American Philosophical Society
Member History

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207. Genetics[X]
21Name:  Dr. Barbara McClintock
 Institution:  Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
 Year Elected:  1946
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1902
 Death Date:  9/2/92
   
22Name:  Dr. Victor A. McKusick
 Institution:  Johns Hopkins University
 Year Elected:  1975
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1921
 Death Date:  July 22, 2008
   
 
Victor A. McKusick, M.D. was a physician-scientist who is widely acknowledged as the father of genetic medicine. He was University Professor of Medical Genetics at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine until his death July 22, 2008. He received his M.D. from Johns Hopkins in 1946 and began his career by studying heart defects but rapidly developed an interest in the inherited components of disease. In 1957 he founded the Division of Medical Genetics at Johns Hopkins, and in 1966 he created the first edition of the genetic reference "Mendelian Inheritance in Man," a compilation of inherited disease genes that continues to grow. Both a scientist and a prominent clinician, Dr. McKusick was the William Osler Professor of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief of The Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1973-85. Over the course of his career, Dr. McKusick has led the world in searching for, identifying and mapping genes responsible for inherited conditions such as Marfan syndrome and dwarfism. His studies of genetic disorders in the Amish uncovered previously unrecognized inherited conditions and served as a model for studies in similar populations in other parts of the world. As early as 1969, he proposed mapping the human genome, a feat accomplished by two research teams. In 2002 Dr. McKusick was awarded the National Medal of Science, and he has received numerous other honors including the 2008 Japan Prize, the John Phillips Award of the American College of Physicians and membership in the National Academy of Sciences. In 1996 he was awarded the American Philosophical Society's Benjamin Franklin Medal for Distinguished Achievement in the Sciences. The citation read "in recognition of a great pioneer in the study of genetic diseases and in the development of human genetics as a clinical specialty, the author of many influential books and founding coeditor-in-chief of Genomics, and a distinguished leader of the human genome project." He had been elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1975 and served as the Society’s Vice President 1996 to 2002.
 
23Name:  Dr. Matthew S. Meselson
 Institution:  Harvard University
 Year Elected:  1981
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1930
   
 
A geneticist and molecular biologist, Matthew Meselson has conducted groundbreaking research that showed how DNA replicates, recombines and is repaired in cells. His brilliant Meselson-Stahl experiment (with Frank Stahl), in particular, showed that replication of the DNA molecule happens semi-conservatively. After receiving his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 1957 and working as a research fellow there, Dr. Meselson joined the Harvard University faculty in 1960. Currently he heads the Meselson Laboratory there, studying the evolutionary genetics of ancient asexuality, and serves as Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor of the Natural Sciences. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Meselson has also made influential studies of ecological damage in war and has been an active participant in weapons disarmament policy.
 
24Name:  Dr. Barbara J. Meyer
 Institution:  Howard Hughes Medical Institute; University of California, Berkeley
 Year Elected:  2014
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1949
   
 
Barbara J. Meyer is Professor of Genetics, Genomics, and Development at the University of California, Berkeley, and an Investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She received a Ph.D. at Harvard University and was an assistant and associate professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology prior to joining the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley. Barbara Meyer is a world leader in the field of chromosome structure and function. As a charter member of the community studying development of the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, she launched her elegant studies of sex determination and X-chromosome dosage compensation. Her work solved a fundamental mystery of developmental: how an organism counts the number of X chromosomes to determine sexual identity. These studies revealed mechanisms by which small quantitative differences in molecular signals dictate alternative developmental fates. Meyer further showed that molecular machines, co-opted from the ancient process of chromosome segregation, bind selectively to both X chromosomes of hermaphrodites to compact X chromosomes, repress transcription by half, and thereby equalize transcription with that from the male’s single X chromosome. Elements of the dosage compensation machinery also function in meiosis to regulate chromosome tethering and recombination along an entire chromosome. Meyer is a major participant in the development of heritable genome editing technologies that have expanded genetic studies beyond traditional model organisms and enabled evolutionary comparisons of diverse biological processes. Dr. Meyer is the recipient of the National Science Foundation Faculty Award for Women, 1985-87, MERIT Award of the National Institutes of Health, 1995-2005, and the Genetics Society of America Medal, 2010. Lshe was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 1995 and the National Academy of Sciences in 2000. Barbara Meyer was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2014.
 
