Pramod Khargonekar, vice chancellor of research, is one of seven UCI faculty members to be named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science this year. Steve Zylius / UCI

Irvine, Calif., Nov. 28, 2018 — Seven University of California, Irvine researchers in areas ranging from engineering and chemistry to sociology and anthropology have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society.

A total of 416 AAAS members are being honored this year for their efforts to further science or its applications. New fellows will each receive an official certificate and a gold-and-blue rosette pin on Feb. 16, 2019, at the organization’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

“UCI is a world-class research university and home to many of the world’s most innovative scholars,” said Enrique Lavernia, UCI provost and executive vice chancellor. “They represent a broad array of fields, and we celebrate their recognition as AAAS fellows.”

The honorees will be formally announced Nov. 29 in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science. Those from UCI are:

  • Carter Butts, professor of sociology, for distinguished contributions to the modeling of relational structure and dynamics in humans and nonhumans, alone and in groups, using mathematical, computational and statistical approaches.
  • John Chaput, professor of pharmaceutical sciences, for distinguished contributions to the field of chemical biology, particularly for the development of engineered polymerases that enable the evolution of artificial genetic polymers.
  • Leo Chavez, professor of anthropology, for distinguished contributions to the field of medical anthropology, human migration, and applied and public policy anthropology, particularly in regards to Mexican-origin populations of the United States.
  • Zachary Fisk, professor emeritus in physics & astronomy, for pioneering scientific discoveries regarding the magnetic and transport properties of important magnetic and superconducting materials, including heavy fermion compounds and high-temperature superconducting cuprates.
  • Fillmore Freeman, professor of chemistry, for distinguished contributions to the fields of computational quantum chemistry, heteroatom chemistry, oxidation chemistry and reaction mechanisms.
  • Pramod Khargonekar, vice chancellor for research and distinguished professor of electrical engineering & computer science, for contributions to systems and control theory, applications to manufacturing and energy, and leadership in engineering research, education and innovation.
  • Stephen White, professor emeritus of physiology & biophysics, for distinguished contributions to the understanding of cell membrane biophysics, particularly the structure of membranes, lipid bilayers and membrane proteins.

With this year’s class, UCI has 167 AAAS fellows.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 35,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit

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About the American Association for the Advancement of Science: The AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science ( as well as Science Translational Medicine, Science Signaling, a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances, Science Immunology, and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes nearly 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world. The non-profit AAAS ( is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert! (, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS. See