American Philosophical Society
Member History

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International (1)
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2. Biological Sciences[X]
1Name:  Dr. Jack E. Dixon
 Institution:  University of California, San Diego
 Year Elected:  2010
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  201. Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1943
   
 
Jack E. Dixon is a leading American biochemist, born in Nashville, Tennessee on June 16, 1943. He is currently Professor of Pharmacology, Cellular & Molecular Medicine, and Chemistry & Biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego. He also served as Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer from 2007 to 2013. Dixon's laboratory has pioneered the study of protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPases), the enzymes that remove phosphate from proteins. His work on the catalytic mechanism of these enzymes included the demonstration that they function via a novel cysteine-phosphate intermediate. In an unexpected development, Dixon also showed that the bacterium responsible for the plague or "black death", Yersinia pestis, harbors the most active PTPase ever described. Dixon, in collaboration with Stanley Falkow, went on to demonstrate that this PTPase is essential for pathogenesis. In fact, this PTPase functions as a "lethal weapon" which is "injected" into mammalian cells to block the immune response. This was the first conclusive demonstration of a widely used strategy for pathogenic bacteria to disarm the host immune system. Dixon's interest in phosphatases led his laboratory to determine the function of the tumor suppressor protein, PTEN, which shares sequence identity with the PTPases. Although most PTPases function to dephosphorylate phosphoproteins, PTEN dephosphorylates a lipid, phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-triphosphate (PIP33). The loss of the PTEN gene elevates PIP3 levels causing cells to survive and become oncogenic. The insightful determination of how PTEN functions has radically altered thinking about this tumor suppressor gene. Jack Dixon has received numerous awards including the Michigan Scientist of the Year, the William Rose and Merck Award from the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Jack Dixon is married to Claudia M. Kent, a retired professor of Biological Chemistry. Dr. Kent is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
 
2Name:  Dr. Jean-Michel Dubernard
 Institution:  Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1; E. Herriot Hospital; French National Authority for Health (Haute Autorité de Santé)
 Year Elected:  2010
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  204. Medicine, Surgery, Pathology and Immunology
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1941
   
 
Jean-Michel Dubernard is a surgeon in the Department of Urology and Transplantation Surgery at E. Herriot Hospital in Lyon. He is also a former Deputy Mayor of Lyon and a former member of the French National Assembly. Dr. Dubernard attended medical school in Lyon. He then served as a Research Fellow with Joseph Murray at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (1965-1967) in Boston. Dr. Dubernard received his Docteur en Medecine from Lyon University in 1967. He subsequently received his Docteur en Biologie Humaine in Transplantation Immunology in 1971. As a surgeon, Dr. Dubernard is an important pioneer. His research interests continue to lie in experimental surgery, clinical transplantation (especially renal transplantation in children), medical technology, general urology, renal and pancreatic lithotripsy, endoscopy of the upper urinary tract investigations of male impotence, vascular surgery and microsurgery. In 1998 he led the international team that performed the world’s first modern hand-forearm transplant and in 2005 Dr. Dubernard's team performed the world’s first partial face transplant. Dr. Dubernard is the President of the International Hand and Composite Tissue Allografts, as well as the Founder and President of the European College of Transplantation. Since 1980 he has been a member of the European Society for Organ Transplantation’s Founding Council. Dr. Dubernard was President of the International Microsurgical Society (1984-1986), President of the Société Française de Transplantation (1991-1994), and President of the International Pancreatic and Islet Transplant Association (1996-1997). His work has more than 400 scientific references in the form of articles, chapters of books, books, and films. In 2008 Dr. Dubernard received the Medawar Prize, the highest award of the International Transplantation Society.
 
3Name:  Dr. Fred H. Gage
 Institution:  Salk Institute for Biological Studies
 Year Elected:  2010
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  208. Plant Sciences
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1950
   
