American Philosophical Society
Member History

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41Name:  Dr. Lonnie G. Thompson
 Institution:  Ohio State University
 Year Elected:  2006
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  105. Physical Earth Sciences
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1948
   
 
Lonnie G. Thompson is one of the world's foremost authorities on paleo-climatology and glaciology. He has led more than 50 expeditions during the last 30 years, conducting ice-core drilling programs in the world's polar regions as well as in tropical and subtropical ice fields. Recently, Dr. Thompson and his team developed lightweight solar-powered drilling equipment for the acquisition of histories from ice fields in the high Andes of Peru and on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The results of these histories, published in more that 180 articles, have contributed greatly toward the understanding of the Earth's past, present and future climate system. Other Thompson-led expeditions have recovered a 460-meter-long ice core, the world's longest from a mountain range (Alaska, 2002); the first tropic ice core (Peru, 1983); and cores containing the entire sequence of the Last Glacial Stage as well as cores dating over 750,000 years in age, the oldest outside the polar regions (Tibet, 1992). Dr. Thompson's research has resulted in major revisions in the field of paleoclimatology, in particular, by demonstrating how tropical regions have undergone significant climate variability, countering an earlier view that higher latitudes dominate climate change. Dr. Thompson has received numerous honors and awards. In 2005, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and was awarded the John and Alice Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. In 2019 he became a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been selected by Time magazine and CNN as one of "America's Best" in science and medicine. His research has been featured in hundreds of publications, including National Geographic and the National Geographic Adventure magazines. He and his team are the subject of a new book entitled: Thin Ice: Unlocking the Secrets of Climate in the World's Highest Mountains by Mark Bowen published in late 2005. In 2006, he was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society and was also chosen to receive the Roy Chapman Andrews Society 2007 Distinguished Explorer Award. He has received the nation's highest honor in science, the 2005 National Medal of Science, and the 2012 Franklin Medal from the Franklin Institute. Lonnie Thompson was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2006.
 
42Name:  Mr. Robert Venturi
 Institution:  Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, Inc.
 Year Elected:  2006
 Class:  5. The Arts, Professions, and Leaders in Public & Private Affairs
 Subdivision:  502. Physicians, Theologians, Lawyers, Jurists, Architects, and Members of Other Professions
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1925
 Death Date:  September 18, 2018
   
 
Robert Venturi, founding principal of Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates (VSBA), derived his reputation from both his architecture and theoretical and critical writings. In his most recent book, written with Denise Scott Brown, its publisher, Harvard University Press, refers to Mr. Venturi and Ms. Scott Brown's contributions as "(having) influenced architects worldwide for nearly half a century." Mr. Venturi's work includes a provincial capitol building of the Haute-Garonne in Toulouse, France; the Mielparque Nikko Kirifuri resort hotel near Nikko, Japan; the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery in London; additions to the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; the Seattle Art Museum; conceptual design of two high-rise offices in Shanghai; major expansions to Lehigh Valley Hospital; an extension to the Woodmere Art Museum; and a chapel for the Episcopal Academy near Philadelphia. VSBA has engaged in over 70 projects for over 30 institutions of higher learning, many involving repeat work, including labs for the University of Kentucky, Princeton, Penn, Michigan, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, and Yale; libraries at Dartmouth, Penn, Bard, and Harvard's Dumbarton Oaks; and campus centers for Princeton, Dartmouth, Penn, Delaware, Harvard, and Swarthmore. VSBA's architecture and planning are known for particular responsiveness to the client's program, schedule, and budget and to the building's context, accommodating a distinctive aesthetic for each project. Mr. Venturi's teaching, lecturing, and writing received widespread attention and critical review. "Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture" (Museum of Modern Art Press, 1966) has been translated and published in 18 languages, including a Samizdat edition in Czechoslovakian. It was honored with the AIA's Classic Book Award. Mr. Venturi's awards also included the Anne d'Harnoncourt Award for Artistic Excellence from the Arts & Business Council of Philadelphia (with Denise Scott Brown, 2010), the Pritzker Architecture Prize (1991) and the Presidential Medal of the Arts (1992). He, with Denise Scott Brown, was awarded the 2016 AIA Gold Medal. Robert Venturi died died September 18, 2018 in Philadelphia at the age of 93.
 
