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December 20, 2007

Peter Agre Named President-Elect of AAAS


Peter Agre, MD

Nobel laureate Peter Agre, the newly appointed director of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, was selected to be president-elect by the membership of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the organization announced.

Founded in 1848, AAAS is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world. AAAS publishes the prestigious scientific journal Science, as well as many scientific newsletters, books and reports, and spearheads programs to improve the global understanding of science.

Agre will begin a one-year term as president-elect on February 18, 2008, as the AAAS’s annual meeting comes to a close. At the end of the society’s meeting in 2009, Agre will become president of AAAS, succeeding David Baltimore, a Nobel laureate and past president of Caltech.

“The mission of the AAAS—to advance science and serve society—is in perfect keeping with my own priorities, so it will be an honor and a pleasure to serve as its president-elect and then president,” said Agre. “The list of its past presidents is filled with excellent scientists from a wide range of fields, and so I am just thrilled to be selected.”

In January, Agre will take over as director of the Malaria Research Institute (JHMRI), the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s state-of-the-art malaria research facility. JHMRI has 19 full-time faculty dedicated to the search for medical and scientific breakthroughs in malaria prevention and treatment by advancing basic science along every stage of the malaria parasite lifecycle.

Born in Northfield, Minn., in 1949, Agre went to Theodore Roosevelt High School, and in 1970 earned his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Augsburg College in Minneapolis. He received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1974. In 1981, after post-graduate medical training and a fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Agre returned to Hopkins, where he progressed through the ranks of the departments of medicine and cell biology. In 1993, he became a professor in the department of biological chemistry at the School of Medicine. In 2005, he joined Duke University Medical Center as Vice Chancellor for Science and Technology.

In 2003, Agre shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Roderick MacKinnon for his discovery of aquaporins—channels that regulate and facilitate water molecule transport through cell membranes, a process essential to all living organisms.

Agre was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences in 2000 and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003. He holds two U.S. patents on the isolation, cloning and expression of aquaporins 1 and 5 and is the principal investigator on four current National Institutes of Health grants.

Agre is currently a professor and vice chancellor at the Duke University School of Medicine. He will retain some duties at Duke after assuming full-time leadership of JHMRI. He also will lead the development of a consortium of malaria researchers at JHMRI and those at Duke and in the Triangle region of North Carolina.

The Malaria Research Institute at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health was founded in 2001 as a state-of-the-art research facility that would mount a broad program of basic-science research to treat and control malaria, develop a vaccine and find new drug targets to prevent and cure this deadly disease. Information about JHMRI is available at

Public Affairs media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons at 410-955-6878 or