Four UC Riverside professors named AAAS Fellows

Author: Holly Ober
January 26, 2022

Four UC Riverside professors have been elected 2021 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). AAAS Fellows represent some of the most distinguished leaders in science, engineering, and innovation. The honor is considered one of the highlights of a recipient’s career and recognizes efforts on behalf of the advancement of science, or its applications, that are scientifically or socially distinguished. UCR faculty who have been honored this year are in alphabetical order below.

Xiaoping Hu

Xiaoping Hu has been named for “seminal contributions to the development of magnetic resonance imaging, particularly in the imaging and understanding of brain function and connectivity.” Hu is a professor and chair of Bioengineering at UCR. He has worked on the development and application of magnetic resonance imaging, with a focus on imaging and understanding the brain, for 30 years. 

Hu’s work led to big steps forward in the methodology, mechanism, and applications of functional MRI, or fMRI, of the brain. He was among the first to recognize the effects of respiration and heartbeat on fMRI data and pioneered the development of methods for correcting these effects. His group’s work paved the way for real-time fMRI, in widespread used today. Over the past decade Hu’s group has pioneered the development and application of an MRI-based method for imaging Parkinson’s disease. 

Hu received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He joined UCR in 2016, following faculty positions at University of Minnesota and Georgia Tech. 

De-en Jiang

De-en Jiang is a chemistry professor who has made significant contributions to the field of computational chemistry, with applications for energy and the environment. He is being honored “for work in electric energy storage, especially in supercapacitors, as well as catalysis, and separation processes, including carbon capture.”
Jiang received his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from UCLA. Before joining UCR in 2014, he spent nine years at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He won the Department of Energy’s Early Career Award and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, in addition to being named a Kavli Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences. 

Jiang has authored or co-authored more than 180 peer-reviewed publications as a UCR faculty member, resulting in thousands of views and hundreds of citations. He has also mentored and trained over 40 young scientists in the past 10 years and taught general chemistry to over 2,000 undergraduate students in the past six years.

Jing Shi

Jing Shi, a distinguished professor of physics and astronomy, has been named “for his outstanding contributions to the synthesis and study of magnetic and non-magnetic hybrid material systems for spintronics and to the understanding of novel spin transport properties in these systems.”
Shi’s research specializes in nanomagnetism and spintronics in novel hybrid materials and nanostructures synthesized in his lab. He investigates the physical phenomena in these materials that have a transformative impact on energy-efficient electronic applications. He discovered the giant magnetoresistance in ferromagnetic/organic/ferromagnetic hybrid systems and pioneered organic spintronics. He recently pioneered terahertz generation and electrical detection of pure spin currents in antiferromagnets. His research discoveries have opened up several frontier areas in nanomagnetism and spintronics. 
Shi received his doctoral degree in physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1994, specializing in condensed matter physics. In 2005, he joined UCR as a professor, becoming a UC Presidential Chair Professor in 2018, and a distinguished professor in 2021. 

Kathryn Uhrich

Kathryn Uhrich is dean of UC Riverside’s College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, a professor in the Department of Chemistry, and a participating faculty member in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
She was nominated for AAAS fellowship for her contributions to the field of biodegradable polymers “that serve a critical need in therapeutics/drug delivery and service to the chemistry community.” Uhrich’s research links chemistry with the life sciences and engineering disciplines to create bioactive, biodegradable polymers and devices for use in drug delivery, food safety and personal care. She has been issued more than 50 patents, and her work has spawned several start-up companies. 

A first-generation college graduate, Uhrich earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Cornell University. Her many honors include fellowship with the American Chemical Society, the National Academy of Inventors, the Controlled Release Society, and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award.