43Name:  Dr. Inder M. Verma
 Year Elected:  2006
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  209. Neurobiology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1947
   
 
Inder Verma has made many sustained contributions to biological sciences in the last 30 years. In 1972, while at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Verma carried out the first complementary DNA (cDNA) synthesis to eukaryotic messenger RNA using reverse transcriptase, which is one of the basic tenets of modern biotechnology. Starting in 1974 at The Salk Institute, Dr. Verma characterized the biochemical properties of the seminal enzyme, reverse transcriptase - a set of studies that are now in biology textbooks. In early 1980, Dr. Verma's laboratory began to study the molecular architecture of RNA tumor viruses. His laboratory determined the complete nucleotide sequence of the first transforming virus and identified the transforming gene. More importantly the sequence revealed the molecular mechanism of how normal cellular sequences (proto-oncogenes) can be acquired by seemingly innocuous viruses to become cancer genes (oncogenes). Dr. Verma's laboratory also discovered a new transforming gene, Fos, which turned out to be a transcriptional factor, essential for the induction of a wide variety of genes in response to a plethora of external signals. These studies established the principle that acquisition of cellular genes capable of transcription of other genes is an important mechanistic event to subvert the normal cellular transcriptional machinery. These studies were extended to novel transcription factors like NF-KB and their role in the neoplastic transformation of the cell. More recently Dr. Verma's laboratory has cleverly exploited the use of mouse genetics to pinpoint the role of many of these oncogenes/transcription factors in normal cellular growth, differentiation, and development. Dr. Verma's laboratory in 1983 developed the first viral delivery system to transfer therapeutic genes to cells and animals. Dr. Verma's laboratory laid the basis for the use of mouse RNA tumor viruses as delivery vehicle, which has become the mainstay of the field of gene therapy. Dr. Verma's laboratory over the last 15 years has continuously refined the use of viral vectors for successful gene delivery. His laboratory has shown that mice and dogs suffering from hemophilia (a clotting disorder) due to deficiency of factor IX gene product, can be cured by a single injection of viral vectors making factor IX gene product. These results have formed the basis of current clinical trials with hemophiliacs. In his quest for an efficient, safe, and versatile delivery system, Dr. Verma's laboratory has tamed the dreaded AIDS virus (HIV) to become an efficient and safe delivery vehicle. His pioneering work in this area has lead to the generation of a highly efficient and versatile gene delivery system to cure a wide variety of genetic diseases. Dr. Verma, though a basic scientist, has been an ardent supporter of translational research, "bench to bedside". He was a founder of one of the first gene therapy related biotech companies in the world, Cell Genesys. Presently he serves on the board of this company and chairs their scientific advisory board. Cell Genesys is presently embarking upon seven cancer related clinical trials, and is gearing up to treat hemophiliacs. Dr. Verma has been on the editorial boards of a number of international scientific journals, including serving as editor-in-chief of Molecular Therapy, a journal specializing in gene therapy. He is also handling editor for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA). Exploiting the knowledge in the area of signal transduction, Dr. Verma founded another biotech company, Signal Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (now CellGene) to try to identify small molecules capable of interfering with diseases like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation, etc. Dr. Verma firmly believes that a rational drug design based on the precise knowledge developed by working on model systems is the way of future molecular medicine. Because of his pioneering work in the biotechnology arena, Dr. Verma is on the scientific advisory boards of several biotech companies. More recently Dr. Verma has been helping a number of Indian information technology (IT) companies to enter the field of biotechnology to begin to mine enormous biological information. Dr. Verma has had a long-standing association with the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and has helped it to formulate its cherished goal of starting a biotechnology revolution in India. Dr. Verma's scientific contributions have been widely recognized by a number of honors, which include the American Cancer Society Professorship (lifetime), an Outstanding Investigator Award from the NIH, membership in the Third World Academy of Science, the National Academy of Science, India, the National Academy of Sciences (USA), the Institute of Medicine, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and an associate member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). Dr. Verma has also received numerous awards, including the 2008 Vilcek Foundation Prize, and invited lectureships at various national and international organizations. Dr. Verma combines the best of basic science with its applications to medicine. He has, by example and as a spokesman, championed the cause of biotechnology for the benefit of the common man. Dr. Verma strongly believes that the purpose of science in the long run is to improve the quality of life of humankind.
 
