American Philosophical Society
Member History

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Resident (1)
2. Biological Sciences[X]
202. Cellular and Developmental Biology[X]
1Name:  Dr. Clifford J. Tabin
 Institution:  Harvard Medical School
 Year Elected:  2019
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  202. Cellular and Developmental Biology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1954
Clifford J. Tabin is the George Jacob and Jacqueline Hazel Leder Professor and Chair of the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School. He earned his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1984. Tabin began his work in developmental biology during a brief postdoc in the laboratory of Doug Melton at Harvard University, before leaving a year later for a position as an independent Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital. He joined the faculty of the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School in 1989. Tabin pioneered the molecular genetic analysis of embryonic development of vertebrates, and ever since has been a leader in the field that attempts to understand how limbs and digits develop in individuals and evolve in different species. He has made outstanding contributions to the question of how bilateral symmetry in appendages like wings and legs is regulated, and how, in contrast, asymmetry arises in development, as in the placement of the heart in humans and in the coiling of the intestine. In other pioneering work his group have identified genes that regulate the length and depth of the beaks of Darwin’s finches, and genes that are responsible for the loss of pigment and vision in cave fish. He established a preclinical science education program in the medical school in Kathmandu in Nepal in order to train doctors to work with poor people in rural areas. He received the National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology in 1999, the March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology in 2008, and the Society for Developmental Biology’s Conklin Medal in 2012. He has been a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences since 2000, the National Academy of Sciences since 2007, and the Royal Society of London since 2014. Tabin was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2019.
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