Yale President Peter Salovey, Ph.D., and Ruslan Medzhitov, Ph.D., the David W. Wallace Professor of Immunobiology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, have been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the arm of the National Academies charged with providing science-based advice on medicine and health to policymakers, professionals, and the public at large.
Salovey is the newly inaugurated President of Yale University and the Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology. He has secondary faculty appointments at the School of Management and at the School of Public Health, where he served as a founding member and deputy director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS. He was one of the pioneers, along with his collaborator John D. Mayer, Ph.D., in developing the concept of emotional intelligence—the belief that people have a wide range of emotional as well as intellectual skills that can be developed and monitored in order to guide their thinking and actions.
Salovey’s seminal research on the ways that human moods and emotions affect behavior and decision-making, and his lab’s development of methods to study and measure these factors, laid the groundwork for establishment of the science-based Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. The principles of emotional intelligence arising from his work have since been applied around the world. His research has also focused on applying psychological principles to motivate people to adopt behaviors that protect their health, determining how educational and public health messages can best be tailored to promote prevention and early detection behaviors relevant to cancer and HIV/AIDS.
As a researcher, he has been honored with a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, a National Cancer Institute CIS Partner in Research Award, and a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Excellence Award. He is the founding editor of the Review of General Psychology and was an associate editor of the journals Emotion and Psychological Bulletin. Salovey has also served as dean of Yale College and provost of the university.
Medzhitov has made pioneering contributions to the understanding of innate immunity, which provides immediate defense against infection. His studies helped elucidate the critical role of toll-like receptors (TLRs) in sensing microbial infections, mechanisms of TLR signaling, and activation of the inflammatory and immune response.
Medzhitov has received many honors for his large body of work. Earlier this year, he won both the Else Kröner-Fresenius-Foundation inaugural international prize in immunology, and the inaugural Lurie Prize in the Biomedical Sciences from the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. The Lurie award, which honors early-career researchers whose findings have advanced basic biomedical science, was given to Medzhitov for his groundbreaking discoveries about the workings of the innate immune system. He was also co-recipient of the 2013 Vilcek Prize for Biomedical Science along with his Yale colleague Richard Flavell, Ph.D.
In addition, Medzhitov was one of three scientists awarded the prestigious Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine for 2011, and won the 2010 Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Research. Also in 2010, Medzhitov was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the elite corps of researchers from the nation’s top scientific institutions.
The IOM, established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, is a national resource for independent, scientifically informed analyses and recommendations on issues related to human health. Those elected to the institute have made significant contributions to the advancement of medical science, health care, and public health, and election is considered one of the highest honors in the health sciences.
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