American Philosophical Society
Member History

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207. Genetics[X]
 Name:  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.
 
 Name:  Dr. George W. Beadle
 Institution:  University of Chicago
 Year Elected:  1945
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1903
 Death Date:  6/9/89
   
 Name:  Dr. Sydney Brenner
 Institution:  The Salk Institute
 Year Elected:  1979
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1927
 Death Date:  April 5, 2019
   
 
Sydney Brenner was born in South Africa and studied medicine and science at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Working in the Physical Chemistry Laboratory, he received his D.Phil. degree from Oxford University in 1952. After briefly returning to South Africa, Dr. Brenner joined the Medical Research Council's Unit in the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge. He became the director of its successor, the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, in 1979. In 1987 he became director of the MRC's Unit of Molecular Genetics, retiring in 1992. His early research was in molecular genetics. Working with bacterophages and bacteria, he discovered messenger RNA (working with Jacob and Meselson) and, with Crick, showed that the code was composed of triplets. In the 1960s, he changed the direction of his work and began research on C. elegans, establishing it as a powerful experimental system for the analysis of complex biological processes. Believing that the techniques of cloning and sequencing would open up new ways of approaching genetics, he turned his attention to vertebrate genomics and established the pufferfish genome as a valuable tool in genome analysis. He served as the founder and president of the Molecular Sciences Institute, a private research institute in Berkeley, CA. His achievements were recognized with the Albert Lasker Medical Research Award (1971), both the Royal Medal (1974) and the Copley Medal (1991) from the Royal Society of London, and the Kyoto Prize (1990), to name just four of more than twenty such honors. In 1987 he was named a Companion of Honour. He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2002. He was elected to membership in the American Philosophical Society in 1979. Sydney Brenner died April 5, 2019 in Singapore at the age of 92.
 
 Name:  Dr. Sean B. Carroll
 Institution:  University of Maryland; Howard Hughes Medical Institute
 Year Elected:  2017
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1960
   
 
Sean B. Carroll is a scientist, writer, educator, and film producer. His laboratory research has centered on the genes that control animal body patterns and play major roles in the evolution of animal diversity. He has received the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Sciences, been elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the European Molecular Biology Organization, as well as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2017. Sean is the author of several books for general audiences, including A Series of Fortunate Events: Chance and the Making of the Planet, Life, and You (2020), The Serengeti Rules, Brave Genius, The Making of the Fittest, Endless Forms Most Beautiful and Remarkable Creatures which was a finalist for the National Book Award for non-fiction. In 2016, Sean received the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science. Sean is currently Vice President for Science Education of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the largest private supporter of science education activities in the US. The architect of HHMI’s documentary film initiative, Sean has served as executive producer and/or on-screen presenter of more than a dozen films that have appeared on PBS, NOVA, the Smithsonian Channel as well as IMAX screens, and he has earned two Emmy nominations. In June 2018 he also joined the University of Maryland's Department of Biology as the Andrew and Mary Balo and Nicholas and Susan Simon Endowed Chair.
 
 Name:  Dr. Vicki L. Chandler
 Institution:  Minerva School of Arts and Sciences at KGI
 Year Elected:  2015
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1950
   
 
Dr. Chandler’s career spans the fields of education, science and non-profit leadership. She joined Minerva Schools at KGI as Dean of Natural Sciences in 2015. Prior to joining Minerva, Dr. Chandler was a Chief Program Officer for 6 years, leading the Science Program for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which invests approximately $100 million per year to advance scientific innovation and discovery across a breadth of scientific areas. She is an emeritus Regents’ Professor in the Departments of Plant Sciences and the BIO5 Institute, at the University of Arizona. She was also previously on the faculty at the University of Oregon’s Institute for Molecular Biology and Biology Department. Throughout her academic career she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology. Dr. Chandler has conducted research on the epigenetic control of gene expression in plants and animals for three decades, with funding from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Her honors and awards include a Presidential Young Investigator Award, Searle Scholar Award, the NSF Faculty Award for Women Scientists and Engineers, and the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award. She was appointed to the National Science Board in 2014 by President Obama and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2002, later serving on its governing council from 2007-2010. She has served extensively on national advisory boards and panels for NSF, DOE, USDA, NIH, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Academies of Science. She received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley and her PhD from the University of California San Francisco and was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University.
 
