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Douglas Rhoads named AAAS Fellow

image: Douglas Rhoads and Tameka Bailey
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Credit: University of Arkansas

University professor Douglas Rhoads has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science.

As one of only 20 fellows representing the Agriculture, Food and Renewable Resources Section, Rhoads was singled out by his peers and peers for advancing science and its applications in the service of society. The organization elected a total of 505 fellows in 24 science sections.

Rhoads is director of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Molecular and Cell Biology, a graduate program he helped create at the University of Arkansas. With 119 faculty members from four colleges, Cell and Molecular Biology has grown into one of the largest doctoral programs on campus. His faculty appointment is in the Department of Biological Sciences at Fulbright College and he is an affiliate faculty member at the Poultry Science Center of Excellence.

Rhoads’ research focused on genetics and genomics in a variety of species, including yeast, bear, tomato, mushroom, rice, scorpion, snake and bacteria. For many years he has mainly worked on the genetics and genomics of metabolic diseases in chickens. He has also published more than 80 scientific articles and reports on these topics.

Rhoads has won numerous teaching and research awards at the U of A. These include: • Master Researcher Award, Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, 2021 • Outstanding Graduate Mentor and Educator Award, Teaching and Faculty Support Center, 2019 • University of Arkansas Teaching Academy, 2018• John Imhoff Faculty Research Publication Award, 2018• Graduate School Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, 2017• Collis R. Geren Award for Faculty Engagement in Graduate Programs, 2017 • John Imhoff Award for Faculty Research Publication, 2016 • Academic Advising Council Outstanding Faculty Advisor, 2012

As a teacher and mentor, Rhoads has had a significant impact on thousands of U of A students, including alumnus Tameka Bailey, currently an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences.

“The ongoing mentorship I received from Dr. Rhoads changed the trajectory of my life,” Bailey said. “He understood that as an underrepresented minority in rural Arkansas, I would need extensive and engaging mentorship to be successful in the program. He challenged me to excel in graduate school and had high expectations for me.

“After graduating from U of A, he helped me find my first job, advised me during my postdoc and was instrumental in developing my career now as a faculty member,” said Bailey “I wouldn’t be here without the generosity, wisdom and compassion of Dr. Rhoads.”

AAAS Fellows are recognized for their outstanding achievements in many disciplines. Examples of areas where applicants may have made significant contributions are research, teaching, technology, services to professional societies, academic administration, industry, government and communication, and the interpretation of science at public. Fellows are elected annually by the AAAS Board from shortlisted nominations approved by the section steering groups.

Rhoads received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Wichita State University and his PhD from Kansas State University. He joined the U of A in 1990. In 2015 he rose to the rank of University Professor.

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