Two Penn faculty named 2020 AAAS Fellows

Qi Long and E. Michael Ostap of the Perelman School of Medicine are among a cohort of 489 distinguished scientists recognized with the honor from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Close-up headshots of two people. The person on the left wears a suit and tie, the one on the right wears a plaid button-down shirt.
Qi Long (left), a professor of biostatistics in Biostatistics and Epidemiology, and E. Michael Ostap, a professor of physiology, both of the Perelman School of Medicine, have been named 2020 American Association for the Advancement of Science fellows. (Images: Courtesy of Penn Medicine)

Two faculty from the University of Pennsylvania, Qi Long and E. Michael Ostap of the Perelman School of Medicine, have been named 2020 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for their distinguished efforts toward advancing science and maintaining the highest standards of professional ethics and scientific integrity.

This year, 489 AAAS members were selected as fellows by their peers because of their “scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.”

Long, a professor of biostatistics in the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics, director of the Center for Cancer Data Science, and associate director for cancer informatics of the Penn Institute for Biomedical Informatics, is being credited for his contributions to analysis of incomplete data, causal inference, and analysis of big data for advancing precision health. In addition to being named a AAAS Fellow, Long is an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. 

“I am deeply honored by this recognition of our research in health data science,” Long says. “Penn has provided a highly supportive environment for us to accelerate innovations in health data science, which play a vital role in advancing biomedical research and transforming precision health. I am very grateful for the valuable contributions from the current and former members of my research group and to my colleagues and collaborators at Penn.”

Ostap, a professor of physiology and director of the Pennsylvania Muscle Institute, is being recognized for his contributions to the fields of biophysics and biochemistry, particularly for using single-molecule and biochemical techniques to study cytoskeletal motors. The Ostap Laboratory studies the molecules responsible for powering cell movements and shaping the architecture of cells and tissues. Recent work also includes investigating the motor proteins responsible for pumping the heart and characterizing drugs and disease-causing mutations that affect cardiac contractility.

“It is especially nice to be recognized for our basic science approach,” Ostap says. “It is wonderful to work in an environment here at Penn that appreciates that molecular details matter when trying to understand normal and abnormal physiology. Many thanks to my lab colleagues and collaborators.”

The AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and includes more than 250 affiliated societies and academies of science. Founded in 1848, the AAAS has maintained the tradition of naming Fellows since 1874. This year members were awarded this honor, nominated either through the steering groups of the association’s 24 sections, or by current AAAS members or the AAAS chief executive officer. Members are considered for the esteemed Fellows title if they have had continuous involvement with the organization for four years. 

The AAAS Fellows will be formally announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science on November 27, followed by a virtual induction ceremony for the new Fellows on February 13, 2021.