American Philosophical Society
Member History

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2. Biological Sciences[X]
1Name:  John J. Abel
 Institution:  Johns Hopkins University
 Year Elected:  1915
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1857
 Death Date:  5/26/38
2Name:  Dr. Robert Heinz Abeles
 Institution:  Brandeis University
 Year Elected:  1999
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  201. Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1926
 Death Date:  June 18, 2000
3Name:  Dr. John Abelson
 Institution:  California Institute of Technology
 Year Elected:  2001
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  201. Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1938
John Norman Abelson has made major contributions to our understanding of molecular biology and biochemistry. A pioneer in recombinant DNA technology, he focused early on on mutagenic bacterial viruses and on RNA sequencing. Later he discovered intervening sequences in t-RNA and worked out the mechanisms involved in t-RNA splicing. His laboratory named and characterized the "spliceozyme" required for messenger RNA processing in yeast, and he remains a leader in characterizing the structure and function of this "molecular machine." Dr. Abelson has served the scientific community in a variety of positions. Since 1995 he has been George Beadle Professor of Biology at the California Institute of Technology. He has received many honors and awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship (1980-81). He earned his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1965.
4Name:  Dr. Julius Adler
 Institution:  University of Wisconsin, Madison
 Year Elected:  1989
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  209. Neurobiology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1930
Born in Germany in 1930, Julius Adler received his A.B. from Harvard University in 1952 and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin with Henry Lardy in 1957. Subsequently he did postdoctoral studies with Arthur Kornberg at Washington University (1957-59) and with Dale Kaiser at Stanford University (1959-60). In 1960 he became assistant professor in the Departments of Biochemistry and Genetics at the University of Wisconsin. He became professor of biochemistry and genetics in 1966 and Edwin Bret Hart Professor in 1972 and is presently emeritus professor of biochemistry and genetics at Wisconsin. Dr. Adler is known for discovering the mechanism of bacterial chemotaxis, the swimming of Escherichia coli towards higher concentration of some compounds and away from others. He discovered its chemoreceptors, which are methylatable proteins. Dr. Adler and his students studied the structure of the bacterial flagellum and its basal body and found the membrane potential to be the source of energy for motility. He and his group discovered the proteins that mediate between the receptors and the flagella by isolating mutants lacking each of them. Dr. Adler has continued to study the basis for response to conflicting stimuli and is presently conducting research on sensory reception and decision making in Drosophila fruit flies. Adler is the recipient of the Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology from the National Academy of Sciences and was awarded the Otto Warburg Medal by the German Society for Biological Chemistry in 1986. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
5Name:  Dr. Edgar Douglas Adrian
 Year Elected:  1938
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1889
 Death Date:  8/4/77
6Name:  Lord Richard Adrian
 Institution:  Cambridge & House of Lords
 Year Elected:  1987
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  201. Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1927
 Death Date:  4/4/95
7Name:  Dr. Peter C. Agre
 Institution:  Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute
 Year Elected:  2004
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  201. Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1949
Peter Agre is a physician-scientist who has spent the last two decades studying the proteins of red blood cells, including those of the red cell membrane that determine blood type. Along with other workers in Paris and England, he solved the old puzzle of whether the Rh blood type is determined by one gene or by two or more closely linked genes. He isolated a novel protein of the red cell membrane that proved to be the specific protein for a channel involved in transfer of water across the cell membrane. He found that this channel, which he called aquaporin-1, is present in many other types of cells, such as the kidney and lung, where he could show physiologic significance. Furthermore, he showed that the previously known Colton blood type was determined by variation in the aquaporin-1 protein. He found that aquaporin-1 is the archetypic member of a family of cell membrane proteins. In 2003 Dr. Agre was awarded the Nobel Prize for these discoveries. He has been Professor of Biological Chemistry and Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine since 1993. In February 2009 he became president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
