Press Release

23 Nov 2015

Van Andel Research Institute professor elected as an AAAS Fellow

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Nov. 23, 2015)—Van Andel Research Institute’s Gerd Pfeifer, Ph.D., has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Gerd Pfeifer, Ph.D.

Gerd Pfeifer, Ph.D.

Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers in recognition of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and is the publisher of the prestigious journal Science. With Pfeifer’s election, the Institute is now home to three AAAS Fellows.

Pfeifer, a professor in the Institute’s Center for Epigenetics, was elected for his distinguished contributions to the understanding of molecular mechanisms that are involved in the formation of genetic and epigenetic changes in the human genome.  These changes can be key players in the development of cancer and other diseases and provide new targets for the development of new and better therapies.

“We are absolutely thrilled that Dr. Pfeifer’s exceptional work is being recognized by his peers through his election as an AAAS Fellow,” said Peter Jones, Ph.D., D.Sc., the Institute’s research director. “He has contributed greatly to the field’s understanding of the epigenetic mechanisms that underlie cancer. His work truly has had, and will continue to have, a significant impact on science.”

Pfeifer is one of 347 AAAS members who received the honor this year, a tradition that began in 1874. New Fellows will be honored at a special ceremony Feb. 13, 2016, during the 2016 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.


Van Andel Institute (VAI) is an independent nonprofit biomedical research and science education organization committed to improving the health and enhancing the lives of current and future generations. Established by Jay and Betty Van Andel in 1996 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, VAI has grown into a premier research and educational institution that supports the work of more than 330 scientists, educators and staff. Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), VAI’s research division, is dedicated to determining the epigenetic, genetic, molecular and cellular origins of cancer, Parkinson’s and other diseases and translating those findings into effective therapies. The Institute’s scientists work in onsite laboratories and participate in collaborative partnerships that span the globe. 100% To Research, Discovery & Hope®

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