Biologist Yves Brun elected a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology
Yves Brun, an Indiana University Bloomington microbiologist who has brought multidisciplinary rigor to the study of bacteria, has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. It is a major honor in Brun's field.
Brun is invited to attend a special event at the American Society of Microbiology's annual meeting in San Diego (May 2010). The American Academy of Microbiology is a division of the Society.
Fellows are elected each year "through a highly selective, peer-review process based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology," according to the Academy.
Brun's approach to studying bacteria transcends microbiology by bringing perspectives from physics, biochemistry, genetics, evolutionary biology, and even ecology to bear on the problems that interest him. Brun has illuminated a wide variety of processes in bacteria, from cells' assiduous placement of propeller-like flagella to the uptake of nutrients and the strategies aquatic bacteria use to keep themselves anchored to rocks and pebbles. Brun has studied many bacterial species, but his model of choice has been Caulobacter crescentus, a species now closely associated with his name. Caulobacter is a sparse (and benign) constituent of tap water whose life cycle bears the hallmarks of primordial development -- asymmetry, bipolarity, and differentiation. The species is capable of producing two different types of cells -- flagellum-bearing "swarmer" cells and sessile "stalked" cells, making it an excellent study subject not merely for microbiologists but for ecologists and developmental biologists, too.
"It is a well deserved honor for Yves, who has provided tremendous leadership to our department and to the Microbiology Faculty Section for many years, and at the same time has maintained a highly productive lab performing cutting-edge research," said IU Bloomington Biology Department Chair Roger Innes.
Brun's election to the American Academy of Microbiology makes 12 for IU, including the Bloomington campus and the School of Medicine. Other IU fellows include Carl Bauer, Gail Cassell, Malcolm Winkler, and Stanley Spinola, who were elected last year, as well as past honorees Karen Bush, Patricia Foster, Howard Gest, George Hegeman, Arthur Koch, James Smith, Milton Taylor, and Eugene Weinberg.
This article was originally published on Feb. 16, 2010.