Department News

MCB Professor Elected to AAAS

MCB Professor Elected to AAAS

MCB professor Hopi Hoekstra was among the Harvard professors elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) this year. AAAS is one of the oldest honorary societies in the United States, uniting scientists, artists, and business leaders for the purpose of conducting policy research and other activities intended to address the needs of society.

“I am thrilled to be invited to joined such an amazing group of artists and scientists in the American Academy,” said Hoekstra. “I am looking forward to becoming an active member of the AAAS community in tackling the societal challenges we currently face.”

Hoekstra’s lab studies the genetic basis of behavioral and reproductive traits in wild mice populations, and currently employs four postdoctoral, nine graduate, and seven undergraduate students. The lab has previously studied the molecular aspects of physical traits in organisms, but has more recently switched to research on behavior genetics.

“By identifying genes, we can then ask questions about how these traits evolved as well as precisely how DNA changes lead to changes in behavior through neural circuits,” Hoekstra said. “We use wild mouse populations as a model system because we can take advantage of the wealth of tools developed in lab mice but also all of the natural variation in traits in wild populations.”

“My colleagues and I are pleased that the American Academy of Arts and Sciences shares our enthusiasm about Hopi’s research,” said Alex Schier, chair of the MCB department. “We are looking forward to many great discoveries from her lab.”

“I am very grateful to have had such a dynamic lab group with whom to work over the years,” said Hoekstra. “This is really a testament to all the hard work and creativity of past and current lab members.

by Mary Parker