Brown medical science, sociology faculty members elected AAAS fellows

Two Brown University faculty members have been elected by their peers as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest scientific society.

Andrew G. Campbell, dean of the Graduate School and a professor of medical science, and Susan Short, director of the Population Studies and Training Center and a professor of sociology, were among 489 distinguished new fellows elected in this year’s class. The new fellows will be formally recognized in a virtual ceremony to be held in February 2021.

Campbell was recognized for his scientific research as well as his “administrative leadership, and service to increase the full participation of all in science.”

Campbell studies microbial diseases, particularly infectious diseases in neglected populations and regions. One focus has been understanding the reproductive cycle of the protozoan Trypanosoma brucei, an insect-borne pathogen that causes deadly illness in sub-Saharan Africa.

As Graduate School dean, Campbell is responsible for engaging and supporting more than 2,500 students enrolled in doctoral and master’s programs in more than 40 departments, centers and institutes, including the School of Engineering, the School of Public Health and the School of Professional Studies. He is currently principal investigator of two National Institutes of Health grants and leads the NIH-funded Initiative to Maximize Student Development, a program that at Brown has significantly improved both recruiting and performance of students from groups historically underrepresented in doctoral programs across the disciplines.

Campbell also chairs the board of directors for the Council of Graduate Schools, which represents approximately 500 colleges and universities in North America engaged in graduate education and research.

“Being named a fellow of the AAAS is a measure of professional achievement, and I am greatly honored to be joining an illustrious group,” Campbell said. “I feel very fortunate to be honored by my peers who have selected me for this recognition.”

Short was recognized for her “important contributions to the fields of Chinese and African social demography and to interdisciplinary science at the intersection of genetics, gender and social structure.”

Short’s research examines changing social and political environments and their implications for gender, family, health and well-being. She has examined economic reform and the one-child policy in China, HIV/AIDS in Lesotho, and changes in the organization of women’s work and parenting in the U.S. Her most recent work has integrated social and biological perspectives to investigate the ways in which people’s social contexts and experiences affect their health and well-being over the course of their lives.

As director of the Population Studies and Training Center at Brown, a center supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Short oversees a hub of cross-disciplinary research that for more than 50 years has sought to improve health and well-being through innovative population science focused on topics such as migration, climate change, neighborhood inequality and reproductive health. Short and the center’s other scholars, who represent such diverse disciplines as anthropology, economics, history and sociology, collaborate on research projects that emphasize how health and well-being are intertwined with social, economic and political systems.

Short came to Brown in 1997 after earning a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“I am humbled to join this distinguished community of scholars,” Short said of her AAAS selection. “Receiving this honor as a social scientist is especially meaningful to me this year, when we have seen so many efforts to deny and obstruct research, teaching and learning related to social justice. I look forward to advancing the association’s mission to advance science and serve society and am grateful to the mentors, collaborators and students who inspire and teach me every day.”

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