Two members of the Boston University community are among the new class of Fellows of the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences (MAS). James A. Hamilton, PhD, representing Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Paul Trunfio, BS, from BU College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) were elected by their peers to the prestigious community of scientists, engineers, research physicians and others who are deeply concerned about science and science education in the Commonwealth.
Hamilton is professor of physiology and biophysics, radiology and research professor of medicine at BUSM and professor of biomedical engineering at the College of Engineering. His work aims to provide fundamental information about heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other diseases related to fatty acid metabolism with the goal of developing novel approaches to treat these diseases. Hamilton also serves as director of the High Field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy and MR Imaging Core at BU.
Major approaches of Hamilton’s laboratory research include fluorescence tracking of the transport of fatty acids and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and NMR spectroscopy to characterize atherosclerotic plaques. Hamilton earned his BS from Juniata College and his PhD from Indiana University. He received the Biophysical Society 2010 Avanti Award in Lipids and the Juniata College Outstanding Science Alumni Award in 2011.
As an undergraduate, Trunfio, now senior research scientist and director of the Science Education Group at the Center for Polymer Studies, saw his enthusiasm for science transformed through his active involvement in “doing science” research specializing in computational modeling of complex systems.
For more than two decades, Trunfio has focused on developing curricula and programs aimed at bridging the gap between the practice of interdisciplinary science research and the teaching of science at all levels. Trunfio and his colleagues developed educational programs utilizing hands-on experiments and computational models of molecular dynamics, fractal systems in nature, neuroscience and complex networks.
Key components of the research-to-education efforts have been the inclusion of science graduate students and the development of communities of learners through workshops, internships and research opportunities for K-12 teachers and students.
“Each year, the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences honors distinguished individuals through its fellowship awards. They join an elite group of professional scientists and science educators who are recognized for extraordinary scientific accomplishments and service to the science community and the public. The academy is thrilled to welcome these stellar individuals to its elite group. They are crucial to the future success of the academy and it is an honor to announce their commitment and involvement,” said Peg Riley, University of Massachusetts Amherst biology professor and president and founder of MAS.