Faculty

Ellen Matloff was right—the Supreme Court said so

Ellen Matloff was right—the Supreme Court said so

On June 13, 2013, in the case of the Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, the United States Supreme Court ruled, in a unanimous decision, that genes cannot be patented. The news was both a shock and a relief to Ellen T. Matloff, M.S., who started Yale’s Cancer Genetic Counseling Program in 1995. For 14 years Matloff had argued that something occurring in nature should not merit patent protection and that the patents were harming patients and medical researchers. When the American Civil Liberties Union filed a suit against Myriad Genetics, which held patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that are linked to breast and ovarian cancers, Matloff joined the case as a plaintiff. Two weeks after the...

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Notes

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.


Breakthrough Prize for chair of genetics

Richard P. Lifton, M.D., Ph.D., chair and Sterling Professor of Genetics, has received a $3 million Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, created by top Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.Lifton was one of eight scientists honored Dec. 12 with $21 million in prizes at gala ceremonies hosted by actor Kevin Spacey in Mountain...

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Early Career Awards go to two Yale scientists

Two Yale scientists are among the recipients of the 2014 Presidential Early Career Award, one of highest national honors bestowed on early-stage scientists and engineers. Andrew Goodman, Ph.D., and Young-Shin Kim, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., and the other 100 winners are scheduled to meet President Barack Obama at the White...

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New director of Physician Associate Program

James Van Rhee, M.S., PA-C, was named director of the Physician Associate Program and a member of the Department of Internal Medicine faculty in August.Van Rhee began his career as a physician assistant (PA) at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit in 1989. He moved to Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Mich., the following...

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Interim chair named for internal medicine

Gary V. Desir, M.D., HS ‘83, FW ‘87, professor of medicine (nephrology), will lead the Department of Internal Medicine as interim chair, pending a search for a permanent chair. He fills the vacancy left by Jack A. Elias, M.D., who is the new dean at Brown University‘s Alpert Medical School.Desir is the department‘s...

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Two Yale faculty members elected to National Academy

Two faculty members in the biological sciences were among 105 new members and foreign associates elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in April. Election to the academy is one of the most prestigious honors in science.Ronald Breaker, Ph.D., the Henry Ford II Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and...

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Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering Elects Eight New Members from Yale

Six Yale faculty members in the biological and medical sciences are among 33 of Connecticut‘s leading experts in science, engineering, and technology elected to the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering this year. The new members were introduced at the Academy‘s 38th annual meeting and dinner on May 22 at...

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Yale scientists awarded $1.44 million

Two Yale scientists are part of a team that was recently awarded $1.44 million by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation of Seattle in an effort to fund innovative biotech research. Thierry Emonet, Ph.D., assistant professor of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology; Steve Zucker, Ph.D., the David and Lucile...

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Kathleen M. Carroll, Ph.D., recently named the Albert E. Kent Professor of Psychiatry, studies behavioral, pharmacological, and combined treatments for addiction with an emphasis on improving the quality of such therapies through rigorous research on their clinical efficacy. Carroll graduated summa cum laude from Duke...

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An international genomic study of inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD) led by Judy H. Cho, M.D., the Henry J. and Joan W. Binder Professor of Gastroenterology and professor of genetics, has received a Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Award from the Clinical Research Forum, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that...

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Catherine Chiles, M.D., HS ’86, FW ’87, associate professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, was elevated to the status of Fellow at this year’s annual meeting of the American College of Psychiatrists. Fellowship is an honor bestowed upon members who have demonstrated national leadership and who have made...

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Richard A. Flavell, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Immunobiology, Sterling Professor of Immunobiology, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, has been elected the first president of the newly formed International Cytokine and Interferon Society (ICIS). He will take office effective in 2014 and serve...

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Steven D. Gore, M.D.’82, an internationally known hematologist, has been named director of hematologic malignancies at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven. He will begin his new appointment on November 1. Gore joins Yale from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he is a professor of oncology and...

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Carolyn Mazure, Ph.D., an internationally recognized expert on women’s health, was named the inaugural Norma Weinberg Spungen and Joan Lebson Bildner Professor in Women’s Health Research in November. Her research focuses on the development of models for understanding depression and addictive disorders, with a special...

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David Mulligan, M.D., an acclaimed abdominal organ transplant surgeon and a passionate advocate for organ donation, has been appointed chief of transplantation and immunology, and professor of surgery at the School of Medicine, and director of Yale-New Haven Hospital's transplantation center.Mulligan succeeds Sukru...

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Pasko Rakic, M.D., director of the Kavli Institute for Neuroscience at Yale, chair of the department of neurobiology, and the Dorys McConnell Duberg Professor of Neuroscience, has received the 2014 Child Mind Institute Distinguished Scientist Award for his “groundbreaking work in developmental neuroscience.” Rakic...

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Gerald I. Shulman, M.D., Ph.D., the George R. Cowgill Professor of Physiological Chemistry and professor of medicine and cellular and molecular physiology, and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, was the recipient of the 2013 Clinical Investigator Award from the Endocrine Society and the Sir Philip...

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Rajesh Tampi, M.B.B.S., D.Med.Sci., director of behavioral health services for Masonicare of Wallingford, has been named Geriatric Psychiatric Clinician of the Year by the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. The award was presented in March at AAGP‘s 2013 annual meeting in Los Angeles. Tampi is an associate...

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Amy F. Arnsten, Ph.D., professor of neurobiology and of psychology has received a $500,000 Pioneer Award given annually to researchers of exceptional creativity. The National Institutes of Health announced the award on Sept. 30. The award was one of 12 Pioneer awards and 78 grants given to innovative research projects...

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Jordan S. Pober, M.D. ’77, Ph.D. ’77, has been appointed the inaugural Bayer Professor of Translational Medicine. Pober is an authority on the interrelations of vascular endothelial cells (which form the lining of blood vessels), inflammation, and immunity. His research aims to advance organ replacement therapy,...

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