C-Path Board Member Paula Olsiewski Honored as AAAS 2018 Elected Fellow

Paula Olsiewski, Ph.D., program director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Critical Path Institute board member, was named a 2018 Fellow in the Section on Chemistry by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers, and is presented to individuals for “extraordinary achievements in advancing science.” Olsiewski is being honored “For excellence and leadership in industry, government, and philanthropy by directing commercialization of in vitro diagnostic products. Biotech initiatives, and science research programs.”

This year, 416 members have been awarded this honor because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Olsiewski and other new Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and the AAAS Fellows’ gold and blue rosette pin, on Feb. 16 during a Fellows Forum at the 2019 AAAS annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Olsiewski is a pioneering leader in policy and scientific research programs in biosecurity, synthetic biology, microbiology, and chemistry. Her ability to connect talented individuals with emerging science and technologies to inspire, accelerate, and produce positive and lasting impact has been a constant throughout her career.

As program director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Paula has led innovative and multidisciplinary programs since joining the organization in 2000. Her accomplishments include the creation and direction of the Microbiology of the Built Environment (MoBE) and Chemistry of Indoor Environments (CIE) programs. Prior responsibilities at Sloan include leadership of the biosecurity and synthetic biology programs which established the foundation for numerous present-day academic, industry, and governmental collaborations.

Olsiewski is a leading expert in biosecurity as well as research oversight, serving as a member of the executive committee of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Board of Scientific Counselors, where she chairs the Homeland Security Research Subcommittee.

She received a Bachelor of Science in chemistry, graduating cum laude, from Yale College and a doctorate in biological chemistry from MIT. Olsiewski was deeply involved with MIT’s Initiative for Faculty Race and Diversity Advisory Committee and she continues to be an advocate for diversity and ongoing supporter of MIT Women in Chemistry.

Olsiewski and the other new Fellows represent a broad swath of scientific disciplines. They were selected for diverse accomplishments that include pioneering research, leadership within their field, teaching and mentoring, fostering collaborations and advancing public understanding of science.

AAAS’ annual tradition of recognizing leading scientists as Fellows dates to 1874. The full list of 2018 Fellows will also be published in the Nov. 29 issue of Science.

Read more about the honor and view a list of all of the new Fellows in the AAAS press release.