Yale Scientists Awarded AAAS Fellowship

Yale scientists Gerald Shulman, Shirleen Roeder, Andrew Hill, and Mark Gerstein were recently honored as fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The AAAS, publishers of the journal Science, honors a handful of scientists each year who are elected by their peers for their contributions to the scientific community.

Gerald I. Shulman is a George R. Cowgill Professor of Physiological Chemistry and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator. His research on type 2 diabetes has elucidated the cellular mechanisms of insulin resistance in liver and skeletal muscle, which are the major factors responsible for the development of the disease. Currently, his research focuses on identifying genetic factors that predispose individuals to insulin resistance in order to identify novel therapeutic targets.

Mark Gerstein, Albert L. Williams Professor of Biomedical Informatics, investigates how biological molecules work from a genomic perspective. He is also involved with the new issues arising from personal genomics, the field of studying individual variations within a population. Gerstein stated in a recent interview, “Lives are becoming so digital, so I am keen to see how this relates to privacy.” The AAAS is focused on increasing public engagement with science and technology, and Gerstein agrees, “More and more people have information associated with themselves in data bases.”

Eugene Higgins Professor of Genetics and HHMI investigator Shirleen Roeder studies synaptonemal complex formation and genetic recombination during meiosis in budding yeast. Whereas, Andrew Hill, J. Clayton Stephenson Professor of Anthropology, focuses on human evolution and is the head curator of the anthropology division of the Peabody Museum.

The AAAS tries to foster communication among scientists. Shulman explains, “Collaboration is key…In this day and time, you have to go beyond your discipline to where the questions take you…molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, biophysics…one individual cannot do it on one’s own, especially when one is trying to answer complex questions.”