Columbia University Medical Center

Five Faculty Of Columbia University Medical Center Elected As Fellows Of The American Association For The Advancement Of Science

Columbia Fellows are Experts in Neuroscience, Genetics, and Microbiology

NEW YORK (Dec. 19, 2008) – Five faculty members of Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have been awarded the distinction of Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), one of the world’s oldest, largest, and most prestigious scientific societies.

The new fellows — who represent departments ranging from physiology and cellular biophysics to neuroscience, microbiology, and genetics and development — join 481 additional inductees this year from across the nation. Election as a Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. With the election of these five, the medical center now has 28 Fellows in the AAAS.

Included in the AAAS class of 2008 are the following CUMC faculty, listed in alphabetical order:

Laurence F. Abbott, Ph.D., the William Bloor Professor of Theoretical Neuroscience, professor of physiology and cellular biophysics, and co-director of the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, for his distinguished work on the computational modeling and mathematical analysis of neurons and neural networks and the implications for sensory processing and learning
Gerald Fischbach, M.D., the John E. Borne Professor of Medical and Surgical Research, for pioneering work on the formation and maintenance of synapses, for outstanding mentoring of neuroscientists, and for exemplary leadership within the scientific community
Michael E. Goldberg, M.D., the David Mahoney Professor of Brain and Behavior in the Departments of Neuroscience, Neurology, Psychiatry and Ophthalmology, and director of the David Mahoney Center for Brain and Behavior Research, for his groundbreaking contributions to understanding brain mechanisms of cognition, including the basis of visual attention, the perception of space, and the generation of movement
Rodney Rothstein, Ph.D., professor of genetics and development, for fundamental innovations in gene targeting and replacement, elucidating important aspects of homologous recombination, the DNA damage response, and discovering genes involved in genome stability
Howard A. Shuman, Ph.D., professor of microbiology, for distinguished contributions to the field of microbiology, particularly for pioneering the use of gene fusions and for studies of membrane proteins and host-pathogen interactions
“We are pleased to see Columbia University Medical Center represented so well among this year’s class of AAAS Fellows,” said Lee Goldman, M.D., executive vice president of health and biomedical sciences and dean of the faculties of health sciences and of medicine at Columbia University. “This distinction points to the depth of our faculty talent and the breadth of our academic medical enterprise. We are very proud of our five gifted new Fellows.”
Fellows — selected by the greater AAAS membership from among its own ranks — are awarded this special honor because of their efforts to advance scientific applications that are deemed especially promising or socially distinguished. Their names will be formally announced by the AAAS in the “News & Notes” section of the journal Science on Dec. 19, 2008. The awards ceremony is scheduled to take place at the 2009 AAAS annual meeting in Chicago on Feb. 14.


Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, pre-clinical and clinical research, in medical and health sciences education, and in patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Established in 1767, Columbia’s College of Physicians & Surgeons was the first institution in the country to grant the M.D. degree and is now among the most selective medical schools in the country. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and state and one of the largest in the United States. For more information, please visit

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science ( AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The non-profit AAAS ( is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy; international programs; science education; and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!,, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.