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Interim Dean Melinda Pettigrew elected to Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering

March 02, 2023
by Fran Fried

Yale School of Public Health Interim Dean Melinda Pettigrew, PhD ’99, Anna M.R. Lauder Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases), has been elected to the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering.

Pettigrew, who has served as interim dean since July 1, 2022, is one of 35 leading Connecticut experts in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine to be named as new CASE members. Election to CASE is based on scientific and engineering distinction achieved through significant contributions in theory or applications, as demonstrated by original published books and papers, patents, the pioneering of new and developing fields and innovative products, outstanding leadership of nationally recognized technical teams, and external professional awards in recognition of scientific and engineering excellence.

Pettigrew and the other new members will be formally introduced at CASE’s 48th annual meeting and dinner at Woodwinds in Branford on May 24. Dr. Albert Ko, MD, the Raj and Indra Nooyi Professor of Public Health, professor of epidemiology (microbial diseases) at YSPH and professor of medicine (infectious diseases) at Yale School of Medicine, will give the keynote address.

Pettigrew is internationally known for her work in the field of molecular epidemiology of infectious diseases. Her research focuses on pathobionts of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, and the growing public health threat of antibiotic resistance. Her current work utilizes a combined approach involving microbiology and infectious disease epidemiology to identify factors that influence whether pathobionts asymptomatically colonize or cause diseases such as pneumonia and exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Pettigrew serves on the steering and executive committees for the Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG). As the associate director of the Scientific Leadership Core, focusing on diversity, she leads efforts to implement and integrate principles of diversity, access, equity, and inclusion throughout the ARLG. She also serves on the editorial board of mBio.

Ko is internationally recognized for pioneering contributions to the understanding of infectious disease emergence in the setting of rapid urbanization and social inequity, and creation of new models that link community and research to identify public health solutions for vulnerable populations residing in urban informal settlements. In April 2020, he accepted the invitation from Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont to serve during the pandemic as co-chair of the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Board. He advised and assisted the Lamont administration with the planning needed to navigate the daily challenges the pandemic was causing statewide. While many others were involved in this task, Lamont noted the contributions and leadership provided by Ko, once referring to him as "our Dr. Fauci."

Submitted by Colin Poitras on March 02, 2023