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David Bricker
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Two IUB scientists are rated among America's best

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Two Indiana University Bloomington scientists are among this year's elite crop of fellows selected by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Washington, D.C.-based society announced today (Oct. 28).

The selections of organic chemist David R. Williams and evolutionary biologist Curtis Lively bring IUB's total number of living AAAS fellows to 42, more than any other institution in the state of Indiana.

This year's 308 AAAS fellows were selected because of "their efforts to advance science or its applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished," according to a AAAS news release. Names of all winners and descriptions of their accomplishments will be published in the Oct. 29 issue of the journal Science. The new fellows will be honored on Feb. 19 in Washington, D.C., during the AAAS's annual meeting.

The IU electees are:

  • Curtis Lively, who studies host-parasite co-evolution, particularly the role that sexual reproduction might play in defending hosts from parasites. His work suggests that asexual (or clonal) reproduction is favored when parasites are rare or relatively harmless, while sexual reproduction is favored when parasites are common and virulent.
  • David R. Williams, who constructs unique molecules found in nature that display exceptional biological activity. His creative solutions for the synthesis of complex antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor agents have led to the development of new pharmaceuticals and a better understanding of drug interactions.

"Curt Lively is part of the reason IU biology is considered one of the top evolution groups in the country," said Elizabeth Raff, chair of the IU Department of Biology.

Chemistry Chair David Clemmer said of his faculty member, "Professor Williams is truly an exceptional teacher and scholar. He sets a high standard as an example for all at IU to maintain. I'm thrilled he joins the other members of our faculty and university who share this distinction."

Of IUB's 42 AAAS fellows, six are biologists and 12 are chemists.

To speak to Curtis Lively or David R. Williams, please contact David Bricker at 812-856-9035 or