Michael Sevilla, a distinguished professor of physical chemistry at Oakland University, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The designation recognizes AAAS members for important contributions to STEM disciplines, including research, leadership, teaching and mentoring, fostering collaborations, and advancing public understanding of science.

According to the AAAS website, Sevilla was recognized for “distinguished contributions to the field of radiation effects on biomolecules using computational chemistry, particularly for work employing innovative applications of modern theoretical methods.”

An internationally known radiation chemist, Sevilla has received more than $4 million in research grants since his arrival at OU. His laboratory is devoted to looking at the fundamental processes involved in radiation damage to DNA from the molecular standpoint.

Sevilla and the students who work in his lab apply physical chemistry techniques, especially electron paramagnetic resonance and computational chemistry, to investigate biologically important systems. Sevilla’s research into the molecular mechanisms of how radiation damages DNA is funded by the National Cancer Institute, as it holds promise to aid in cancer therapy.

Sevilla’s lab is recognized as an environment conducive to innovative research and open discussion. Undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students, in addition to senior staffers, all contribute to the research effort. Along with his research, Sevilla has taught courses in chemistry at the graduate and undergraduate levels, as well as in OU’s Honors College and Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program.

Since joining the OU faculty in 1970, Sevilla has served in many positions, including as chair of the Department of Chemistry and as an acting associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences. He has also served as president of the Radiation Research Society.

To be awarded the rank of Fellow, nominees are voted on by the Council of AAAS, the organization’s member-run governing body. A virtual induction ceremony for the newly elected Fellows will take place on Feb. 13, 2021.

The honorees will be mailed official certificates and rosette pins in gold and blue, colors symbolizing science and engineering. The full list of 2020 Fellows is published in the November 27 issue of Science, the peer-reviewed academic journal of the AAAS.