Weill Cornell Medicine Faculty Named AAAS Fellows

composite image of two doctors

Two Weill Cornell Medicine faculty members, Dr. David Lyden, the Stavros S. Niarchos Professor in Pediatric Cardiology, and Dr. Harel Weinstein, the Maxwell M. Upson Professor of Physiology and Biophysics and past chair of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Drs. Lyden and Weinstein were among 506 scientists—including 10 from Cornell’s Ithaca Campus—elected this year as fellows of the AAAS, the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society. The fellowship is a prestigious, lifetime honor that recognizes members for their outstanding scientific or social efforts to advance science or its applications.

An authority on the mechanisms by which cancer spreads throughout the body, Dr. Lyden is being recognized for his distinguished contributions to cancer metastasis and the biology of exosomes, nanovesicles that prime distant organs to become hospitable sites for cancer proliferation. He is noted for the discovery of these transformed sites, known as pre-metastatic niches, the role of exosomes in directing metastasis to particular organs and early cancer detection. Dr. Lyden’s laboratory studies the biology of metastasis in a variety of pediatric and adult aggressive tumors and is working to understand how dysregulated immune cells promote metastatic tumor growth.

“Being recognized by the AAAS acknowledges those investigators who took the risk of thinking ‘outside the box’ in cancer biology,” said Dr. Lyden, who is also a professor of cell and developmental biology and of pediatrics, and a member of the Gail and Ira Drukier Institute for Children’s Health and the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine. “For many years, there were only a handful of scientists working in my field of research. As a newly elected fellow and physician-scientist, I hope to promote cancer and metastasis prevention policies and programs within the AAAS network that will guarantee superior medical care for all individuals.” 

Dr. Weinstein, who serves as director of the HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Institute for Computational Biomedicine (ICB) at Weill Cornell Medicine, is being recognized for his inventive leadership and distinguished scientific contributions in the fields of computational molecular biophysics and computational biomedicine. Under his direction, the Department of Physiology and Biophysics broke new ground in our understanding of complex physiological systems and the structure, function and dynamics of biological molecules, particularly molecular machines at the cell membrane. The development of theoretical and computational models by ICB faculty has pioneered significant contributions from bioinformatics and engineering approaches to systems biology.

“I am honored by the AAAS recognition of the important research we are conducting in my lab in the creative academic environment of the department I led at Weill Cornell Medicine,” said Dr. Weinstein, who is a Tri-Institutional Professor, with appointments at Weill Cornell Medicine, The Rockefeller University and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “I view this award as an affirmation of the scientific and social impact of the science done by the many talented young colleagues with whom I had the privilege of being associated over the years.”

Founded in 1848, the AAAS has members in more than 91 countries worldwide and publishes six respected peer-reviewed journals: Science, Science Translational Medicine, Science Signaling, Science Advances, Science Immunology and Science Robotics.

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