Title: Asa G. Candler Professor Emeritus
Company: Emory University
Location: Portland, Oregon, United States
Professor Shozo Yokoyama, PhD, Asa G. Candler Professor Emerita at Emory University, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Scientists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in biology.
Dr. Yokoyama had envisioned himself becoming a scientist and researcher since his youth. In his native Japan, he earned a Bachelor of Science in plant breeding from Miyazaki University in 1968 and a Master of Science in plant breeding from Kyu Shu University in 1971. Upon his arrival to the United States to further his studies, he achieved a Doctor of Philosophy in biomathematics from the University of Washington in 1977. Today, Dr. Yokoyama’s areas of research include genetics, cells and developmental biology, as well as population biology, evolution and ecology.
In his first professional role, Dr. Yokoyama served as an assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis from 1978 to 1987. From there, he took on the role of associate professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Champaign, Illinois, excelling from 1987 to 1991. Dr. Yokoyama then brought his expertise to Syracuse University, where he has been a professor from 1991 to 2001 and a distinguished professor from 2002 to 2003. Most recently, he has flourished in his role as the Asa G. Candler Professor at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia for a notable 16 years, from 2003 to 2019.
Reflecting on his career trajectory, Dr. Yokoyama recalls a highlight was being one of the first scientists that began studying natural selection by way of experimentation. He looked at DNA sequences and compared them to selection in the most popular way. However, he wanted to do a more experimental approach, so he made the switch from statistical analysis to more hands-on laboratory work. He attributes his successes to the constant inspiration and influence of his mentors, Dr. Nei, Dr. Felenstein and Dr. Yao, who were also all scientists.
As a scientist and researcher during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Yokoyama has collaborated with a colleague from Saudi Arabia based on the coronavirus in sequence analysis. Putting an emphasis on conducting experiments in his work, he is critical of other researchers who argue certain advancements without running experiments. With this sentiment, his advice to aspiring scientists is to doubt many things, devise a method and develop an approach to solve problems. To attest to his legacy, Dr. Yokoyama can also be found in the 65th edition of Who’s Who in America.
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