Epstein named state academy of sciences fellow

Scientists, educators recognized for extraordinary accomplishments

Irving Epstein

Irving Epstein, the Henry F. Fischbach Professor of Chemistry
, Volen National Center for Complex Systems, has been named one of this year’s Massachusetts Academy of Sciences (MAS) fellows.

Each year the MAS honors distinguished individuals through its Fellowship and Honorary Life Member awards. The awardees constitute a select and prestigious community of scientists, engineers, research physicians, and others deeply concerned about science and science education in the Commonwealth. Awardees are recognized for extraordinary scientific accomplishments and service to the science community and the public. Academy peers initiate the nomination process.

“The academy's commitment to 'making science tangible and exciting to everyone' makes this award particularly meaningful for me," says Epstein. "I'm delighted and honored to have been selected to join the distinguished group of Fellows of the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences.”

Peg Riley, University of Massachusetts Amherst biology professor and president and founder of MAS, recently made the announcement. In addition to Epstein, fellows include: Robert Dorit of Smith College, Ward Watt of Stanford University, Mandana Sassanfar of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Junior Academy of Sciences, Megan Rokup of the Broad Institute, James Hamilton and Paul Trunfio of Boston University, Riley of UMass Amherst and University of Massachusetts Amherst alumna and astronaut Catherine Coleman.

Riley says each year the MAS honors distinguished individuals through its fellowship awards.

“They join an elite group of professional scientists and science educators who are recognized for extraordinary scientific accomplishments and service to the science community and the public,” says Riley. “The academy is thrilled to welcome these stellar individuals to its elite group. They are crucial to the future success of the academy and it is an honor to announce their commitment and involvement."

The new fellows bring varied expertise to MAS:

  • Epstein studies oscillatory chemical reactions both experimentally and theoretically, with spatial pattern formation, dynamical systems and neurobiology.
  • Coleman joined NASA in 1992. Among many other duties, she helped to ensure that payloads can operate successfully in the microgravity of low Earth orbit.
  • Riley's research interests range from experimental evolution of microbes to developing novel antimicrobials and redefining the microbial species concept.
  • Dorit is interested in experimental, retrospective and computational approaches to molecular evolution.
  • Sassanfar is an instructor and director of diversity and science outreach for the biology department at MIT.
  • Hamilton's research provides molecular insight into disease related to Fatty-acid metabolism and lipid accumulation such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • Rokup is director of educational outreach at the Broad Institute, organizing summer internships for high school seniors, teacher forums, and semester-long research projects.
  • Trunfio, director of a science education group at a science and mathematics education center, focuses on enhancing undergraduate and K-12 science education.

Categories: Research, Science and Technology

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