 Name:  Dr. Joanne Chory
 Institution:  The Salk Institute; Howard Hughes Medical Institute
 Year Elected:  2015
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1955
   
 
Joanne Chory is an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and is Professor at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, where she directs the Plant Biology Laboratory. She is also Adjunct Professor of Biology at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Chory is distinguished for her many contributions to modern plant biology. She and her lab members use the model plant, Arabidopsis, to identify pathways involved in plant growth, including components of the photoreceptor pathways that link changes in the light environment with plasticity of plant form. A native of Massachusetts, Joanne Chory received an A.B. degree in biology with honors from Oberlin College, OH, a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and conducted postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School. In 1988, she joined the faculty of the Salk Institute, where she has remained. Dr. Chory has served on numerous advisory committees and editorial boards, and is the recipient of several awards. In addition to the APS, she is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Chory is a foreign member of the Royal Society of London and the French Academie des Sciences and a member of the German National Academy of Sciences. Her awards include the Breakthrough Prize (2018), the Gruber Genetics Prize (2018), and the the 2020 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize.
 
 Name:  Dr. Michael T. Clegg
 Institution:  University of California, Irvine
 Year Elected:  2012
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1941
   
 
Michael T. Clegg received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in agricultural genetics and genetics respectively at the University of California, Davis. In 1972 he joined the faculty of Brown University moving from there to the University of Georgia in 1976. In 1984, he assumed the position of Professor of Genetics at the University of California, Riverside, where he also served as Dean of the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences from 1994 to 2000 and founding director of the Genomics Institute from 2000 to 2004. He assumed his present position as Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine, in 2004. Clegg's research specialty is population genetics and molecular evolution. His early work in population genetics focused on the dynamical behavior of linked systems of genes in plant and Drosophila populations. During this period, he also contributed to the theoretical study of multilocus systems employing computer simulations together with the analysis of mathematical models. Later he helped pioneer the comparative analysis of cholorplast DNA variation as a tool for the reconstruction of plant phylogenies. His current work is concerned with the use of genomic data and coalescent models to study crop plant domestication in barley and avocado. Clegg is also heavily engaged in international science policy and science diplomacy through his role as Foreign Secretary of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. During an academic career of over 40 years, Clegg has published more than 160 research articles and book chapters and he has coauthored or edited nine books. Clegg was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences in 1990 and he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992. He was elected Foreign Secretary of the National Academy of Sciences in 2002 and reelected in 2006 and 2010. He has also served as President of the American Genetic Association and President of the International Society for Molecular Biology & Evolution. He is an Associate Fellow of the Academy of Sciences of the Developing World (TWAS) and a corresponding member of several foreign academies. He was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2012.
 
 Name:  Dr. Stanley N. Cohen
 Institution:  Stanford University
 Year Elected:  2006
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1935
   
 
In the early 1970s, Stanley N. Cohen and Herbert W. Boyer discovered a multi-step methodology for isolating individual genes by cloning them in live cells, and showed that genetic material can be propagated and expressed in biological species other than its natural host. They thus invented DNA cloning, also known as "recombinant DNA" or "genetic engineering", a singularly important advance that forms the foundation for much of contemporary biological research, has revolutionized biotechnology, and has led directly to the extraordinary progress currently being made in the field of medicine. In 1978, Dr. Cohen achieved the first production of a biologically active eukaryotic protein encoded by DNA transferred into bacteria from mammalian cells, yet another crucial contribution that underlies modern biomedical research. Cohen's laboratory continues to be a major leader both in microbiological studies (which his early work has literally transformed) and in studies of growth control and chromosome dynamics in mammalian cells. Since 1993 he has been Kwoh-Ting Li Professor of Genetics at the Stanford University School of Medicine, on whose faculty he has served since 1968. Dr. Cohen has won the Mattia Award (1977) and the National Medal of Science (1988) as well as election to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (1978), the National Academy of Sciences (1979) and the Institute of Medicine (1988). He received his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1960.
 
