Department News

Kara Bren named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences

November 28, 2018

Kara BrenDr. Kara Bren has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS). She was among 416 members of the association being recognized for their “efforts toward advancing scientific applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.” Fellows were selected for diverse accomplishments that include pioneering research, leadership within their field, teaching and mentoring, fostering collaborations and advancing public understanding of science.

Bren, a professor in the Department of Chemistry, has helped advance the understanding of how changes in a protein’s structure can alter its function, how proteins transfer electrons, and how these processes can be manipulated for various applications.

“It’s nice to know that that the work I’ve done is recognized as being significant by this broader scientific society,” Bren says. “It not only brings more visibility for me, but for the department and University.”

Her other awards include an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship and a Kavli Fellowship from the National Academy of Sciences. She is also a recipient of the University’s Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Much of Kara’s research has involved cytochrome c, a metalloprotein that, depending on how it is “folded,” can either play a role in respiration or in apoptosis – the natural death of cells that occurs as part of normal growth. Working with colleagues in her department, she is exploring how derivatives of cytochrome c can be used as catalysts to produce hydrogen from water as a carbon free source of energy.

In addition to Kara’s projects that have been funded by the NSF and the Department of Energy, Kara is also the Program Director for the recently awarded NIH- funded Chemistry-Biology Interface (CBI) Training Program. The overall goal of the program is to prepare predoctoral graduate students for productive and fulfilling careers in science. Activities in this program will help trainees develop skills needed in a range of careers in science, which includes scientific writing, giving effective presentations, and networking.

Congratulations Prof. Kara Bren!

 Related Links...