25Name:  Dr. Beatrice Mintz
 Institution:  Fox Chase Cancer Center
 Year Elected:  1982
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1921
 Death Date:  January 3, 2022
   
 
Beatrice Mintz is Jack Schultz Chair in Basic Science at the Fox Chase Cancer Center's Institute for Cancer Research, where she has been a senior memeber since 1965. Among her many scientific accomplishments, she is credited with the development of techniques for fusing mouse embryos of different genetic strains and the analysis of development using such allophenic animals. Dr. Mintz has also managed to reverse the malignancy of cancer cells by introducing them into the blastocyst of a genetically different mouse strain, whereupon the cancer cells take part in normal development of tissues and, over multiple generations, show no reversion to malignancy. Dr. Mintz's current research focuses on melanoma. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, she has also taught biology at the University of Chicago and medical genetics at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1946.
 
26Name:  Dr. Arno G. Motulsky
 Institution:  University of Washington
 Year Elected:  2003
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1923
 Death Date:  January 17, 2018
   
 
Arno Motulsky received his M.D. from the University of Illinois in 1947. He joined the faculty of the University of Washington School of Medicine in 1953 and served as the head of the Division of Medical Genetics, director of the Genetics Clinic at the University Hospital, and director of the Center for Inherited Diseases. He was Professor of Medicine and Professor of Genetics Emeritus and associate director of the Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health at the University of Washington at the time of his death January 17, 2018, at the age of 94. Arno Motulsky was one of less than half-a-dozen innovators who established the subspecialty of medical genetics and helped bring genetics into the mainstream of clinical medicine beginning in the late 1950s. He had great influence in the field of medical genetics 1) through his students who include a Nobel laureate (Joseph Goldstein), 2) his pioneering research in a wide area including pharmacogenetics, blood disorders (particularly G6PD deficiency and hemoglobinopathies), hyperlipidemias, colorblindness, and Werner syndrome (he suggested its usefulness in the study of aging); and 3) through his textbooks which are now classics: Human Genetics: Problems and Approaches (with Vogel) and The Genetic Basis of Common Disease (with King and Rotter). Dr. Motulsky received several awards, including: the William Allan Memorial Award from the American Society of Human Genetics; the American College of Medical Genetics Foundation Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award; and the Victor McKusick Leadership Award from the American Society for Human Genetics. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and American Society of Human Genetics, serving as its president, 1977-78. He was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2003.
 
27Name:  Dr. James Van Gundia Neel
 Institution:  University of Michigan
 Year Elected:  1965
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1915
 Death Date:  February 1, 2000
   
28Name:  Dr. Maynard V. Olson
 Institution:  University of Washington
 Year Elected:  2005
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1945
   
 
Maynard Olson graduated from Caltech with a Bachelor's degree in chemistry and received his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Stanford University in 1970, where his thesis advisor was Henry Taube. After five years on the faculty of the Department of Chemistry at Dartmouth College, he changed his research emphasis to molecular genetics, working with Benjamin Hall in the Department of Genetics at the University of Washington. During that period, in the late 1970's, he participated in early applications of recombinant-DNA techniques to problems in yeast genetics; his research with Hall included the first sequencing of a mutant eukaryotic gene and one of the first applications of restriction-fragment length polymorphisms. In 1979, he moved to the Department of Genetics at Washington University in St. Louis, where he became a Professor of Genetics in 1986 and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 1989. At Washington University, he participated in the development of systematic approaches to the analysis of complex genomes, working both on the yeast and human genomes. This research included the development of new implementations of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, including field-inversion gel electrophoresis, determination of the first complete electrophoretic karyotype of a eukaryotic organism, the development of computer-based methods for the construction of whole-genome physical maps based on clone fingerprints, the development of the yeast-artificial-chromosome cloning system, and the introduction of STS-content mapping as an approach to the low-resolution physical mapping of mammalian genomes. In 1992, he was awarded the Genetics Society of America Medal for outstanding contributions to genetics during the previous 15 years. Later that year, he moved back to the University of Washington where he is now Professor of Medicine and Genome Sciences and Director of the University of Washington Genome Center. In 1994, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. In 2000, he received the City of Medicine Award for exceptional contributions to medicine in the public interest, and in 2002, he received the Gairdner Foundation International Award for his scientific contributions to the Human Genome Project. Dr. Olson has also participated extensively in the formulation of policy for the Human Genome Project: in 1987, he served on the National Research Council Committee on Mapping and Sequencing of the Human Genome; from 1989-92, on the Program Advisory Committee on the Human Genome at the National Institutes of Health; from 1999-2003, and on the National Human Genome Research Institute Council. Dr. Olson's current research is focused on the analysis of natural genetic variation both in bacteria, particularly Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and humans.
 
