American Philosophical Society
Member History

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2. Biological Sciences[X]
206. Physiology, Biophysics, and Pharmacology[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.
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