Anthony Bretscher and John Helmann are two of 78 scientists elected as fellows to the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM) this year.
Fellows are elected annually "through a highly selective, peer-reviewed process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology," according to the academy's website.
Bretscher, professor of cell biology and associate director of the Weill Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology, studies the functional organization and regulation of microfilaments in eukaryotic cells. Microfilaments are structural protein "rods" that are part of a cell's scaffolding or skeleton and are involved in a host of functions, including cellular contraction and basic cell movements.
"We are using diverse biochemical, structural, genetic and cell biological approaches to investigate the general principles underlying microfilament structure and function in eukaryotic cells," said Bretscher.
Helmann, professor of microbiology, studies a gram-positive soil bacterium and genetic model system. "We are interested in the global patterns of transcriptional control and the mechanisms of the corresponding regulatory proteins and pathways," said Helmann, who joined the Cornell faculty in 1990.
Currently, more than 2,000 AAM fellows represent all subspecialties of microbiology.