Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

December 5, 2013

People of the Times

Two Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences faculty members have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS): James Bogen, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, and Jeffrey L. Brodsky, Avinoff Chair in the Department of Biological Sciences.

Bogen is being recognized for his “distinguished research in philosophy of science, including analysis of the epistemology of experimentation, mechanistic explanation, neuroimaging and the Hodgkin-Huxley model of action potential.”

His main interests have centered on questions about how scientists come to know things. He investigates the nature and interpretation of scientific evidence and how such evidence is used to develop and evaluate theories. Specific examples include studying the use of modern functional imaging techniques in neuroscience, and studying 19th-century neuroscientist Hughling Jackson’s use of observations of epileptic seizures to investigate the functional organization of the brain.

Bogen also has worked on questions about causality and causal explanation, particularly in connection with the ways in which explanations in neuroscience argue against philosopher David Hume’s traditional idea that to explain a phenomenon is to derive a description of it from natural laws and descriptions of background and initial conditions.

Brodsky is being recognized for “distinguished research discoveries on the cell biology, biochemistry and genetics of the fundamental mechanisms underlying cellular protein quality control in health and disease.”

His research is devoted to understanding how proteins in the secretory pathway are subject to protein quality control and how molecular chaperones and components of the ubiquitination machinery mediate this event.

His work has contributed to the discovery of the ER (endoplasmic reticulum) associated degradation pathway, which is associated with nearly 70 human diseases, and ongoing studies have been geared toward deciphering the mechanisms underlying this pathway using biochemical and genetic attacks in both yeast and mammalian cells.

AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science as well as Science Translational Medicine and Science Signaling.


New faculty appointees to Board of Trustees committees are:

• Budget committee: Chandralekha Singh, physics and astronomy, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.

• Health sciences committee: John H. Reilly Jr., medicine.

• Property and facilities committee: Patricia Weiss, Health Sciences Library System.


The advising team of Jane Wallace and Katherine Wolfe, lecturers in economics, has won the 2014 Ampco-Pittsburgh Prize for Excellence in Advising. They will split the award’s cash prize of $4,000.

In addition to each teaching two courses, Wallace and Wolfe share the advising duties for 450 majors and 200 minors. Their letter of nomination notes that they are readily accessible, holding office hours four days a week, scheduling appointments on the fifth day and replying promptly to email and voice mail questions (approximately 8,700 emails last year alone).

In addition to their advising duties, Wallace and Wolfe create a data warehouse on the department’s students that helps them to understand students’ aspirations and to make sure they take appropriate steps to meet students’ goals. They assist students by discussing career choices, graduate schools, internships, study abroad, plans to work in the public/private sector and applications to professional schools.

The two also maintain the undergraduate portion of the department website, a department Facebook page and LinkedIn account, and other initiatives.


The People of the Times column features recent news on faculty and staff, including awards and other honors, accomplishments and administrative appointments.

We welcome submissions from all areas of the University. Send information via email to:, by fax at 412/624-4579 or by campus mail to 308 Bellefield Hall.

For detailed submission guidelines, visit “Deadlines” page.

Leave a Reply