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Connecticut’s science and engineering academy inducts six faculty

Medicine@Yale, 2017 - Apr May


Six members of the School of Medicine faculty are newly elected members of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE). They are among 11 new members from Yale, and 24 chosen overall.

The academy elected Alison P. Galvani, Ph.D., the Burnett and Stender Families Professor of Epidemiology, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Modeling and Analysis at the School of Public Health, in recognition of her work developing mathematical models of disease transmission that use information from epidemiology, ecology, clinical medicine, economics, and psychology.

Jonathon Howard, Ph.D., Eugene Higgins Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and professor of physics, is cited for seminal contributions in understanding the molecular properties of motor proteins, especially in deciphering how these evolutionarily conserved proteins operate as molecular machines to drive motion and regulate the growth and shrinkage of microtubules critical for biological processes such as mitosis and cellular motion.

Ann E. Kurth, Ph.D., M.P.H., C.N.M., professor of epidemiology of microbial diseases and Linda Koch Lorimer Professor of Nursing; and dean, School of Nursing; was chosen for her work as an internationally recognized epidemiologist and clinically trained nurse-midwife. CASE honors Kurth for her major contributions to HIV/sexual and reproductive health prevention, screening and care, and to global health system strengthening in the U.S. and internationally.

Frederick J. Sigworth, Ph.D., professor of cellular and molecular physiology and of biomedical engineering and of molecular biophysics and biochemistry, was cited for research that unravels the workings of ion channel proteins, the “molecular machines” that switch on and off the electrical currents carried by ions across biological membrane proteins. He developed methods for recording and analyzing the single-molecule events underlying the switching of currents, and now studies the structure of ion-channel proteins by electron cryomicroscopy.

CASE cites Hugh S. Taylor, M.D., chair and Anita O’Keeffe Young Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, as a world-renowned expert in reproductive sciences, with a focus on implantation, endometriosis, and menopause. His work has led to, among other insights, a better understanding of endometriosis, including the genetic cause and the role of stem cells in the disease.

Sandra L. Wolin, M.D., Ph.D., emeritus faculty of cell biology and currently chief of the RNA Biology Laboratory at the National Cancer Institute, is cited for pioneering studies of how cells recognize and degrade unneeded, damaged, and harmful RNA molecules which could otherwise interfere with normal cellular function. Using a variety of organisms and approaches, Wolin has elucidated the functions of cellular machines that bind and destroy misfolded RNAs, including discovering a novel surveillance pathway.

The state’s General Assembly chartered the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering in 1976.