8Name:  Dr. Leslie C. Aiello
 Institution:  Wenner-Gren Foundation; University College London
 Year Elected:  2014
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  203. Evolution & Ecology, Systematics, Population Genetics, Paleontology, and Physical Anthropology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1946
Leslie Aiello served as President of the Wenner-Gren Foundation of Anthropological Research, a private international foundation devoted to the support of broad-based anthropological research, from 2005 to 2017. She is currently President of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. Her academic interests focus on the evolution of human adaptation as well as on the broader issues of evolutionary theory, life history and the evolution of the brain and cognition. She is perhaps best known for the introduction of the Expensive Tissue Hypothesis (with Peter Wheeler), which addresses energetic trade-offs in the evolution of the human brain. She received her BA and MA in Anthropology from the University of California (Los Angeles) and her PhD in human evolution and anatomy from the University of London. She spent the majority of her 30-year academic career at University College London where she was Professor of Biological Anthropology (1995-2005), Head of the UCL Anthropology Department (1996-2002), and Head of the UCL Graduate School (2002-2005). She also served as the co-managing editor of the Journal of Human Evolution (1993-1999), has been the primary supervisor for 23 PhD students, has published books and a number of articles in academic journals and has been active with the media in the public dissemination of science and particularly human evolution. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. She has served as an officer for a number of anthropological and scientific societies and as a consultant and advisor to a variety of international anthropological institutions and initiatives. She was the 2006 Huxley Memorial Medalist and Lecturer, received an Honorary Fellowship from University College London (2007), was awarded the ‘2007 Musa Urania (Science) from the city of Florence, Italy, and in 2018 she was elected a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. She is also Professor Emerita (Biological Anthropology) at University College London. Leslie Aiello was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2014.
9Name:  Dr. Bruce Alberts
 Institution:  University of California, San Francisco
 Year Elected:  1994
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  202. Cellular and Developmental Biology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1938
Bruce Alberts is a molecular biologist of extraordinary breadth. His rigorous studies of the replication of the genome of a bacterial virus led to the concept of a complex "protein machine" that carries out the sequential steps of DNA replication. Along the way, he discovered novel proteins that unwind, stabilize or relax DNA as they participate in the replication process. Dr. Alberts is one of the principal authors of The Molecular Biology of the Cell, considered the field's leading advanced textbook and used widely in U.S. colleges and universities. Born in Chicago, he graduated from Harvard College with a degree in biochemical sciences and earned a doctorate from Harvard University in 1965. He joined the faculty of Princeton University in 1966 and after 10 years moved to the Medical School of the University of California, San Francisco, where he is now professor emeritus. He was awarded an American Cancer Society Lifetime Research Professorship in 1980. He served as president of the National Academy of Sciences from 1993 to 2005. Dr. Alberts has been a leader in efforts to improve science education in public schools and has guided policy studies as chairman of the Commission on Life Sciences of the National Research Council. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Science. In 2010 he was named winner of the George Brown Award for International Scientific Cooperation, in 2014 he was awarded the National Medal of Science, and in 2016 he was recognized by the Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science.
