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American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Research Competitiveness Program

Research Interests



Rieko Yajima is currently Associate Director of the Research Competitiveness Program at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington, D.C.. She leads teams of national experts advising states and institutions on strategies for developing stronger capacity for research and innovation. She has organized symposia on emerging interdisciplinary topics for national scientific meetings including the science of delicious food and research collaborations at the intersection of science, engineering, art, and design, which have been covered by the Associated Press and In particular, her interests are to investigate how Design Thinking Paradigms can catalyze innovation in scientific research and discovery Rieko has a Ph.D. in chemical biology from The Pennsylvania State University, where her research on the chemistry and structure of RNA enzymes received several distinctions including funding by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada. During that time, she was also selected as a Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Topics Engaged In

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