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Dr. Aaron Mitchell elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Aaron Mitchell

Microbiologist elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences


Aaron P. Mitchell is the 12th University of Georgia faculty member to be elected to the academy

Aaron P. Mitchell, Distinguished Research Professor and head of the Department of Microbiology at the University of Georgia, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor societies. Mitchell’s election recognizes his groundbreaking research on the genetics, molecular biology and virulence mechanisms of fungal pathogens in humans.

“Dr. Mitchell’s election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an extraordinary honor for him and for the University of Georgia,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “This achievement reflects the tremendous strength of our university’s faculty and the importance of the research being conducted on our campus.”

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ class of 2024 includes 250 members organized within five categories: math and physical sciences; biological sciences; social and behavioral sciences; humanities and arts; and leadership, policy and communications. Joining Mitchell in this year’s class are Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook; actor, director and producer George Clooney; and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri.

Mitchell has been a UGA faculty member since 2020, when he joined the department of microbiology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences as a professor and department head. Before coming to UGA, he was a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University for 11 years and Columbia University for 21 years.

“Through his research and teaching, Dr. Mitchell shows an unwavering commitment to advancing scientific inquiry and finding solutions that benefit society,” said S. Jack Hu, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at UGA. “His election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is a testament to the far-reaching impact of his research and scholarship.”

Mitchell’s research focuses on two leading fungal pathogens, Candida albicans and Candida glabrata, that cause both mucosal and invasive infections. His lab uses gene expression and regulation to study how these pathogens cause infection and identify strategies to improve diagnoses and therapeutics. Throughout his career, Mitchell has published nearly 150 peer-reviewed articles and written more than 30 reviews, chapters and editorials.

“I am extremely grateful to Franklin College and the University of Georgia for the exceptionally collegial and supportive environment here — one that inspires us all to aim high,” Mitchell said. “I am also thankful for the outstanding collaborators, postdocs, graduate students and undergraduate researchers who provide ideas, skills and ambition that allow my research program to flourish.”

Mitchell is known for his commitment to training and mentoring young scientists. In 2015, he received the Graduate Microbiology Teaching Award from the American Society for Microbiology and in 2021 was awarded the shared namesake for the Jack Edwards and Aaron Mitchell Endowed Lectureship in Molecular Mycology at the Marine Biological Labs in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. In addition to his recent election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Association for Advancement of Science.

“As an expert who follows his interests and whose ideas present fresh insights into fundamental biological questions, Dr. Mitchell embodies the challenges and the triumphs of creative research,” said Anna W. Stenport, dean of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. “His tireless dedication to mentoring his students and junior colleagues helps fuel the thirst for discovery in the next generation of scientists.”

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences was founded in 1780 during the American Revolution. The academy honors excellence and convenes leaders from every field of human endeavor to examine new ideas, address issues of importance to the nation and the world, and work together “to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people.”

Mitchell is the 12th UGA faculty member elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Other members include J. Marshall Shepherd, Elizabeth Reitz, Henry Schaefer, Keith Poole and several emeritus faculty members.


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