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UI Health Researchers Named as AAAS Fellows

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has named UI health faculty and researchers Dr. Deepak Shukla and Dr. Alexander Mankin as 2023 Fellows. This is one of the scientific community’s most important honors and places the UI Health faculty among the nation’s top researchers and innovators.

photo of man with short hair and mustache, wearing a white lab coat and standing in front of a rack of laboratory glassware

Dr. Depak Shukla is the Marion H. Schenk Esq. Professor in Ophthalmology for Research of the Aging Eye and professor of microbiology and immunology in the College of Medicine. Shukla studies herpes simplex viruses, one of the most common infections in the world. In severe infections, the virus can penetrate cells in the eye and brain, causing blindness and encephalitis. His research group continues to look for treatments that not only protect patients from blindness but eliminate the virus from their bodies.

“It’s a major puzzle that I’ve been trying to solve for the last 25 years,” Shukla said. “But I think we are getting close.”

man with short salt-and-pepper hair wearing a blue shirt and standing in a modern office environment

Dr. Alexander Mankin is distinguished professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Center for Biomolecular Sciences at the UIC College of Pharmacy. Mankin has spent over 30 years at UIC, where his laboratory has studied the ribosome, the cellular machinery that makes proteins and is a frequent target for antibiotic drugs. Their research uses molecular biology techniques to illuminate the mechanisms of antibiotics, how bacteria develop resistance to these drugs and what these processes reveal about normal ribosome function.

“Many things about antibiotics are misunderstood,” Mankin said. “With the new tools, we learn how antibiotics work and build the foundation for making them better drugs.”

Dr. Mankin recently gave 3-minute talk on this research, delivered at SparkTalks, UIC’s version of faculty lightning talks. The video may be viewed below.

UI Health Faculty are UIC Researchers of the Year