Bill J. Yates is Professor of Otolaryngology, Neuroscience, and Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. His undergraduate and graduate studies in neuroscience were completed at the University of Florida, and in 1986 he relocated to Rockefeller University to pursue postdoctoral work under the mentorship of Victor Wilson. During his time as a postdoc, Yates became interested in the role of the vestibular system in maintaining postural stability and cardiovascular and respiratory homeostasis during postural alterations. Most of his career has been spent unraveling the contributions of the vestibular system to autonomic regulation. Yates's research activities are described on his laboratory website.
Yates was promoted to the rank of Assistant Professor at Rockefeller University in 1990, and in 1994 he relocated to the University of Pittsburgh. Alongside his research program, another focus of Yates's career has been research ethics, particularly related to the use of animals in biomedical research. He served as chair of the University of Pittsburgh's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), and since 2006 has codirected the University's Research Conduct and Compliance Office. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the research advocacy organization Americans for Medical Progress since 2010, and contributes blog entries to Speaking of Research, which provides information to the public regarding the need for animal use to achieve medical progress.
Yates has served on a variety of committees for the American Physiological Society (APS), including the Central Nervous System Section Steering Committee, the Committee on Committees, and the Animal Care and Experimentation Committee. He was chair of the Animal Care and Experimentation Committee from 2010-2012, and since 2010 has served as the APS representative on the Board of Trustees for the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International. He is currently a member of the APS Council. He also serves on the Ethics Committee of the International Union of Physiological Sciences. He organized symposia at the 2010 and 2012 Experimental Biology meetings related to advocacy for the use of animals in biomedical research and addressing the threats posed by the animal rights movement.
Yates served as neurophysiology section editor for Experimental Brain Research from 1996-2014, and he has also been an associate editor of Frontiers in Respiratory Physiology. He has coedited the books Vestibular Autonomic Regulation (CRC Press, 1996) and Regulatory Compliance (Elsevier, 2015). He has been a member of a variety of peer review committees for both the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including service as a chartered member of NIH's Sensorimotor Integration study section.
Yates's scientific communication skills are frequently tested in the classroom, where he teaches undergraduate, graduate, and medical students. He was awarded the University of Pittsburgh's highest teaching honor, the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award, in 2010.