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Best academic: Michael Summers, UMBC

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County's distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry and Robert E. Meyerhoff chair for excellence in research and mentoring studies the structures of HIV and other retroviruses to understand how their components interact. He aims to use his research on the HIV's inner workings to inhibit the virus. "HIV is a huge success story in showing how the scientific community can come together and come up with treatments," he said. Summers, recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences, works with students ranging from undergraduates to post-doctoral fellows.

Sarah Meehan

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Dr. Mike Summers, 59, professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UMBC, in the research lab. Prof. Summers is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.
Dr. Mike Summers, 59, professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UMBC, in the research lab. Prof. Summers is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.(Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

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