Two Florida State University faculty members have been selected for membership in the Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine of Florida (ASEMFL).
Pamela Keel, Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences known for her translational research on eating disorders, will be inducted to the academy in recognition of her work in identifying and characterizing purging disorder — a life-threatening illness impacting about 1 in 50 women worldwide — and advancing research in the epidemiology, etiology and treatment of the eating disorder.
Theo Siegrist, a chemical and biomedical engineering professor at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, was selected for his contributions to materials physics, materials chemistry and solid-state chemistry.
“I feel honored to be inducted as a member of the ASEMFL in recognition of my research identifying purging disorder as a new eating disorder within the field of mental health,” Keel said.
Her research focuses on analyzing the biological and psychological factors that contribute to binge eating and purging behaviors, nosology, and statistical approaches to classification of disorders, and the longitudinal and epidemiological studies of the psychological, social and cultural factors that influence eating disorders and body image.
Among Keel’s most well-known recent work is a study published in 2020 in the International Journal of Eating Disorders that revealed a “consistent and direct” link between posting photos on Instagram and negative thoughts about weight and shape, experiencing urges to exercise and restrict food intake, and increased levels of anxiety. The study garnered national attention and shed new light on the risk factors associated with developing eating disorders and the role of social media in that equation.
“It is a great honor to become a member of the ASEMFL and have the impact of my research recognized by my peers,” Siegrist said. “My materials science and engineering expertise fits well within the organization’s goals.”
Siegrist’s work has been impactful in different fields and was instrumental in characterizing the high Tc superconductors used in fusion technology and in development at the Applied Superconductivity Center at the college.
“The general thrust in synthesizing and characterizing novel materials is crucial to developing novel devices that are expected to change our lives,” Siegrist said. “The research can be applied to energy conversion, energy storage, data processing and data storage.”
About the academy
Founded in 2018, the academy informs Floridians of current and future science, engineering and medicine issues and addresses the associated challenges. The organization provides unbiased expertise for issues that concern the state and helps facilitate scientific interactions.
To be selected for ASEMFL membership, individuals must live or work in Florida and be a member of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, or be nominated by a current ASEMFL member and have an outstanding record of accomplishments, national and international recognition.
Siegrist and Keel are among 15 new members to be admitted to the academy this year, which includes over 200 members across the state. The ceremony will be held at the academy’s annual meeting Nov. 3-4 in Orlando.
For more information on the Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine of Florida, visit asemfl.org.