UTSA professor honored by peers as AAAS fellow

By Amanda Beck
Senior Communications Specialist

One of the greatest honors a scientist can receive is to be recognized for his scientific contributions by his peers. Andrew Tsin has recently received such an honor by being named a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The tradition of AAAS fellows, an elected honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers, began in 1874.

During the 2012 AAAS annual meeting in Vancouver, Tsin will be presented with an official certificate and a gold rosette pin at the AAAS Fellows Forum Feb. 18. This year’s AAAS fellows were announced in the AAAS News and Notes section of the journal Science on Dec. 23, 2011. Tsin is the only UTSA professor to be elected as a fellow this year and UTSA is home to the largest number of AAAS fellows of any UT System University save UT Austin.

As part of the Section on Biological Sciences, Tsin was elected to be an AAAS fellow for his “lifelong achievements in vision research and his innovative role in promoting and administering research and training programs for the advancement of science.”

Tsin serves as the director of the Center for Research and Training in the Sciences and is a professor of biology in the College of Sciences. His research centers on the cause of degenerative blindness due to diseases like diabetic retinopathy.

The Center for Research and Training in the Sciences is the largest research training center at the university, currently housing more than a dozen programs. It is responsible for placing researchers in laboratories and bringing science into local classrooms and to the community.

Tsin hopes that many of the researchers will be students from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in the sciences. Over the course of his career, he has mentored more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students who have completed degrees and either continued their education or taken on positions as scientific researchers, physicians or educators. Tsin was recently awarded for his leadership by President Barack Obama with the 2011 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

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About AAAS: The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal, Science. Founded in 1848, AAAS includes some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science servicing 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The non-profit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to advance science and serve society through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education and more.