Brainard, Rubenstein Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

By Mike Billings

UC San Francisco neuroscientists Michael Brainard, PhD, and John L.R. Rubenstein, MD, PhD, have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Michael Brainard
Michael Brainard, PhD

The two UCSF faculty members were among 213 new members elected to the 2016 class, which includes winners of the Pulitzer Prize and the Wolf Prize; MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships; the Fields Medal; and the Grammy Award and National Book Award.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the country’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening leaders from the academic, business and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing the nation and the world.

“It is an honor to welcome this new class of exceptional women and men as part of our distinguished membership,” said Don Randel, chair of the Academy’s board of directors.

John Rubenstein
John Rubenstein, MD, PhD

Rubenstein, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry, and Brainard, an investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and professor in the Departments of Physiology and Psychiatry, are among the handful of physical and biological scientists elected this year to the Academy.

Brainard, a faculty member in the UCSF Center for Integrative Neuroscience, studies how songbirds learn their songs. His research addresses general questions of how experience acts on the nervous system to shape behavior, and how genetic differences across individuals contribute to differences in learning. 

Rubenstein studies genetic mechanisms involved in brain development, and how developmental processes may go awry in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. He recently was honored by three organizations for his research.

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 8 in Cambridge, Mass.

A complete list of new members, as well as the Academy’s news release, can be found on the Academy’s website.

For more campus news and resources, visit Pulse of UCSF.