10Name:  Charles E. Allen
 Year Elected:  1922
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1872
 Death Date:  6/25/54
11Name:  Dr. Sidney Altman
 Institution:  Yale University
 Year Elected:  1990
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  201. Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1939
 Death Date:  April 5, 2022
Born in Montreal in 1939, Sidney Altman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1989 for making one of the most original and important discoveries in molecular biology. After discovering the t-RNA precursor molecules, he systematically explored their enzymatic conversion to a functional state. This led him to the realization that the catalysis is carried out by the RNA portion of the enzyme nucleoprotein. The importance of this contribution cannot be overstated; it has caused a reevaluation of the previous view that all enzymes are proteins and has provided the explanation of a number of previously observed phenomena. Dr. Altman joined the faculty at Yale University as an assistant professor in 1971, subsequently becoming a professor in 1980 and chairman of the department in 1983. Dr. Altman also served as Dean of Yale College from 1985-89, helping to bridge the gap between the humanities and the sciences. A man of wide cultural interests and an admired teacher, Dr. Altman is currently Sterling Professor of Biology and Chemistry at Yale. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
12Name:  Dr. Jeanne Altmann
 Institution:  Princeton University
 Year Elected:  2020
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  205. Microbiology
 Residency:  resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1940
Jeanne Altmann is currently Eugene Higgins Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Emerita at Princeton University. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in 1979 and went on to work for the Chicago Zoological Society, the Brookfield Zoo, and the University of Chicago. She moved to Princeton in 1998. Jeanne Altmann is one of the generation of pioneering female primatologists and since 1971 has carried out long-term field research on baboons in Amboseli National Park, Kenya (together with her now deceased husband Stuart Altmann). She came to primatology from mathematics and her 1974 paper “Observational Study of Behaviour Sampling Methods” revolutionized field primatology with a solid mathematical analytical methodology, the importance of which was clearly demonstrated in her now classic 1980 book, Baboon Mothers and Infants. Throughout her long career (and over 160 publications) her research has dealt with life history approaches to behavioral ecology, emphasizing an integrated approach involving studies of behavior, ecology, demography, genetics, and physiology at the level of individuals, social groups, and populations. Most recently she and her collaborators have been focused on studies that relate endocrine and genetic data to demographic and behavioral information for the same individuals in the Amboseli baboon population. Jeanne Altmann has won the Exemplar Award of the Animal Behavior Society in 1996, the Distinguished Primatologist Award of the American Society of Primatologists in 2006, the Distinguished Animal Behaviorist Award of the Animal Behavior Society in 2012, the Sewell Wright Award of the American Society of Naturalists in 2013, and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Primatological Society in 2014. She is a member of the Animal Behavior Society (president, 1985-86), the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (1996), and the National Academy of Sciences (2003). Jeanne Altmann was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2020.
13Name:  Dr. Christian B. Anfinsen
 Institution:  Johns Hopkins University
 Year Elected:  1975
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  201. Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1916
 Death Date:  5/14/95
14Name:  James R. Angell
 Year Elected:  1924
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1870
 Death Date:  3/4/49
15Name:  Dr. Ruth Arnon
 Institution:  The Weizmann Institute of Science
 Year Elected:  2009
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  209. Neurobiology
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1933
Prof. Arnon joined the Weizmann Institute of Science in 1960. Prior to her appointment as Vice-President, she served as Head of the Department of Chemical Immunology, and as Dean of the Faculty of Biology. From 1985 to 1994, she was the Director of the Institute's MacArthur Center for Molecular Biology of Tropical Diseases. Prof. Arnon has made significant contributions to the fields of vaccine development, cancer research and to the study of parasitic diseases. Along with Prof. Michael Sela and Dr. Dvora Teitelbaum she developed Copaxone,® a drug for the treatment of multiple sclerosis which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and is presently marketed in the USA, Canada the EU, Australia and many other countries worldwide. Prof. Arnon is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences, and serves as its Vice-President since 2004. On the world scene, she is an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). She has served as President of the European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS), and as Secretary-General of the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS), as well as in the European Union Research Advisory Board (EURAB). Her awards include the Robert Koch Prize in Medical Sciences, Spain's Jiminez Diaz Memorial Prize, France's Legion of Honor, the Hadassah World Organization's Women of Distinction Award, the Wolf Prize for Medicine, the Rothschild Prize for Biology, and the Israel Prize, Honorary degree – Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, The AESKU Prize for Life Contribution to Autoimmunity by the 6th International Congress on Autoimmunity, “Yakir” Tel-Hai Academic College, Israel, Elected to the American Philosophical Society. Prof. Arnon is also the Scientific Advisor to the President of the State of Israel. Prof. Arnon is the incumbent of the Paul Ehrlich Chair in Immunochemistry.
