an honorary adjunct professor at Beijing University of Chemical Technology in 2011, Alexandridis was also a guest researcher at the Tokyo University of Science and the Fritz-Haber Institute of the Max-Planck Society in Germany.

He served on journal editorial boards and proposal review panels, chaired several technical conferences and symposia and was elected chairperson of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Area 1C: "Interfacial Phenomena" and an executive board member of the AIChE Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum.

Alexandridis is the founding co-director of UB's materials science and engineering program and is the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences acting associate dean for research and graduate education. A former director of graduate studies in chemical engineering, he has mentored more than 45 undergraduate and 45 graduate students. He received the American Society for Engineering Education Dow Outstanding New Faculty Award (1999), the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching (2006) and the UB Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award (2012).

Alexandridis graduated from National Technical University in Athens, Greece, and earned master's and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He did postdoctoral research at Lund University, Sweden.

Marilyn Morris

A pharmaceutical scientist and the author of more than 160 peer-reviewed scientific papers, Morris joined UB's faculty in 1985.

Her research focuses on the membrane transport of drugs and the use of membrane transporters as therapeutic targets. She has published extensively on renal transport, hepatobiliary transport and hepatic clearance models, ATP-dependent binding cassette and monocarboxylate transporters.

Currently, she is examining the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of dietary components, flavonoids and organic isothiocyanates, with an emphasis on their potential for transport and metabolic drug interactions and their role in cancer therapy and chemoprevention.

Morris is also evaluating the toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics of the drug of abuse gamma-hydroxybutyric acid and the use of monocarboxylate drug transporters as therapeutic targets for the treatment of overdoses. The research is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Her research has also been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, Susan G. Komen for the Cure (formerly, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation), the National Cancer Institute and other agencies. She served on grant review committees for all of the above organizations.

Morris has been or is currently an advisor to 10 postdoctoral scholars, 25 Ph.D. students, 11 master's students, 6 bachelor/master's students, as well as Pharm.D., undergraduate and high school students.

She is a fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) and serves as AAPS president-elect. She also serves on editorial boards for the Journal of Pharmaceutical Science, Pharmaceutical Research, Biopharmaceutics and Drug Disposition and as associate editor of the AAPS Journal.

Morris is an advisory committee member for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. A 2006 recipient of the SUNY Chancellor's Award in Excellence for Research and Creative Activity, she also served as associate dean for graduate and postgraduate education in UB's Graduate School from 2006-2012 where she established the Office of Postdoctoral Scholars.

She received a bachelor of science in pharmacy from the University of Manitoba, Canada, and a master's of science in pharmacology from the University of Ottawa, Canada. She was an assistant professor at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada, before earning a PhD from UB. She was a Medical Research Council Fellow at the University of Toronto, Canada, prior to working at UB.

Surajit Sen

A UB faculty member since 1994, Sen is an expert on non-equilibrium statistical mechanics and nonlinear many-body physics. Since the mid-1990s, he has worked mostly on mechanical energy propagation in discrete materials.

He has made major contributions to the understanding of propagating energy bundles -- or solitary waves -- in discrete systems, such as granular systems. His research also includes the acoustic detection of land mines, designing scalable shock absorption systems and energy harvesting systems. He developed exact solutions to quantum dynamical problems in magnetism and is one of a few physicists engaged in the emerging area of sociophysics by modeling battles and terrorist attacks using physics-based approaches.

Sen was named a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2008 for his discovery of how solitary waves break and secondary solitary waves form in granular media; his leadership in organizing forums to represent and recognize physicists from India; and for developing science educational materials for rural middle-school children in India and developing nations. Other honors include a Theoretical Physics Seminar Circuit Lectureship of the Government of India and the SUNY Chancellor's First Patent Award. He also was named one of the top 100 innovators of Western New York.

His research has been supported by, among others, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Army Research Office.

He is an editor of the International Journal of Modern Physics B and of Modern Physics Letters B. He served as president of the American chapter of the Indian Physics Association for two terms from 2005-11, and was elected a member of the American Physical Society Council's Committee on International Scientific Affairs.

Sen has been on research visits to the California Institute of Technology; the University of California, San Diego; Duke University; Asia-Pacific Centre for Theoretical Physics and Seoul National University, both in Seoul, Korea; the University of Santiago, Chile; the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India; the University of Paris, France and elsewhere.

He has co-authored more than 130 peer-reviewed papers, three books, holds a U.S. patent and has given roughly 130 lectures worldwide. He has mentored 47 students, including four postdoctoral fellows, 13 doctoral students, two master's students, 24 undergraduates and four high school students. In addition to teaching various physics courses, he often offers a discovery seminar on issues relevant to poor rural areas of the world.

Sen did postdoctoral work at the University of Minnesota and Michigan State University. He earned a bachelor of science with honors in physics at Presidency College, University of Calcutta, India, in 1982, and a PhD in physics from the University of Georgia in 1990 with a thesis on the exact solutions to spin dynamics in D dimensional Ising models under the supervision of M. Howard Lee.

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