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Senior scientist elected AAAS Fellow

Professor Nick Martin from QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

The United States-based AAAS has bestowed the honour for Professor Martin’s contributions to the field of human genetics and understanding of common disease.

Professor Martin heads QIMR Berghofer’s Genetic Epidemiology Laboratory which is seeking to identify genes involved in diseases such as depression, melanoma and asthma.

He is only the second Australian to be named a Fellow in the Medical Sciences section of what is the world’s largest general scientific society.

Professor Martin said he is delighted with the recognition for Australian science, and the work of his team at QIMR Berghofer over three decades.

“We have contributed more than 200 papers in the last seven years relating to the international genome-wide association study (GWAS) effort,” Professor Martin said.

“The team has helped create a tremendous resource which will continue to be built upon as more data is collected and contributed from around the world.”

Professor Martin – who established Q-Twin – has also been acknowledged by the AAAS for his development and analysis of twin data.

Q-Twin involves 7,000 pairs of Queensland twins, providing a large sample of relatives in which to compare traits as they relate to common diseases.

New AAAS Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and rosette pin early next year, continuing a tradition that began in 1874.

Professor Martin was nominated by the Chief of Genetic Medicine at the University of Chicago, Professor Nancy Cox.

He is currently a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.