16Name:  Joseph C. Arthur
 Year Elected:  1919
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1850
 Death Date:  4/30/42
17Name:  Dr. Richard C. Atkinson
 Institution:  University of California
 Year Elected:  1980
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  205. Microbiology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1929
Richard C. Atkinson served from 1995-2003 as the seventeenth president of the University of California system. His eight-year tenure was marked by innovative approaches to admissions and outreach, research initiatives to accelerate the University’s contributions to the state’s economy, and a challenge to the country’s most widely used admissions examination "the SAT 1" that paved the way to major changes in the way millions of America’s youth now are tested for college admissions. Before becoming president of the UC System he served for fifteen years as chancellor of UC San Diego, where he led that campus’s emergence as one of the leading research universities in the nation. He is a former director of the National Science Foundation, past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was a long-term member of the faculty at Stanford University. His research in the field of cognitive science and psychology has been concerned with problems of memory and cognition. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Education, the American Philosophical Society, and a mountain in Antarctica has been named in his honor.
18Name:  Dr. Robert Austrian
 Institution:  University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
 Year Elected:  1987
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  204. Medicine, Surgery, Pathology and Immunology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1916
 Death Date:  March 25, 2007
19Name:  Dr. John C. Avise
 Institution:  University of California, Irvine; University of Georgia
 Year Elected:  2011
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1948
John C. Avise I am a naturalist at heart, a geneticist by training, and my career has been devoted to wedding these two arenas. After obtaining a B.S. degree in Fish Biology at the University of Michigan, I went on to earn a M.A. in Zoology from the University of Texas and a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of California at Davis. My graduate training came at a time when molecular approaches were being introduced to population genetics, and I began to see that molecular markers could open the entire biological world for genetic scrutiny. Ever since then my students and I have used molecular markers to analyze the natural histories and evolution of wild animals. Topics that we have studied range from micro-evolutionary to macro-evolutionary: genetic parentage and mating systems, geographic population structure, gene flow, hybridization, biogeography, speciation, systematics, and phylogenetics. We have conducted research on diverse vertebrate and invertebrate animals from marine, freshwater, and terrestrial environments. Our typical goal is to unveil behavioral or evolutionary features of organisms, but we also aim to elucidate genetic and evolutionary properties of protein and DNA molecules. The theory and practice of evolutionary genetics are relevant to ecological issues and conservation biology, two areas that provide themes for much of our research. Although I am the acknowledged 'father of phylogeography', I like to think of myself as a broader pioneer in molecular ecology, molecular evolution, and conservation genetics. In addition to hundreds of scientific articles, I have published 20 books on subjects ranging from the science-religion interface to genetic engineering, natural history, molecular ecology, evolution, biogeography, phylogenetics, reproductive modes, educational outreach, and roles for humor in science.
20Name:  Dr. Richard Axel
 Institution:  Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Columbia University
 Year Elected:  2003
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  208. Plant Sciences
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1946
Richard Axel is University Professor at Columbia University and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He has pioneered the application of the techniques of molecular genetics to the analysis of cell function eukaryotic organisms. Toward that goal, he first developed techniques for integrating virtually any gene into any mammalian cell in such a way that the genes are stably integrated within the chromosome of the recipient cell, function normally, and are appropriately regulated. The gene transfer techniques developed by Dr. Axel have revolutionized molecular structure and function. Dr. Axel has now gone on to apply the power of molecular genetics to the study of cellular function in the nervous system. This work led to the cloning by Drs. Axel and Buck of the olfactory receptors, and to a mapping of the distribution of these receptors, first on the olfactory epithelium and then on the olfactory bulb. Dr. Axel next extended this approach to a second olfactory system, the vomeronasal organ, and found a second novel family of genes which encode the presumed receptors for pheromones. Finally he is exploring the behavioral function of these receptors in mice and flies. This brilliant series of studies has revolutionized the study of the sense of smell. In 2009 he won the Tower of Hope Excellence in Science Award from the Israel Cancer Research Fund.
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