29Name:  Dr. Ray D. Owen
 Institution:  California Institute of Technology
 Year Elected:  1984
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1915
 Death Date:  September 21, 2014
   
 
Ray David Owen was born in 1915 on a dairy farm in Wisconsin and remembers that a farm was a great place to grow up. He attended Genesee State Graded School (two teachers, eight grades) and then commuted to Waukesha High School, doing farm chores before and after school. Then he went to Carroll College, a Presbyterian Church-connected liberal arts college also in Waukesha, majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry, math, English and French. In 1937, he entered graduate school at the University of Wisconsin and took his Ph.D. in genetics in 1941. He joined the work in dairy cattle blood group inheritance that was to shape his research career in the fields of immunology and genetics. In 1946, on leave from the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, he went to Caltech as a Gosney Fellow; in 1947 he accepted appointment as an Associate Professor of Biology at Caltech, and with the exception of a year's leave at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1956-57, he had been at Caltech ever since. He has published numerous research papers, mainly in the fields of mammalian genetics and immunology and in such areas as tissue and organ transplantations and developmental studies, some with relation to cancer. General Genetics, the textbook he wrote with Adrain Srb of Cornell University, was for many years the most-used textbook in the field. He values several honorary degrees and awards. During most of the 1960s he served as Chairman of the Division of Biology at Caltech. From 1975-80 he was Dean of Students and Vice President of Student Affairs as well as a Professor of Biology. He taught a freshman course, Current Research in Biology; a laboratory course in immunology; and courses in general biology and in genetics A member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and numerous other professional societies and organizations, he had served as President of the Genetics Society of America, as a member of the Board of directors of the American Society of Human Genetics, and as a member of the Editorial Board of the Annual Review of Genetics. He frequently held responsibilities at the national level - for example, as Chairman of the Genetics Study Section of the National Institutes of Health, of the Genetics Training Committee of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, of the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and of the advisory board in Biology and Medical Sciences of the National Science Foundation. For three years he was the "Scientist-Member" of the three-person President's Cancer Panel, acting in an advisory capacity to Presidents Nixon and Ford. He says that many aspects of his life have given him pleasure: his family, his home and garden (he specializes in camellia and chrysanthemums), his travels and his friends in the international community of scientists, his research, his teaching, and his students, in whose happy and productive lives he has found part of his own fulfillment. If he were to single out one particular activity he remembers with pride, it would probably be his chairmanship of an ad-hoc faculty committee on the freshman year at Caltech, whose work led to three good changes: the inauguration of pass/fail grading to make the adjustment to Caltech less traumatic for its freshman; the introduction of electives into a previously rigid freshman curriculum; and, especially, the admission of women to Caltech's freshman class. Ray D. Owen died September 21, 2014, at the age of 98 in Pasadena, California.
 
30Name:  Dr. Marcus M. Rhoades
 Institution:  Indiana University
 Year Elected:  1962
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1903
 Death Date:  12/30/91
   
31Name:  Dr. Janet D. Rowley
 Institution:  University of Chicago
 Year Elected:  1993
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1925
 Death Date:  December 17, 2013
   