 Name:  Dr. James F. Crow
 Institution:  University of Wisconsin
 Year Elected:  1966
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1916
 Death Date:  January 4, 2012
   
 
James F. Crow served as a professor of genetics and zoology at the University of Wisconsin since 1954. An outstanding authority in the field of population genetics, human genetics and the genetic effects of radiation, he was the author of numerous articles in scientific journals. He successfully introduced mathematical models in the study of human heredity while also using his training in Drosophilia genetics in the study of the effects of lethal genes and other factors on the genetic makeup of populations. His theoretical contributions span the field, from his concept of genetic load to his work on random sampling genes in small populations. Dr. Crow also introduced the use of similarity of surnames to estimate the degree of inbreeding in human populations and as a way of determining the mutational component of human genetic diseases. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine, Dr. Crow has also served as associate editor and column editor of Genetics. He was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1966. James Crowe died on January 3, 2012, at the age of 95 in Madison, Wisconsin.
 
 Name:  Dr. Gerald R. Fink
 Institution:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 Year Elected:  2003
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1940
   
 
Gerald Fink received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1965. In 1967 he joined the faculty of Cornell University where he was professor of genetics and professor of biochemistry. He became professor of molecular genetics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1982 and is currently the American Cancer Society Professor. He has been a member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research since 1982 and served as its director from 1990-2001. Gerald Fink is internationally recognized for his contributions in genetics, and is considered a preeminent figure in the field of yeast genetics. His work with yeast yielded deep insights into human genetics, and his long-time teaching commitment to the Cold Spring Harbor Yeast Genetics course has initiated many new researchers into the field. As Whitehead director, he developed and supported nationally-renowned education and public policy programs that continue to exert a profound impact on public understanding of research and biomedicine. Fink's service to the scientific community includes mentorship that will inform the professional practice of generations of researchers to come. Dr. Fink is the recipient of the Award in Molecular Biology from the National Academy of Sciences (1981); the Genetics Society of America Medal (1982); the Yale Science and Engineering Award (1984); the Emil Christian Hansen Foundation Award of Microbiology (1986); the Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal from Yale University (1992); the Bristol-Myers Squibb Infectious Disease Research Award (1993); the Senior Scholar Award from the Ellison Medical Foundation (2001); the George W. Beadle Award from the Genetics Society of America (2001); the Yeast, Genetics and Molecular Biology Lifetime Achievement Award (2002); and the James R. Killian Jr. Faculty Achievement Award [2018]. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2003.
 
 Name:  Dr. H. Bentley Glass
 Institution:  State University of New York, Stony Brook
 Year Elected:  1963
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1906
 Death Date:  January 16, 2005
   
 Name:  Dr. H. Robert Horvitz
 Institution:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Howard Hughes Medical Institute; McGovern Institute for Brain Research
 Year Elected:  2004
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1947
   
 
H. Robert Horvitz's Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine, awarded for his pioneering genetic dissection of programmed cell death (apoptosis), including the crucial discovery of the first caspase that mediates apoptosis, celebrated just one of his several comparably important contributions. Through genetic analysis of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, Dr. Horvitz discovered and dissected many genes and pathways that play highly specific roles during animal development, and in animal behavior as well. He defined genes that control specific aspects of cell lineage and cell fate, including the generation of cell diversity during development; the timing of particular developmental events; inter- and intracellular signaling; and programmed cell death. Dr. Horvitz's molecular analyses of these genes revealed most of them to be strikingly similar to genes found in other organisms, including humans, and in many cases similar to genes that cause human disease. A member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty since 1978, Dr. Horvitz has been David H. Koch Professor of Cancer Biology since 2001. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University (1974) and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (1991); the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (1994); and the Genetics Society of America (president, 1995).
 
