Two Rollins Faculty Elected to American Association for the Advancement of Science

April 18, 2024


By Kelly Jordan

Earlier today, Amita Manatunga, PhD, and Kathryn Yount, PhD, were elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals. They are among 502 new inductees this year, including 10 faculty selected across Emory University.  

Induction into AAAS is a career highlight honoring scientists, engineers, and innovators who have made significant advancements to their fields. New members are nominated for lifetime membership by steering committee members from their sections, by three current fellows, or by the CEO of AAAS. 

“Amita Manatunga and Kathryn Yount are outstanding researchers and colleagues who have dedicated their careers to making the world better,” says M. Daniele Fallin, PhD, dean of the Rollins School of Public Health. “I could not be more thrilled to see them recognized in this way for their long-standing contributions to public health.” 

About the Fellows 

Amita Manatunga

Amita Manatunga

Manatunga is the Donna Jean Brogan Professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at Rollins. She has dedicated her career to making impactful contributions to the field of biostatistics, primarily to advance statistical methodology developments for addressing pressing public health challenges, but also to promote biomedical scientific investigations. Her methodological research interests include statistical methods for analysis of multivariate survival outcomes, studies of agreement and reproducibility, analysis of functional data, and model developments for prediction. 

Her collaborative contributions have focused on design and analyses of randomized clinical trials in biomedical sciences, mental health studies, renal image interpretations in nuclear medicine, and reproductive epidemiology. She has extensively published in biostatistics, biomedical sciences, and has served as a principal investigator on multiple grants funded from by the National Institutes of Health. 

Over the years, Manatunga has received many recognitions for her contributions to research, teaching, mentoring colleagues and students, and professional service. She received one of the most prestigious awards in statistics, the Elizabeth L. Scott award and lectureship in 2020 from the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies. She is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, and recently received the 2023 Janet L. Norwood award, given for outstanding achievement by a woman in the statistical sciences. She is currently serving a three-year term as chair of the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies. 

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be selected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. This is a tremendous recognition of my biostatistical research work and my service to the profession,” says Manatunga. “I also want to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to my nominators and the selection committee of AAAS, and to acknowledge my family, and colleagues in the department,the school, and the university, for their continuous support throughout my career.” 

Kathryn Yount 

Kathryn Yount

Yount is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Global Health and professor of global health and sociology at the Rollins School of Public Health and the Emory College of Arts and Sciences. Her research centers on the social determinants of women’s health, including mixed-methods evaluations of social norms and empowerment-based programs to reduce gender-based violence and health disparities in underserved populations. She has been funded continuously since 2002 from U.S. federal agencies, private foundations, and foreign agencies to work in parts of Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and underserved communities in Atlanta. These partnerships have culminated in more than 300 publications in the social sciences and global health. 

“I was deeply honored that such esteemed scholars placed their confidence in me to serve as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science,” says Yount. “I am thrilled to represent Emory in this capacity and to serve the AAAS in pursuit of its mission: to advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all.”