 
Janet Rowley received a Ph.B. in 1944, a B.S. in anatomy in 1946, and an M.D. in medicine in 1948, all at the University of Chicago. After working as attending physician at the Infant Welfare and Prenatal Clinics for the Montgomery County, Maryland Department of Public Health and later in clinics in Chicago, Dr. Rowley worked as a research fellow at the Dr. Julian D. Levinson Foundation, and as a clinical instructor in neurology at the University of Illinois School of Medicine in Chicago. Following a year as a National Institutes of Health special trainee in the radiobiology laboratory of the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, she returned to the University of Chicago in 1962 as a research associate and assistant professor. She was the Blum-Riese Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine, of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, and of Human Genetics at the University of Chicago since 1982. She was the cofounder and coeditor of the journal Genes, Chromosomes and Cancer and served on the editorial boards of many journals. Her laboratory analyzed the genetic consequences of the recurring chromosome abnormalities seen in human leukemia cells, including cloning several new genes at translocation breakpoints. She is currently investigating the pattern of gene expression and microRNA expression in various translocations to determine which differences have the greatest impact on all function and which are of diagnostic and prognostic importance and which are potential therapeutic targets. Dr. Rowley received many honors, including a National Medal of Science in 1998, the Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research that same year (which she shared with APS members Alfred G. Knudson and Peter C. Nowell), the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009, and the American Association for Cancer Research's Award for Liferime Achievement in 2010. She was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1993. She was awarded the Society's 2003 Benjamin Franklin Medal for Distinguished Achievement in the Sciences "in recognition of her discovery of chromosomal translocations associated with cancer and of the range of basic research and clinical applications her continuing work makes possible, from identifying the genetic alterations that cause cancer to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer; and in recognition also of her exemplary leadership and mentorship in the world of bio-medical sciences." Janet Rowley died December 17, 2013, at the age of 88, at her home in Chicago.
 
32Name:  Dr. Gary Ruvkun
 Institution:  Harvard Medical School; Massachusetts General Hospital
 Year Elected:  2019
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1952
   
 
Gary Ruvkun is currently Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Hans-Hermann Schoene Distinguished Investigator in the Department of Molecular Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1982. Gary Ruvkun discovered, with Victor Ambros, that small non-coding RNAs play a central role in eukaryotic gene regulation. Prior to this discovery it was universally assumed that the regulation of gene expression was controlled entirely by proteins. The discovery of a whole new layer of regulation mediated by what are now known as micro-RNAs has revolutionized thinking about regulatory mechanisms. Ruvkun’s genetic studies have contributed greatly to our understanding of micro-RNA biogenesis and action. In a second major advance, Ruvkun and Cynthia Kenyon provided the first convincing evidence that organismal aging is controlled by genetic programs, thereby opening a new approach to the study of aging. Finally, Ruvkun has studied how organisms respond to toxins, showing that it is not individual compounds that are recognized but rather their toxic effects, such as slower protein synthesis. Detection of toxicity then leads to a multi-faceted response aimed at countering the toxic insult. Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research, 2008; Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, 2015. Author: (B. Reinhart et al.) “The 21 nucleotide let-7 RNA regulates developmental timing in C. elegans,” Nature, 2000; (A. Pasquinelli et al.) “Conservation of the sequence and temporal expression of let-7 heterochronic regulatory RNA,” Nature, 2000; (Y. Liu et al.) “Caenorhabditis elegans pathways that surveil and defend mitochondria,” Nature, 2014. National Academy of Sciences, 2008; National Academy of Medicine, 2009; American Academy of Arts & Sciences, 2009. Gary Ruvkun was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2019.
 
33Name:  Dr. George D. Snell
 Institution:  Jackson Lab
 Year Elected:  1982
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1903
 Death Date:  6/6/96
   
34Name:  Dr. J. Craig Venter
 Institution:  J. Craig Venter Institute; Synthetic Genomics, Inc.
 Year Elected:  2013
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1946
   
