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Two UCLA scholars named to American Association for the Advancement of Science

Two scholars affiliated with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a distinguished lifetime honor.

They are among the new fellows recently announced by the association, publisher of the Science family of journals.

A thumbnail image of Dr. Owen Witte

Dr. Owen Witte University professor of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics

Witte, founding director emeritus of UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center,has made significant contributions to the understanding of human leukemias, immune disorders and epithelial cancers. His research interests center on understanding cancer pathogenesis and the immune response to define new targets for therapies. Witte’s pre-clinical discoveries – such as elucidating the role of the tyrosine kinase family of enzymes in blood cancers – helped enable the development of drugs now used in the treatment of multiple leukemias, lymphomas and other cancers.

His current research focuses on characterizing the stem cells for cancers of the prostate and other organs to develop new and more targeted immunotherapy approaches.

Witte holds the University of California Presidential Chair in Developmental Immunology and is a member of the UCLA Health Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.

A thumbnail image of Dr. Alan Tobin

Alan Tobin Professor emeritus of neurology and of integrative biology and physiology

Tobin, former director of the UCLA Brain Research Institute, has made significant contributions to the understanding of neurodegenerative disorders, particularly Huntington’s disease. His UCLA research program concerned the cell and molecular biology of inhibitory neurotransmitters and their role in neurogenerative disorders. The findings of Tobin’s lab provided the bases of several clinical trials for Parkinson’s disease and diabetes.

He has held multiple positions in UCLA’s interdisciplinary neuroscience community, with work spanning promotion of spinal cord repair, prevention of diabetes and development of cell-based screens for neurodegenerative disorders.

Before and after his retirement from UCLA in 2003, Tobin served as scientific director and in other leadership capacities with various organizations pursuing enhanced knowledge and treatment of Huntington’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Tobin has led more than 200 multidisciplinary workshops on neurodegenerative diseases, bringing together academic and government scientists, biotechnology and pharmaceutical researchers, physicians, patients and families to discuss topics ranging from molecular genetics to clinical quality improvement.

Witte and Tobin join more than 130 UCLA scholars across multiple disciplines who have been elected to AAAS.

The association’s most recent fellows will be celebrated at a forum in Washington, D.C., on September 21. 

AAAS was founded in 1780 to honor excellence and to convene leaders from every field of human endeavor to examine new ideas and address issues of importance to the nation and the world.

Cancer & Immunotherapy Neurological Diseases, Disorders & Injuries