David Brainard Appointed Associate Dean for the Natural Sciences


David Brainard, RRL Professor of Psychology, has been appointed Associate Dean for the Natural Sciences in the School of Arts and Sciences, effective January 1, 2019. He will oversee the School’s natural sciences, including the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Science, Linguistics, Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy, and Psychology, as well as the School’s research centers.

Brainard is an eminent cognitive neuroscientist whose research focuses on human vision, visual neuroscience, and computational modeling of visual processing. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society and the Association for Psychological Science. In 2013, he received the School’s highest teaching honor, the Ira H. Abrams Memorial Award. His Penn affiliations include the Graduate Groups in Neuroscience and Bioengineering and the undergraduate Cognitive Science and Visual Studies programs.

“David brings to this important role a distinguished background as both a scholar and an academic leader,” says Steven J. Fluharty, Dean and Thomas S. Gates, Jr. Professor of Psychology, Pharmacology, and Neuroscience.

Brainard has served as Chair of the Department of Psychology and Director of the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science. He is a former Chair of the School of Arts and Sciences Personnel Committee and was a member of the 2008 faculty task force that recommended changes to the committee’s structure. Brainard is currently Director of Penn’s Vision Research Center, Co-Director of the Penn Computational Neuroscience Initiative, and a member of the Executive Committee of MindCORE, an interdisciplinary effort to understand human intelligence and behavior.

Brainard will succeed Larry Gladney, Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Professor for Faculty Excellence in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, who will become the inaugural Dean of Diversity and Faculty Development for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Yale.


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