International nonprofit honors two Pitt scholars

An international nonprofit focused on advancing science and innovation recently welcomed two Pitt professors into its ranks.

Biology professor Jeffrey Brodsky and history and philosophy of science professor James Bogen were elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in October, and the results were announced on Friday in the journal Science.

The 388 fellows are selected as recognition for their contributions to their respective fields, and they will be honored at the annual academy meeting in Chicago in February. The academy works to advocate science through publications, conferences and the faciltation of education and policymaking.

Brodsky, the Avinoff Chair of the biology department, studies cell biology, recently focusing on the associated degradation pathway of the endoplasmic reticulum. His work on the pathway, which is associated with nearly 70 human diseases, uses a yeast organism to analyze genetic effects and alterations. Brodsky has published 160 articles for peer-reviewed journals thus far, and he is a mentor to undergraduates, with several as researchers in his lab.

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Brodsky studied biochemistry and molecular biology at Harvard University, receiving his doctorate in 1990, and he studied under Nobel laureate Randy Schekman at the University of California-Berkeley for postdoctoral work.

Bogen was selected due to his “distinguished research in philosophy of science, including analysis of the epistemology of experimentation, mechanistic explanation, neuroimaging, and the Hodgkin-Huxley model of action potential,” according to the press release. Studying epistemology — how one learns and evaluates information — he has published articles with colleague James Woodward about the purpose and function of scientific theories.

Bogen received his doctoral degree in philosophy from the University of California-Berkeley and he taught at Oberlin College and Pitzer College before moving to Pittsburgh.