American Philosophical Society
Member History

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2. Biological Sciences[X]
1Name:  Sir Aaron Klug
 Institution:  Royal Society & University of Cambridge
 Year Elected:  1996
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  206. Physiology, Biophysics, and Pharmacology
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1926
 Death Date:  November 20, 2018
Sir Aaron Klug won the 1982 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of crystallographic electron microscopy. An extremely distinguished contributor to the field of virology, Dr. Klug pioneered the concept that structure provides the key to function. In the late 1950s he headed Birkbeck College's Virus Structure Research Group, making important discoveries in the structure of the tobacco mosaic virus. In 1962 Sir Aaron joined the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge University, and over the following decade he employed methods from X-ray diffraction, microscopy and structural modelling to develop crystallographic electron microscopy in which a sequence of two-dimensional images of crystals taken from different angles are combined to produce three-dimensional images of the target. He was named director of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in 1986, holding that post for 10 years before assuming the presidency of the Royal Society of London (1995-2000). Sir Aaron was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1969 and is also a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Royal College of Physicians. Among his numerous awards are the Heineken Prize (1979), the L.G. Horwitz Prize, and the Biochemical Society's Harden Medal (1985). Born in Lithuania and educated in South Africa, Sir Aaron earned his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1953. He was knighted in 1988. His later work was on the application for therapeutics and biotechnology of the zinc finger family of transcription factors which he discovered in 1985 and which he developed for intervention in gene expression. Promising results have been obtained in clinical trials for a number of diseases and for improving plant crops by gene modification or insertion. Aaron Klug died November 20, 2018 at the age of 92.
2Name:  Dr. Phillip V. Tobias
 Institution:  University of Witwatersrand
 Year Elected:  1996
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  203. Evolution & Ecology, Systematics, Population Genetics, Paleontology, and Physical Anthropology
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1925
 Death Date:  June 7, 2012
Phillip Tobias was one of South Africa's most honoured and decorated scientists and a leading expert on human prehistoric ancestors. His research was mainly in the fields of paleoanthropology and the human biology of African people. He studied the Kalahari San, the Tonga peoples of Zambia and numerous races of Southern Africa. Phillip Tobias was best known for his research on hominid fossils and human evolution, having studied and described hominid fossils from Indonesia, Israel, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia. His best known work was on the hominids of East Africa, particularly those of the Olduvai Gorge. Collaborating with Louis Leakey, he identified, described and named the new species Homo habilis. Cambridge University Press published two volumes on the fossils of Homo habilis from the Olduvai Gorge. Dr. Tobias is also closely linked with the archaeological excavation at the Sterkfontein site, a research programme he initiated in 1966. Dr. Tobias holds B.Sc. (Hons), MBBCh, Ph.D. and D.Sc. Degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand, where he spent his entire student and working career. He chaired the Department of Anatomy and Human Biology for 32 years and served as Professor and Head of Anatomy and Human Biology until his retirement in 1993. He is believed to have taught over 10,000 students during his 50 years at the medical school. Dr. Tobias published over 600 journal articles and authored or co-authored 33 books and edited or co-edited eight others. He has received honorary degrees from seventeen universities and other academic institutions in South Africa, the United States of America, Canada and Europe. He was elected as a fellow, associate or honorary member of over 28 learned societies. These include being elected a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of London. He was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1996. Among the many medals, awards and prizes he has received are the Balzan International Prize for Physical Anthropology, the Charles R. Darwin Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (1997) and the Walter Sisulu Special Contribution Award (2007) in recognition of his efforts to promote the ideals of the City of Johannesburg. Because of his renown, Dr. Tobias could have worked just about anywhere, but he chose to stay in South Africa even though he and other researchers there were sometimes shunned by scientists from other countries and barred from international conferences as a show of condemnation of South Africa's apartheid policy, which he, too, opposed. He made fiery anti-apartheid speeches to academic audiences and crowds of demonstrators at the university and said that scientists in particular had to speak out against segregationist policies based on false ideas about racial differences. Phillip V. Tobias died on June 7, 2012, at the age of 86 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
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