Vivian Budnik, PhD, the Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research Chair Iand President and Professor of Neurobiology, was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Dr. Budnik was selected for her contributions to understanding the mechanisms of synaptic signaling, which can enable cells to communicate with each other and elicit plastic responses. She is also recognized for her professional development and mentoring of colleagues.
Budnik’s research has led to important discoveries in genetics that accelerate knowledge about the development and plasticity of synapses and significantly contribute to the understanding of neurological disorders, such as dystonia, muscular dystrophies and accelerated aging.
Budnik joined the UMass Chan School of Medicine in 2003 and was named chair of neurobiology in 2015. She has led a multidisciplinary research hub of scientists who combine biological, physiological and behavioral analyzes of cells to understand the complexities of brain development and function and address fundamental problems in neurobiology. Junior professors in the department credited her with helping many of them get R01 funding from the National Institutes of Health when they first applied.
In 2015, she also became the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership Fellow in the Women’s Academic Medicine Program at Drekel University College of Medicine. Budnik’s Institutional Action Project ELAM focused on formalizing a sustainable mentoring program in her department to foster a scientific environment where, in addition to excellence in science, the goal is to create the synergism, mentorship, and support for a diverse workforce needed to succeed. In 2022, Budnik received the Rector’s Award for excellence in mentoring.
She previously served as a four-year term member of the AAAS Neuroscience Section.
AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and journal publisher Science. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes nearly 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals.
Budnik is among 506 scientists, engineers and innovators selected this year. The new fellows will be recognized this spring in Washington, D.C. The new class will also be featured in the AAAS News & Notes section at Science magazine in February. Budnik joins more than 12 other AAAS Fellows on the UMass Chan faculty.
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Vivian Budnik Named AAAS Neuroscience Fellow
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