Published December 9, 2019
Michael W. Russell, professor emeritus in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB and the Department of Oral Biology in the School of Dental Medicine, has been awarded the distinction of fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
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,” Russell said.
He was nominated by Thomas Van Dyke of the Forsyth Institute in Boston, who is a UB School of Dental Medicine alumnus.
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 of 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 & Notes section of the Nov. 28 issue of the journal Science.
The 2019 recipients will be recognized on Feb. 15 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.
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 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 was an editor of the fourth edition of Mucosal Immunology (Academic Press/Elsevier, 2015). He and his colleagues have been awarded five patents.