 
J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., is regarded as one of the leading scientists of the 21st century for his numerous invaluable contributions to genomic research. He is Founder, Chairman, and CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), a not-for-profit, research organization with approximately 300 scientists and staff dedicated to human, microbial, plant, synthetic and environmental genomic research, and the exploration of social and ethical issues in genomics. Dr. Venter is also Founder and CEO of Synthetic Genomics Inc (SGI), a privately held company dedicated to commercializing genomic-driven solutions to address global needs such as new sources of energy, new food and nutritional products, and next generation vaccines. Dr. Venter began his formal education after a tour of duty as a Navy Corpsman in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. After earning both a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Physiology and Pharmacology from the University of California at San Diego, he was appointed professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. In 1984, he moved to the National Institutes of Health campus where he developed Expressed Sequence Tags or ESTs, a revolutionary new strategy for rapid gene discovery. In 1992 Dr. Venter founded The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR, now part of JCVI), a not-for-profit research institute, where in 1995 he and his team decoded the genome of the first free-living organism, the bacterium Haemophilus influenzae, using his new whole genome shotgun technique. In 1998, Dr. Venter founded Celera Genomics to sequence the human genome using new tools and techniques he and his team developed. This research culminated with the February 2001 publication of the human genome in the journal, Science. He and his team at Celera also sequenced the fruit fly, mouse and rat genomes. Dr. Venter and his team at JCVI continue to blaze new trails in genomics. They have sequenced and analyzed hundreds of genomes, and have published numerous important papers covering such areas as environmental genomics, the first complete diploid human genome, and the groundbreaking advance in creating the first self- replicating bacterial cell constructed entirely with synthetic DNA. Dr. Venter is one of the most frequently cited scientists, and the author of more than 250 research articles. He is also the recipient of numerous honorary degrees, public honors, and scientific awards, including the 2008 United States National Medal of Science, the 2002 Gairdner Foundation International Award, the 2001 Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize and the King Faisal International Award for Science. Dr. Venter is a member of numerous prestigious scientific organizations including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Society for Microbiology. J. Craig Venter was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2013.
 
35Name:  Dr. James D. Watson
 Institution:  Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
 Year Elected:  1977
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1928
   
 
James Watson earned a Ph.D. in zoology at the University of Indiana in 1950. He completed his postgraduate work at the Cavendish Laboratory of the University of Cambridge, and in the process, working with Francis Crick discovered the double helical structure of DNA using X-ray diffraction methods originally implemented by physicist Maurice Wilkins. For this monumental discovery the three men were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962. Watson was a member of the faculty at Harvard University from 1955-76. He became the director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 1968 and served as its president, then chancellor from 1994 to 2007. He was associate director at the National Center for Human Genome Research of the NIH from 1988-89 and its director from 1989-92. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and the National Medal of Science in 1997. The American Philosophical Society's 2001 Benjamin Franklin Medal for Distinguished Achievement in Science was awarded jointly to Francis H. C. Crick and James D. Watson. The citation on the prize certificate read, "In recognition of the determination of the structure of DNA, with Francis H. C. Crick, in 1953. Their brilliant discovery is universally recognized as one of the seminal events in biology in the twentieth century. The structure elegantly explained how DNA could replicate with the utmost fidelity. Their work launched one of the most productive areas of biological science - molecular biology." Dr. Watson is the author of Molecular Biology of the Gene (1965, 4th edition, 1986); The Double Helix (1968); The DNA Story, 1981; (with others) The Molecular Biology of the Cell (1983, 2nd edition, 1989, 3rd edition, 1994); (with J. Tooze and D. Kurtz) Recombinant DNA, A Short Course (1983, 2nd edition, 1992); A Passion for DNA (2000); Genes, Girls and Gamow (2001); DNA: The Secret of Life (2003); Darwin (foreword and commentary, 2005); Recombinant DNA: Genes and Genomes - A Short Course (with others, 2007); and Avoid Boring People (2007). Dr. Watson was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1977.
 
36Name:  Dr. Robert A. Weinberg
 Institution:  Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research & Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 Year Elected:  2000
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1942
   
 
Robert Weinberg's research has focused on the molecular origins of human cancer. His work in 1979 demonstrated for the first time that tumor cells arising in mice treated with chemical carcinogens carry distinct genes - sometimes termed oncogenes - that are responsible for driving the malignant growth of these cells. This work was soon shown by his own lab and others to be applicable to human cancers as well. In 1983, his group demonstrated that the transformation of a normal cell into a tumor cell depends upon several distinct genetic changes occurring in these cells. In 1986, his group was responsible for isolating a second type of cancer-causing gene, termed a tumor suppressor gene, which in normal cells acts to prevent cancerous growth and which is inactivated in tumor cells. More recently, his group demonstrated that a third type of gene, termed telomerase, plays an equivalently important role in cancer formation. Thus, by introducing three distinct types of genetic changes into normal human cells, involving an oncogene, two tumor suppressor genes, and telomerase, his group was able for the first time to convert normal human cells into tumor-forming cells. This research establishes the genetic bases of human cancer formation. A member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research since 1982, Dr. Weinberg is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Ph.D., 1969) and has served on the M.I.T. faculty since 1972. Winner of the 1997 National Medal of Science, he was elected to the membership of the National Academy of Sciences in 1985 and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 1989. He won the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences in 2013.
 
