Jo Handelsman, professor of plant pathology, was one of two UW–Madison scholars recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The election recognizes the contributions to science and public affairs of the two University of Wisconsin–Madison professors. They are among more than 200 newly elected members, including journalist James Fallows of The Atlantic and former first lady Michelle Obama. The new class of members will be inducted at a ceremony in October in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Handelsman is a Vilas Research Professor of Plant Pathology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor and director of WID. Her research focuses on understanding diversity in microbial communities and the effect these microbiomes have on human health and soil environments. Handelsman earned her doctorate at UW–Madison and joined the faculty, eventually serving as chair of the Department of Bacteriology. Before returning to UW–Madison to direct WID, Handelsman served as a science advisor to President Barack Obama as the associate director for science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from 2014 to 2017.
American politics expert Katherine Cramer was the other UW–Madison scholar elected. Read more about her in this news release.