 
Fred H. Gage received his Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University in 1976. He is president and professor in the Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and Vi and John Adler Chair for Research on Age-Related Neurodegenerative Diseases. In January 2019 the the Board of Trustees of the Salk Institute coted to extend his term as President through 2024. Gage's work concentrates on the adult central nervous system and unexpected plasticity and adaptability to environmental stimulation that remains throughout the life of all mammals. His work may lead to methods of replacing or enhancing brain and spinal cord tissues lost or damaged due to Neurodegenerative disease or trauma. Gage's lab showed that, contrary to accepted dogma, human beings are capable of growing new nerve cells throughout life. Small populations of immature nerve cells are found in the adult mammalian brain, a process called Neurogenesis. Gage is working to understand how these cells can be induced to become mature functioning nerve cells in the adult brain and spinal cord. They showed that environmental enrichment and physical exercise can enhance the growth of new brain cells and they are studying the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms that may be harnessed to repair the aged and damaged brain and spinal cord. Several of his numerous prizes and awards include the IPSEN Prize for Neuroplasticity, the Charles A. Dana Award, Metropolitan Life Research Award, the Keio Medical Science Prize, and the ARCS Scientist of the Year award. He is President of the International Society for Stem Cell Research. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; an Associate Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization. He was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2010.
 
4Name:  Dr. Philip D. Gingerich
 Institution:  University of Michigan
 Year Elected:  2010
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  203. Evolution & Ecology, Systematics, Population Genetics, Paleontology, and Physical Anthropology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1946
   
 
Philip Gingerich is Ermine Cowles Case Professor of Paleontology and Professor of Geological Sciences, Biology, and Anthropology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Gingerich received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1974 and joined the University of Michigan faculty the same year. He has been director of the University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology since 1981. Dr. Gingerich studies evolutionary history in the context of environmental change, focusing on the Paleocene-Eocene transition 55 million years ago, the diversification of primates, and the evolution of whales from land to sea. He has directed more than 50 empirical field expeditions in Egypt, Pakistan, and Wyoming. His Egyptian study area at Wadi Hitan is now a UNESCO world heritage site. Dr. Gingerich developed methods for quantifying and comparing evolutionary rates, unifying our understanding that evolution is fast and populations change rapidly in response to natural selection. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2001), recipient of the André Dumont Medal of the Belgian Geological Society (2005), the recipient of the Romer-Simpson Medal of the Societ of Vertebrate Paleontology (2012), and was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2010.
 
5Name:  Dr. B. Rosemary Grant
 Institution:  Princeton University
 Year Elected:  2010
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  203. Evolution & Ecology, Systematics, Population Genetics, Paleontology, and Physical Anthropology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1936
   
 
Rosemary Grant is interested in the Darwinian problem of explaining how new species arise. In 1973 she and her husband Peter began a long-term and continuing study of the adaptive radiation of Darwin’s finches on the Galápagos Islands. Her research combines studies of archipelago-wide patterns of evolution with detailed investigations of ecological, behavioral and genetic mechanisms of change on the two islands of Genovesa and Daphne. This work has been published in numerous scientific papers and two books, the most recent being How and Why Species Multiply (Princeton University Press 2008). Rosemary Grant was initially trained at the University of Edinburgh, received a PhD from Uppsala University in Sweden, and was Senior Research Scholar with rank of Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at Princeton University. She is now emeritus. She has also shared numerous awards with her husband, fellow evolutionary ecologist Peter Grant. These include the Academy of Natural Science's Leidy Medal (1994), the E.O. Wilson Prize of the American Society of Naturalists (1998), the Darwin Medal for Evolutionary Biology (2003), the A.I.B.S. Outstanding Scientist Award (2005), the Balzan Prize in Population Biology (2005), the Linnean Society of London's Darwin-Wallace Medal (2008), the Kyoto Prize from the Inamori Foundation (2009), the Royal Medal in Biology from the Royal Society of London (2017), and the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award (2017).
 
6Name:  Dr. Gregory A. Petsko
 Institution:  Harvard Medical School
 Year Elected:  2010
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  206. Physiology, Biophysics, and Pharmacology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1948
   