37Name:  Dr. Susan R. Wessler
 Institution:  University of California, Riverside; National Academy of Sciences
 Year Elected:  2013
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1953
   
 
Susan Wessler is currently University of California President’s Chair at the University of California Riverside and the Home Secretary of the National Academy of Sciences; the first woman to hold this position. She is a molecular geneticist known for her contributions to the field of transposon biology, specifically on the roles of plant transposable elements in gene and genome evolution. Her laboratory has pioneered the use of computational and experimental analyses in the identification of actively transposing elements. She received her Ph.D. in 1980 in Biochemistry from Cornell University. As a postdoctoral fellow of the American Cancer Society at the Carnegie Institution of Washington in Baltimore (1980-82) she was involved in the molecular isolation of the Ac and Ds transposable elements that were first discovered by Barbara McClintock almost 40 years earlier in maize. She began her career at the University of Georgia in 1983 where she remained until moving to UC Riverside in 2010. Wessler has contributed extensively to educational initiatives, including co-authorship of the widely used genetics textbook, Introduction to Genetic Analysis. As a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor (2006), she adapted her research program for the classroom by developing the Dynamic Genome Courses where incoming freshman can experience the excitement of scientific discovery. She is the recipient of several awards including the the inaugural Distinguished Scientist Award (2007) from the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA), the Stephen Hales Prize (2011) from the American Society of Plant Biologists, and the Excellence in Science Award from FASEB (2012). She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (1998), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2007), the Royal Society (2017), and was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2013.
 
38Name:  Dr. Eric F. Wieschaus
 Institution:  Howard Hughes Medical Institute & Princeton University
 Year Elected:  1998
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1947
   
 
Eric Wieschaus and Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard (who was elected to the APS in 1995) were co-winners of the 1995 Nobel Prize for discovering genes that govern the earliest stages of embryonic development. They developed an ingenious genetic screen, used it to induce mutations in such genes, and then brilliantly deduced the role of each of the genes in setting up the major axes, and then the major subdivisions, of the embryo. Dr. Wieschaus is currently an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a professor at Princeton University, on whose faculty he has served since 1981. He earned his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1974.
 
39Name:  Dr. Sewall Wright
 Institution:  University of Wisconsin
 Year Elected:  1932
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1890
 Death Date:  3/3/88
   
40Name:  Dr. Michael W. Young
 Institution:  Rockefeller University
 Year Elected:  2018
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1949
   
 
Michael Young is Richard and Jeanne Fisher Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Genetics at The Rockefeller University. He is also the University’s Vice-President for Academic Affairs. Young received a B.A. in biology in 1971 and a Ph.D. in genetics in 1975, both from The University of Texas, Austin. His graduate work, with Burke Judd, examined gene sizes and distributions in the chromosomes of Drosophila. He moved to Rockefeller in 1978, following postdoctoral work on transposable elements with David Hogness in the Department of Biochemistry, Stanford University School of Medicine. In the late 1970s, Young began to use the fruit fly, Drosophila, to explore the molecular bases of circadian (daily) rhythms. Molecular and genetic screens in his laboratory identified six genes that are involved in the formation of a biochemical oscillator with a periodicity close to 24 hours. Interactions among these genes, and their proteins, contribute to a network of molecular oscillations that emerge within most tissues at the level of single cells. Most of the “clock genes” discovered by Young and his colleagues in Drosophila are also central to the circadian pathways of vertebrates. Recently Young’s laboratory showed that a prevalent human sleep disorder is caused by dysfunction of such a well-conserved circadian clock gene. Young’s elected memberships include the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the President’s Council of the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the Physiological Society, London (Honorary). Along with colleagues Jeffrey Hall and Michael Rosbash, he received the 2009 Gruber Neuroscience Prize, 2011 Horwitz Prize, 2012 Canada Gairdner International Award, 2012 Massry Prize, 2013 Wiley Prize, 2013 Shaw Prize and the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries of molecular mechanisms that control circadian rhythms.
 
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1945 (1)
1932 (1)
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