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February 16, 2009

Peter Agre to Begin Term as President of AAAS

Peter Agre

Nobel laureate Peter Agre, MD, the director of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute (JHMRI), will begin his one-year term as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) on February 16 at the close of the organization’s annual meeting. Agre was chosen for the post in 2008 and has served as president-elect for the past year.

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.

“I’m looking forward to my term as president,” said Agre. “I believe strongly in the mission of the AAAS, which is to advance science and serve society.”

As director of JHMRI, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s state-of-the-art malaria research facility, Agre oversees 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. He became director of JHMRI in 2008.

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.

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

Media contact for Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons at 410-955-7619 or