Keith Yamamoto, PhD, a leader in precision medicine and the vice chancellor of Science Policy and Strategy at UC San Francisco, has been elected president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the largest multidisciplinary scientific society in the world.
As president of AAAS, Yamamoto said he will focus on diversity, equity and inclusion; continued support for basic science; establishment of a global open science enterprise; and developing STEM education to improve the public’s ability to understand science and evaluate the ethical implications of new technology.
He said he will bring the same collaborative style to leading AAAS that he has honed in a nearly 50-year-long career in science at UCSF.
“My approach to tackling difficult problems is to acknowledge and dissect their complexity, learn from and integrate the wisdom and skills of talented team members and consultants, and build actionable consensus,” Yamamoto said. “My hope is that these science and policy experiences prepare me for the humbling and exciting challenge to lead this association.”
Yamamoto came to UCSF as a postdoctoral fellow in 1973, after receiving a PhD in biochemistry at Princeton under the tutelage of Bruce Alberts, who later moved to UCSF and became president of the National Academy of Sciences and editor of Science. In 1976, Yamamoto joined the UCSF faculty and later served as chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, vice dean for research in the School of Medicine, and vice chancellor for research.
Keith will contribute significant experience in science policy to AAAS, both at the federal and state levels...He understands the many roles that scientists play in society, and he is committed to advancing diversity in science.
He has played a significant role in setting science policy, helping gain support from President Obama for the Precision Medicine Initiative, which evolved into the All of Us Research Program, and from Gov. Jerry Brown for the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine.
“Keith will contribute significant experience in science policy to AAAS, both at the federal and state levels,” said UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS. “He brings a deep knowledge of biology and the transdisciplinary push toward precision medicine. He understands the many roles that scientists play in society, and he is committed to advancing diversity in science.”
Currently, Yamamoto co-chairs the Science and Technology Action Committee, a group that works to strengthen U.S. science and technology to address climate change, energy production and storage, food and water security, and public health and health care, including the COVID-19 pandemic. He also participates in the executive planning of the Precision Medicine World Conference, which he has helped to lead for the last seven years.
Yamamoto will remain in his position at UCSF while serving as AAAS president. He will serve for a year as president-elect, followed by a one-year term as president, starting in May 2023.
AAAS Press Announcement here: https://www.aaas.org/news/election-results-are-keith-yamamoto-serve-aaas-president-elect
Read AAAS candidacy spotlight: AAAS President-elect Candidate Keith Yamamoto’s Formula for Addressing the World’s Existential Challenges
Learn more about precision medicine at UCSF: https://precisionmedicine.ucsf.edu