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AAAS Leshner Leadership Institute Names New Public Engagement Fellows



These 15 infectious disease researchers have been named 2017-18 AAAS Alan I. Leshner Leadership Institute Public Engagement Fellows. | AAAS

AAAS announced the selection of 15 infectious disease researchers as the 2017-18 AAAS Alan I. Leshner Leadership Institute Public Engagement Fellows on February 16. They have demonstrated leadership and excellence in their research careers and an interest in promoting meaningful dialogue between science and society.

The incoming AAAS Public Engagement Fellows work in such varied disciplines as virology, vaccine and pharmaceutical development, public health, demography, disease ecology, environmental health, parasitology, and human and veterinary epidemiology. They represent institutions in 10 states and include three international scientists.

“I hope to be able to create links with American institutions and work more internationally to broaden the reach and impact of my research and the University’s public engagement work,” said Sheena Cruickshank, Senior Lecturer in Immunology and Academic Lead for Public Engagement at the University of Manchester.

The 15 AAAS Public Engagement Fellows selected, and the many others who applied, demonstrate clear commitment from scientists and researchers within the infectious disease research community to engage the public on many critical issues. The AAAS Public Engagement Fellows program, now in its second year, continues to build on the long-standing commitment of AAAS to science communication and public engagement.

The AAAS Public Engagement Fellows will meet in June 2017 at AAAS headquarters in Washington, D.C. for a week of intensive public engagement and science communication training, networking and public engagement plan development.

“I am thrilled to learn from the other fellows and to work with them on activities that build on our various strengths and areas of expertise,” said Meghan Duffy, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan.

Throughout the year following the training, AAAS Public Engagement Fellows will develop and implement public engagement activities, train other scientists in their communities, and work to increase capacity for public engagement at their institutions. AAAS staff will provide ongoing support and continuing professional development throughout their fellowship year.

“As the Chief Medical Officer at the largest public hospital west of the Mississippi, I have to delve deeply into all aspects of healthcare delivery in the US. The fellowship will give me the communication and engagement skills to be a more effective advocate for population healthcare,” said Brad Spellberg of the Los Angeles County + University of Southern California Medical Center.

The Leshner Leadership Institute was established in 2015 wholly by philanthropic support. The Institute is managed by the AAAS Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology, established in 2004 by Alan I. Leshner, now Chief Executive Officer Emeritus of AAAS.

The 2017-2018 AAAS Public Engagement Fellows are as follows:

  • Maria Elena Bottazzi, PhD
    Associate Dean, National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Danielle Buttke, DVM, PhD, MPH
    Acting Epidemiology Branch Chief and One Health Coordinator, National Park Service
  • Marcia Castro, PhD
    Associate Professor of Demography, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Sheena Cruickshank, PhD
    Senior Lecturer in Immunology and Academic Lead for Public Engagement, University of Manchester
  • Meghan Duffy, PhD
    Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan
  • Kacey Ernst, PhD, MPH
    Associate Professor of Epidemiology, University of Arizona College of Public Health
  • Patricia Garcez, PhD
    Assistant Professor of Anatomy, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova, PhD
    Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Kentucky
  • Christine Johnston, MD, MPH
    Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Washington
  • Karen Levy, PhD, MPH
    Associate Professor of Environmental Health, Emory University
  • Luis Martinez, PhD, MBA
    Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences, New York Institute of Technology
  • Haley Oliver, PhD
    Associate Professor of Food Science, Purdue University
  • Ina Park, MD
    Medical Consultant, Division of STD Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Associate Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine; Medical Director, California Prevention Training Center
  • Brad Spellberg, MD
    Chief Medical Officer, Los Angeles County + University of Southern California Medical Center; Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine
  • Anthony Wilson, PhD
    Group Leader, Integrative Entomology Group, The Pirbright Institute