Russell Named AAAS Fellow

Michael W. Russell, PhD

Published January 7, 2020

Michael W. Russell, PhD, professor emeritus of microbiology and immunology, has been awarded the distinction of fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).


Novel Approaches to Mucosal Immunization

Russell, whose specialty is mucosal immunology and vaccine development, was recognized for his novel approaches to mucosal immunization and the induction and function of secretory and serum IgA antibodies, the AAAS said.

“I was very pleased to receive this honor and especially gratified by the citation for ‘distinguished contributions to the field of mucosal immunology,’ which is the major discipline governing my research career for over 50 years,” said Russell, who is also professor emeritus of oral biology in the UB School of Dental Medicine.

Russell was nominated by Thomas Van Dyke, DDS, PhD, of the Forsyth Institute in Boston, who is a UB School of Dental Medicine alumnus.

Distinction of Fellow a Lifetime Honor

Russell, who has been a member of the AAAS for 15 years, is one of 443 AAAS members elected as fellows this year. These individuals have attained this rank because their “efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically and socially distinguished,” the association said.

The new fellows were announced in the AAAS News and Notes section of the Nov. 29 issue of the journal Science.

The 2019 recipients will be recognized on Feb. 15, 2020, at the Fellows Forum during the AAAS Annual Meeting at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. They each will receive an official certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin. The two colors represent science and engineering, respectively.

The distinction of fellow is a lifetime honor. Fellows are expected to maintain the highest standards of professional ethics and scientific integrity.

NIH Funded Research Nearly Three Decades

Russell attended the University of Cambridge in England, where he studied natural sciences/biochemistry, and the University of Reading, also in England, where he studied microbiology. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at Guy’s Hospital Medical and Dental School in London.

He held several positions at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and served as a visiting associate professor at the Royal Dental College in Aarhus, Denmark.

Russell, a resident of East Amherst, began his career at UB in 2000. He retired in 2016. His research was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health from 1984 to 2013.

He has published 143 peer-reviewed research papers and reviews in scientific journals, and 90 book chapters and conference reports, and he was an editor for the 4th edition of Mucosal Immunology (Academic Press/Elsevier, 2015). He and his colleagues have been awarded five patents.