44Name:  Dr. John Wilmerding
 Institution:  Princeton University
 Year Elected:  2006
 Class:  4. Humanities
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1938
   
 
John Wilmerding is Sarofim Professor in American Art Emeritus in the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University, and former visiting curator in the Department of American Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He is chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, a trustee of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and a commissioner of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington. He was formerly Senior Curator of American Art and Deputy Director of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, where he organized the landmark exhibition "American Light: The Luminist Movement" in 1980. In 2002, he was reappointed by President George W. Bush to the Committee for the Preservation of the White House. Professor Wilmerding is the author of many books and catalogs on American art, including American Marine Painting, American Views, and The Artist's Mount Desert as well as studies of Robert Salmon, Fitz H. Lane, John F. Peto, Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, Richard Estes, Robert Indiana, and Tom Wesselmann. An exhibition of his collection, "American Masters from Bingham to Eakins", was held at the National Gallery of Art in 2004, at which time he announced the gift of the collection to the Gallery.
 
45Name:  Dr. Susan Wolf
 Institution:  University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
 Year Elected:  2006
 Class:  4. Humanities
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1952
   
 
Susan Wolf is the Edna J. Koury Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She received her B.A. in math and philosophy from Yale University in 1974 and her Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University in 1978. She taught at Harvard University, the University of Maryland, and Johns Hopkins University before joining the University of North Carolina faculty in 2002. She has held visiting fellowships at the Australian National University and the University College, Oxford, as well as the Visiting Belle van Zuylen Chair at the University of Utrecht. She has also held fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Association of University Women and the Guggenheim Foundation. Recently she received the Mellon Foundation's award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities. Dr. Wolf is the author of Freedom Within Reason (1990), a book on free will and moral responsibility, and has written numerous articles on ethics and the philosophy of mind. These include Morality and Partiality, Two Levels of Pluralism, Self-Interest and Interest in Selves, Moral Saints, and Asymmetrical Freedom. Her current research focuses on the relations among happiness, morality, and meaningfulness in life.
 
46Name:  Dr. Peter Guy Wolynes
 Institution:  Rice University
 Year Elected:  2006
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  102. Chemistry and Chemical Biochemistry
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1953
   
 
Peter G. Wolynes was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1953. He completed his undergraduate studies at Indiana University, receiving an A.B. degree in 1971. He then took up the study of statistical mechanics at Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D. in chemical physics in 1976. After a brief postdoctoral study with John Deutch at MIT, Dr. Wolynes returned to Harvard as an assistant professor in 1976. During the next four years at Harvard, Dr. Wolynes worked on the dynamical theory of electrolyte solutions, as well as on the then-nascent theoretical study of molecular dynamics of proteins. His early work on the theory of chemical reaction rates in condensed phases paved the way for the explosion of theoretical developments in this area throughout the 1980s. In 1980 Dr. Wolynes moved to the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he progressed to be the Eiszner Professor of Chemistry and a Center for Advanced Study Professor of Chemistry, Physics and Biophysics. During the years he spent at Illinois, Dr. Wolynes worked on a wide range of theoretical problems in chemical physics, including the theory of the glass transition and the development of new techniques for studying quantum dynamics in condensed phases. He developed, in 1981, the quantum mechanical version of Kramers' celebrated 1940 theory of chemical reaction rates in solution. In addition, Dr. Wolynes provided a new picture of how energy flows quantum mechanically in moderate-sized molecules. Dr. Wolynes' interest in applying statistical mechanics to biology grew while he was at Illinois. He introduced energy landscape ideas to the field of protein folding, providing a statistical mechanical framework to understand how a one-dimensional sequence of amino acids folds to its native structure on a biologically relevant time-scale. These ideas have led to what has been termed the "New View" of protein folding kinetics. Energy landscapes have also proved useful in developing algorithms to predict protein structure from sequence. Dr. Wolynes' scientific contributions have been acknowledged in many ways. He received the ACS Award in Pure Chemistry in 1986, the Fresenius Award in 1988, the Peter Debye Award for Physical Chemistry in 2000 and the Biological Physics Prize of the American Physical Society in 2004. Among other external appointments, he was the Hinshelwood lecturer at Oxford in 1997 and Fogarty Scholar-in-Residence at the National Institutes of Health starting in 1994. He was elected in 1991 to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and in 2003 was elected a Fellow of the Biophysical Society. In 2000 Dr. Wolynes moved to University of California, San Diego, where he held the Francis Crick Chair in the Physical Sciences. In addition to continuing his work on many body chemical physics and protein folding he is now studying stochastic aspects of cell biology. In 2011, Dr. Wolynes moved to Rice University in Texas where he is the D.R. Bullard-Welch Foundation Professor of Science.
 
