U of T Celebrates

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Brenda Andrews
(photo by Jovana Drinjakovic)

Brenda Andrews elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences

May 14, 2020

University Professor Brenda Andrews has been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences – one of the highest honours awarded to a scientist worldwide.

Andrews is the Charles H. Best Chair of Medical Research in U of T’s Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research and a professor in the department of molecular genetics in the Faculty of Medicine. She was recognized for her “outstanding contributions to functional genomics,” a field that seeks to reveal how genes and other cellular components operate on a systems level.

With her long-term collaborator Charles Boone, also a professor of molecular genetics in the Donnelly Centre, Andrews pioneered automated large-scale genetic studies in yeast cells. This led to the first global view for any cell type of how its genes and their protein products cooperate to sustain cellular function.

Her lab was also among the first to develop AI-powered computer vision tools for the automated analysis of cell microscopy images, accelerating advances in the field of cell biology.

Under Andrews' leadership, the Donnelly Centre has become internationally recognized as a leading biomedical research hub. The former chair of U of T’s Banting & Best Department of Medical Research and Department of Medical Genetics, she also served as the inaugural director of the genetic networks program at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). An international member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Microbiology, she is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Companion of the Order of Canada.