UConn scientist named Science Association Fellow

UConn professor Reinhard Lauenbacher was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. (Lanny Nagler/UConn Health Center). 

A scientist at the University of Connecticut was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

It makes me feel good that my colleagues around the world think I’ve done good things and (the fellowship) enforces my belief that what I’m doing is important and invaluable,
— Richard Lauenbacher

Reinhard Lauenbacher, professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Co-Director of the Center for Quantitative Medicine, joined UConn Health and the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine in May 2013. He said he has been a member of the association for about 10 years, but this is his first fellowship.

“Laubenbacher was elected as an AAAS Fellow for distinguished contributions to the construction and analysis in systems biology, based on computational algebra, discrete mathematics and algebraic geometry,” according to the Jackson Laboratory’s press release.

According to the association’s website, fellows are elected by existing members of the fellow council to a member who is “distinguished in the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished.”

“For me, it’s a particular honor that mathematics can play an important role in life sciences,” Lauenbacher said.

Lauenbacher said that about 3 percent to 5 percent of AAAS members end up being elected as a fellow.

“It makes me feel good that my colleagues around the world think I’ve done good things and (the fellowship) enforces my belief that what I’m doing is important and invaluable,” Lauenbacher said.

Laudenbacher received a fellowship of the American Mathematical Society three years ago. He has been widely published in scholarly journals for his work.

According to the AAAS website, this year, 347 members have been awarded the honor of AAAS Fellow for their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New fellows will be recognized on Feb. 13 during the 2016 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Laudenbacher said he became motivated to study math while he was in college in Germany. He said that he eventually gravitated towards applied mathematics, which is how he ended up in this career path.

“Once I started studying math, it was different than I thought. One can look at it as abstract art or philosophy,” Laudenbacher said.

Laudenbacher said that to be successful, it is important for students to realize they need to combine different fields, much like he has done with mathematics and medicine.

“When it comes to science and mathematics in particular, if a student is looking for an adventure, in the old day’s people would go to the North or South Pole, but that’s already been done. However, there is still lots of adventure in math,” Laudenbacher said. 


Emma Krueger is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at emma.krueger@uconn.edu.