 
The research interests of Professor Petsko have always centered upon the structural basis of biochemical properties. His approach is to bring a chemical perspective to bear on problems in biochemistry, structural biology, cell biology, and human health. His primary research tools are: protein X-ray crystallography, molecular dynamics, site-directed mutagenesis and, more recently, yeast genetics. These tools are applied to diverse biochemical problems such as: the structural origins of enzyme catalytic power; the functional role of protein flexibility; the biochemistry and genetics of the quiescent state of the eukaryotic cell, using yeast as a model organism, and the causes and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease. Dr. Petsko graduated Summa Cum Laude from Princeton University in 1970, and received a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, where he completed his doctoral research in 1973 under the direction of Sir David C. Phillips. After a brief postdoctoral sojourn in Paris with Prof. Pierre Douzou, he was an Instructor and Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at Wayne State University School of Medicine from 1973 through 1978, where he twice received a Faculty Research Award. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology he served as an Associate Professor of Chemistry from 1978 through 1985 and Professor of Chemistry from 1985 through 1989. In 1990 he was appointed the Lucille P. Markey Professor in Biochemisty and Chemisty at Brandeis University. From 1994 to 2006 he served as the Director of the Rosenstiel Basic Medical Sciences Research Center, at Brandeis Unviersity; and in 1996 has held the title of Gyula and Katica Tauber Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacodynamics, succeeding Prof. William P. Jencks, the first holder of this chair. He served as Chair of the Biochemistry Department at Brandeis 2008 to 2011. In 2014 he accepted the position of Arthur J. Mahon Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. Although directing a Center with 16 faculty and 200 staff occupied a considerable chunk of his time, Prof. Petsko always carried a full teaching load, and is proud of having taught freshman chemistry continuously, with only time off for sabbaticals, for almost 25 years. He also teaches critical thinking, protein crystallography, and the history of the detective story. His courses are consistently among the highest rated in the University. He has received numerous awards, including the Sidhu Award of the American Crystallographic Association for outstanding contributions to X-ray diffraction, the Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry of the American Chemical Society in 1986, and an Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award in 1989. In 1991 he was awarded the Max Planck Prize, which he shared with Professor Roger Goody of Heidelberg for their work on the origins of some human cancers. In 1995 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and received a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2001 he was awarded the Lynen Medal (shared with Professor Janet Thornton), and was elected to the Institute of Medicine. In 2002, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2004 he shared an award from the McKnight Endowment for Neuroscience with his Brandeis colleague, Professor Dagmar Ringe. He and Prof. Ringe also shared the Abram Sachar Medallion from the Brandeis University National Women's Committee in 2006. Prof. Petsko is the first man ever to receive this award, which he says means he at last may be getting in touch with his feminine side. Professor Petsko's research interests are the determination of protein three-dimensional structure and the relationship of that structure to biological function. Most of his work has been, and continues to be, done in collaboration with his friend and Brandeis colleague Prof. Dagmar Ringe. The tools he uses include X-ray crystallography, proteinengineering, yeast genetics and computational biophysics. He is currently focusing on several specific problems: enzymatic catalysis of hydrogen ion transfer, the role of metal ions in bridged bimetallic enzymes and the relationship of protein flexibility to protein function. In the Fall of 1995, his research activities expanded when he did a year's sabbatical work in yeast genetics in the laboratory of Professor Ira Herskowitz at UCSF. As a result, Prof. Petsko now has a budding yeast genetics program (pun intended), which is concerned with the biology of the quiescent state of the eukaryotic cell. In 2003, he and Prof. Ringe expanded the scope of their program yet again, this time in the direction of translational research aimed at curing human disease. They co-founded the new field of Structural Neurology, in which the tools of structure-based drug discovery are applied to find new treatments for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Diseases, and Lewy Body Disease. To facilitate this work, they both accepted adjunct appointments as Professors of Neurology at the Brigham and Women's Hospital of Harvard Medical School. Dr. Petsko is a co-founder of ArQule, Inc. of Woburn Massachusetts, one of the world's leading companies in combinatorial chemistry, and serves on the boards of several other biotechnology companies, including Ironwood Pharmaceuticals and Amicus Therapeutics. He is a member of both the Scientific Review Board and the Medical Advisory Board of the Howard Hughes Medical Institutes. In 2007 he was elected President of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, which, at over 12,000 members, is one of the largest scientific societies in the United States. From 1988 through 2003 Dr. Petsko was Executive Editor for the journal Protein Engineering, which he co-founded. For the past ten years he has written a monthly opinion column in the journal Genome Biology that is widely read and reprinted. Dr. Petsko describes himself as overweight, out of shape and frequently grouchy, opinions that are not upheld by peer review. Besides his family, teaching and his work, he says there are only a few things that he really loves: dogs; hiking through deserts, mountains and rain forests; good writing, single-malt Scotch, and high-performance cars (he usually drives, however, a Jeep - something about Brandeis salaries). Though excited about his new research directions in yeast cell biology and neurodegenerative diseases, Dr. Petsko swears that his first love remains mechanistic enzymology. He also states that his greatest accomplishment is, and always will be, the more than 100 graduate students and postdocs that he has helped to train, a list that includes five Howard Hughes Investigators, two members of the National Academy of Sciences, and the second woman ever to head a Max-Planck Institute in Germany.
 
Election Year
2010[X]