Five Duke faculty have been awarded the American Association for the Advancement of Science distinction of Fellow.

AAAS Fellow—an award presented to top scientists based on peer nominations—was awarded to 401 members this year. The award recognizes the recipients' meritorious efforts and contributions to advances in science and their applications in society.

The five Duke faculty members are Christopher Counter, professor of pharmacology and associate professor of radiation oncology; Drew Shindell, professor of climate sciences in the Nicholas School of the Environment; Bruce Sullenger, Joseph W. and Dorothy W. Beard professor in the department of surgery; George Alexander Truskey, R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Professor of Biomedical Engineering; and Fan Wang, associate professor of neurobiology.

"I feel very lucky and very privileged," said Wang, who was selected for her work on the assembly and connectivity of sensorimotor circuits. "All of the studies were conducted here at Duke where I established my own lab. I am very fortunate to have had the support and help of the chairs and colleagues in the cell biology and the neurobiology department over the years. Furthermore, I would not have achieved this without all the handiwork from the talented students and postdocs."

Counter, who was recognized for his contribution to elucidating the understanding of how normal cells are transformed to cancer cells by the RAS oncogene, said it is an honor to be chosen as an AAAS Fellow.

"I owe many thanks to my students, postdoctoral fellows and technicians for doing the heavy experimental lifting," he said. "As well as my colleagues, the department, the Duke Cancer Institute and the school of Medicine for providing such a supportive and innovative environment to pursue our research into how normal cells become cancerous."

Sullenger, a trained nucleic acid biochemist, was acknowledged for his work on chemical compounds that proved effective in preventing blood clotting.

"It is a real honor to have my group's work on creating novel therapeutics recognized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science," Sullenger said. "I have benefited tremendously by partnering with clinicians in Duke's Department of Surgery and the [Duke Translational Medicine Institute] to focus our research on addressing unmet medical needs."

Truskey, a long-time faculty in biomedical engineering, was awarded for his excellence in research as well as his service in teaching and administrative work.

Shindell, an expert in atmospheric chemistry, climate variability and climate change, was recognized for his broad impacts in those fields as well as in society.

An official ceremony will be held during AAAS' annual meeting in San Jose, Calif. in February 2015, where the honored members are presented with a gold and blue rosette pin.