CNS Alumni & Community

Alumni Spotlight

Photo of Pierre Bushel '84

2015 Distinguished Alumni Award: Pierre Bushel '84

Pierre R. Bushel ’84 has made an exemplary career out of extracting raw data from the genome, analyzing it with computational algorithms and using the information to shed light on how toxicants and other environmental stressors affect human genes and diseases such as cancer.

A staff scientist in the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Branch of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (part of the National Institutes of Health) and head of its Microarray and Genome Informatics group, Bushel’s primary research interests are in toxicogenomics—using statistical methodologies, bioinformatics and computational biology to better understand how the environment can affect biological systems down to the genetic level—and identifying the potentially useful properties of combinations of possible cancer therapeutics.

His honors include a Yerby visiting assistant professorship at Harvard School of Public Health, with dual appointments in the Department of Biostatistics and the Department of Environmental Health. He has earned the National Institute of Health’s Award of Merit four times as well as the National Institute of Health Director’s Award, the highest recognition bestowed to an employee by the agency. He has published more than 80 peer-reviewed research papers, co-authored chapters in five books in his field, and founded the Toxicogenomics Integrated with Environmental Sciences international conference. He serves as an associate editor and an advisory board member for two scientific journals.

Bushel was graduated from UMass Amherst with a bachelor’s degree in zoology. While at UMass Amherst, he participated in the Committee for the Collegiate Education of Black and other Minority Students (CCEBMS) to encourage, mentor and advise underrepresented minorities who were majoring in the biological sciences or who were pre-med. He also was a member of the Theta Iota chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi (KAY) Fraternity Inc. and a charter member of KAY’s Nu Tau and Queens Alumni chapters. As a member, he participated in various community service projects such as outreach to children in day care, foster children and teenage boys.

He also holds a master’s degree from Long Island University-Brooklyn in molecular and cellular biology and a doctorate in bioinformatics from North Carolina State University.

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