Eric Wang, Senior Photographer

The Yale School of Medicine held the first-ever meeting of the school’s scientific advisory board in December, with faculty members presenting on topics such as scientific programs and research in neuroscience, data science and biomedical informatics.

The board brought together leading doctors and researchers from prestigious institutions and corporations around the nation. Nancy Brown, the Jean and David W. Wallace dean of the YSM and C.N.H. Long professor of internal medicine, commended the board members’ engagement and noted the valuable advice they provided on how to maximize the impact of the scientific work being done at the medical school. She emphasized that their advice will be taken into account in future decision-making and execution processes in YSM’s scientific efforts.

“We have been planning for the creation of a scientific advisory board for two years,” Brown wrote. “Seeking advice from experts as we make strategic investments in the research enterprise is best practice. It allows us to learn from the experience of others. It also helps to get the word out about all that we are doing.”

Some members of the board in attendance include Juanita L. Merchant, chief of the division of gastroenterology and research member of the cancer biology program at the University of Arizona, and Charles Sawyers, Marie-José and Henry R. Kravis chair in human oncology and pathogenesis at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Also present among the board’s lineup was YSM assistant professor and Cartesian Therapeutics co-founder and chief security officer Michael Singer, along with editor-in-chief of Science Holden Thorpe.  

By bringing together professionals from such a wide range of fields, the scientific advisory board was designed to synthesize a host of knowledge from a multitude of areas in science and medicine, according to Brown. 

“We selected members of the advisory board based on their excellence in science and their leadership experience,” Brown wrote. “We also sought to achieve scientific diversity and a diversity of experiences in academia, industry, and foundations.” 

The board will convene yearly, explained Brown, with different topics being highlighted for discussion during each meeting.

Furthermore, all board meetings will include discussions of new YSM initiatives, reviewing and improving upon pre-established programs and investigating interdisciplinary themes. 

“I’m assuming the committee will meet yearly to review the strategic plan that Dean Brown’s committee has developed,” Merchant wrote to the News.

Tenzin Dhondup ’26, a history of science, medicine and public health major on the pre-med track, said that the scientific advisory board had the potential to be incredibly beneficial not just for the STEM undergraduate experience at Yale, but for the humanities as well.

He said that having a similar board of students and professors within Yale College could provide comparable benefits to those looking to see changes in Yale’s undergraduate STEM experience, from courses offered to resources available for students interested in science or medicine.

“I think it would provide a really cool opportunity for students in STEM disciplines to come together to share what their hopes are for the future of science and medicine,” Dhondup said. “To expand upon the work of YSM’s scientific advisory board, we could involve both STEM and humanities undergraduates as there is a growing need for representation of humanities in medicine in areas of critical studies, sociology and even politics, to name a few.”

The Yale School of Medicine is located at 333 Cedar Street.


Alexandra Martinez-Garcia covers Community Health and Policy and the Yale-New Haven Health System for the SciTech desk. Originally from Gales Ferry, CT, she is a sophomore in Silliman College majoring in Neuroscience.