2006 Bios

Eva Brann (PhD 1956, Classics) has inspired students at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, known for its distinctive "great books" curriculum, since 1957, serving as dean from 1990-97. Brann graduated from Brooklyn College and later earned her master's degree in classics and doctorate in archaeology at Yale University. At St. John's College she became a tutor, exploring fundamental questions of philosophy in great depth; the primary focus of her career has been writing, teaching and service to her college. Brann's latest book is Open Secrets / Inward Prospects: Reflections on World and Soul (2004). She is author of Homeric Moments: Clues to Delight in Reading the Odyssey and the Iliad (2002), The Music of The Republic: Essays on Socrates' Conversations and Plato's Writings (2004), The World of the Imagination (1992), What Then, Is Time? (1999), The Ways of Naysaying: No, Not, Nothing, and Nonbeing (2001) and other books. In 2005, she was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Medal.


Richard Brodhead (BA 1968, PhD 1972, English) became the ninth president of Duke University in 2004 after 40 years at Yale, first as a brilliant student, then as a beloved professor and an extraordinarily effective administrator. He earned his B.A. summa cum laude with exceptional distinction in English and completed his Ph.D. only four years later. In 1979 he received the William Clyde DeVane Medal for Outstanding Scholarship and Teaching from the Yale Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. In 1990 he was named the Bird White Housum Professor of English, and in 1995, the A. Bartlett Giamatti Professor of English. He chaired the English Department for five years before being appointed dean of Yale College in 1993.  Author or editor of more than a dozen books on Hawthorne, Melville, Faulkner and other American writers, Brodhead is considered one of the leading scholars of American literature of his generation. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and serves on the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and the board of the Carnegie Corporation.


Mimi Gardner Gates (PhD 1981, History of Art). Although the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) has some 23,000 objects in its collections, Mimi Gates has been called the museum's single "greatest treasure." During her tenure as director of SAM, she has significantly added to the collections, dramatically increased attendance, made the museum a national art destination and launched a major expansion- the Olympic Sculpture Park, an eight-acre site on Seattle's waterfront-that will open in 2007.  She was curator of Asian Art at Yale, 1975-1986, and director of the Yale University Art Gallery, 1987-1994, before becoming leaving Connecticut for Washington. At Yale and in Seattle, she undertook serious re-examination and expansion of the collections, improved conservation and security, and developed educational and social roles for the museum in the community. Gates majored in art history at Stanford, then earned a certificate, with honors, in Chinese language and culture from the École Nationale des Langues Orientales Vivantes in Paris. She pursued her master's at the University of Iowa and completed the Ph.D. in art history at Yale.


Lewis E. Kay (PhD 1988, Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry) is professor of medical genetics, biochemistry and chemistry at the University of Toronto. An innovator in the field of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), he has a rare understanding of both spin quantum mechanics and the capabilities of the instrumentation. His research involves a new technique for identifying the biochemical constituents of complex proteins-those with molecular weights too high to be analyzed by conventional methods. Because these molecules are folded in complicated and overlapping ways, it had been impossible to determine their structure until Kay figured out how to label selected parts of the molecule, so that the complete shape could be identified indirectly. Kay earned his undergraduate degree in biochemistry in 1988 with first class honors from the University of Alberta in Canada. After earning his Ph.D. from Yale, he was a post-doctoral fellow at the NIH for three years, before joining the faculty of the University of Toronto. His current title is Canada Research Chair in Proteomics, Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics.


Richard Young (PhD 1979, Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry) is a leader in the study of gene transcription, the process by which cells read and interpret the genetic instructions embedded in DNA. He has helped develop new technologies, including DNA arrays and state-of-the-art genomic tools, and used them to study infectious diseases and map the circuitry of living cells. He has developed novel candidates for an AIDS vaccine and new approaches to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis and other bacterial and viral pathogens. He served on the IMMLEP Steering Committee (WHO's Program for Immunology of Leprosy), and chaired the Molecular Biology Subcommittee. He has was director of the National Cooperative Vaccine Development Group for AIDS, chaired the National Institute for General Medical Sciences' "Visions of the Future" workshop and worked on the "Future of Genomics" for the National Human Genome Research Institute. Young earned his bachelor's degree from Indiana University, and, after Yale, was a postdoctoral fellow at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research and then at Stanford, before joining the faculty at MIT in 1984, where he is professor of biology and a member of the Whitehead Institute.