47Name:  Dr. Pauline Yu
 Institution:  American Council of Learned Societies
 Year Elected:  2006
 Class:  4. Humanities
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1949
   
 
Pauline Yu, Former President of the American Council of Learned Societies, is a former Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures and Dean of Humanities in the College of Letters and Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. She received her B.A. in history and literature from Harvard University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in comparative literature from Stanford University. Dr. Yu is the author or editor of five books and dozens of articles on classical Chinese poetry, literary theory, comparative poetics, and issues in the humanities and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, ACLS, and NEH. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, she is on the Board of Trustees of the National Humanities Center, the Board of Overseers of Harvard University, the Board of Directors of the Teagle Foundation and the Senate of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. In addition, she is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Asian Cultural Council, the Board of Governors of the Hong Kong-America Center, and the Board of Trustees of the American Academy in Berlin. Dr. Yu is also an Adjunct Senior Research Scholar and Visiting Professor in East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University. She was awarded the MLA's William Riley Parker Prize in December 2007.
 
48Name:  Dr. Paul C. Zamecnik
 Institution:  Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School
 Year Elected:  2006
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  201. Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1912
 Death Date:  October 27, 2009
   
 
Paul Zamecnik is a senior scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Professor Emeritus at Harvard Medical School. He has been affiliated with both institutions for over fifty years and received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1936. Dr. Zamecnik's first great scientific contribution was elucidating important aspects of the biochemistry of protein synthesis. He showed that ATP is necessary for peptide bond formation, which therefore is not a reversal of proteolysis; in the cell free system, he devised the ribosome is the site of these reactions; and tRNAs translate sequences of DNA to protein. Early, he performed RNA sequencing that showed 3'-poly A in Rous sarcoma virus RNA, and a prior sequence identical to that at the 5' end, indicating circular structure. His second greatest contribution was the conception of competitive antisense nucleotides. These blocked virus replication by inhibition of translation. He demonstrated the antisense effect with hemoglobin protein synthesizing cells showing that this depends on the ability of deoxynucleotides to enter intact cells and on Watson-Crick base pairing. He has also applied the concept to medicine, targeting the tuberculosis bacterium and the defective cystic fibrosis gene. A three-time winner of the John Collins Warren Triennial Prize, (1946, 1950, 1999) as well as the Presidential Medal of Science (1991), the Lasker Award (1995) and the Institute of Virology's Lifetime Achievement Award (2004), Dr. Zamecnik was elected to the membership of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 1954, the National Academy of Sciences in 1968 and the American Philosophical Society in 2006.
 
49Name:  Dr. Larzer Ziff
 Institution:  Johns Hopkins University
 Year Elected:  2006
 Class:  4. Humanities
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1927
   
 
Larzer Ziff is the author of a number of books on American literary culture, has edited modern editions of major American authors, and contributed articles and reviews to a range of journals including Critical Inquiry, the TLS, the New Statesman, and the Raritan Review. He was the first person appointed to the English faculty of Oxford University (where he was a Fellow of Exeter College) for the purpose of institutionalizing the study of American literature, and he has lectured widely in universities in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The recipient of numerous fellowship awards, including a Guggenheim and a senior fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, he also won the Christian Gauss award for his book, The American 1890s, and is an elected member of the American Antiquarian Society, the Society of American Historians, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He has served as Graduate Chair of the English Department at Berkeley, and Chair of the English Department at Johns Hopkins. Presently Caroline Donovan Professor Emeritus at Johns Hopkins, he also holds the appointment of Research Professor. He divides his time between his homes in Baltimore and Western Massachusetts.
 
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