Two Yale faculty members have been named MacArthur Foundation Fellows for 2009, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced. Mary Tinetti, M.D., the Gladys Phillips Crofoot Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology and Public Health and Richard O. Prum, the William Robertson Coe Professor of Ornithology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology will each receive a five-year, $500,000 "genius" grant to spend as they see fit.
"Mary Tinetti and Rick Prum exemplify what the MacArthur Grants are all aboutextraordinary creativity, energy and a commitment to research," said Yale President Richard C. Levin. "Mary's work on fall prevention not only improves the health of the elderly, but has led to millions of dollars in reduced healthcare costs. Rick's restless intelligence has led him to show some dinosaurs may have had colored feathers and to explore the physics of structural color found in nature. We are all eager to see what other insights their MacArthur Grants will inspire."
The foundation supports individuals who have exhibited exceptional creativity in their careers.
Tinetti, who is director of the Yale Program on Aging, has devoted much of her research to fall prevention for the elderly. She was the first investigator to show that older adults at risk for falling and injury could be identified, that falls and injuries were associated with a range of serious adverse outcomes, and that multifaceted risk-reduction strategies were both effective and cost-effective. She is involved in efforts to translate these research findings into clinical and public health practice.
"Falling doesn't have to be an inevitable part of aging because it is preventable," said Tinetti who has been on the faculty at Yale School of Medicine since 1984.
Tinetti has also investigated and published extensively on functional disability and mobility impairment. Her most recent research focus is on clinical decision-making in the face o
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