 Name:  Dr. Mary-Claire King
 Institution:  University of Washington School of Medicine
 Year Elected:  2012
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1946
   
 
Mary-Claire King is currently the American Cancer Society Research Professor at the Department of Medicine (Medical Genetics) and the Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington, Seattle. Born in Illinois, she received her Ph.D. in 1973 from University of California, Berkeley. She has won the Brinker Award for Breast Cancer Research from the Komen Foundation (1999), the Genetics Prize of the Peter Gruber Foundation (2004), the Heineken Prize for Medicine of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (2006), the Lasker Award (2014), the National Medal of Science (2015), the Szent-Gyorgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research (2016), and the Helen Dean King Award of the Wistar Institute (2019). She is a member of the Institute of Medicine (1994), American Academy of Arts & Sciences (1999), National Academy of Sciences (2004), and the French Academy of Sciences (2009). Mary-Claire King's work revolutionized scientific approaches as well as clinical practice in breast cancer. In 1990, using then novel techniques, she defined and identified the location of a single gene (BRCA1) as causing inherited breast cancer. This gene and another gene (BRCA2) were also associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Her collaboration with Israeli and Palestinian colleagues led to the identification of novel deafness genes. She also pioneered genetic techniques to define familial relationships of deceased individuals. She applied these tests to unite grandmothers with their grandchildren whose parents had been killed during state-sponsored violence in Argentina between 1976 and 1983. Mary-Claire's work has had a wide impact in the USA and internationally and she has received many honors. She was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2012.
 
 Name:  Dr. Alfred G. Knudson
 Institution:  Fox Chase Cancer Center
 Year Elected:  1991
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1922
 Death Date:  July 10, 2016
   
 
Alfred G. Knudson was a senior member at the Fox Chase Cancer Center's Institute for Cancer Research since 1976. He earned his M.D. from Columbia University in 1947 and his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 1956. Prior to joining Fox Chase as scientific director (1976-83) and president (1980-82), he served as chairman of the City of Hope Medical Center's department of pediatrics (1956-62) and department of biology (1962-66); as professor and associate dean at State University of New York, Stony Brook (1966-69); and as professor and dean of the University of Texas, Houston's Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and professor at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (1970-76). Having advanced his two-hit hypothesis that hereditary cancers are due to the somatic loss or mutation of the second allele of a gene responsible for regulating cell growth and development, Dr. Knudson was known for having made the first rational explanation, in modern genetic terms, for the relationship between hereditary and non-hereditary cancers. His breakthrough led to a great surge of productivity in many laboratories and an advanced understanding of errors in the genetic program that turn normal cells into cancer cells. Dr. Knudson was the recipient of many distinguished awards, including the Lasker Clinical Medical Research Award (1998), the Gairdner Award (1997) and the Kyoto Prize (2004). Alfred Knudson died July 10, 2016, at the age of 93, at his home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
 
 Name:  Dr. Joshua Lederberg
 Institution:  Rockefeller University
 Year Elected:  1960
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1925
 Death Date:  February 2, 2008
   
 Name:  Dr. Edward B. Lewis
 Institution:  California Institute of Technology
 Year Elected:  1990
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1918
 Death Date:  July 21, 2004
   
 Name:  Dr. Susan L. Lindquist
 Institution:  Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 Year Elected:  2003
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1948
 Death Date:  October 27, 2016
   
 
Susan Lindquist was a worldwide leader in the understanding of protein folding in living cells, of enzymes that mediate this process, and of perturbations that result in the formation of abnormal protein aggregates. Some of these aggregates, called prions, are infectious: they can cause abnormal folding and aggregation of otherwise normal proteins. The work of Dr. Lindquist has been instrumental to our understanding of these processes, which underlie major neurodegenerative diseases. Yet another singular contribution by Dr. Lindquist was her discovery that HSP90, a stress protein, functions as a "capacitor" of phenotypic variation, through the ability of HSP90 to buffer against genetic alterations of biochemical pathways, thereby increasing the diversity of phenotypes available for natural selection. This insight revealed a previously unsuspected source of variation that underlies the evolution of living organisms. From 2001 until 2004 Dr. Lindquist directed the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. She served as professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She earned her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1976 and previously taught at the University of Chicago (1978-2001). She was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2010. Susan Lindquist died October 27, 2016, at the age of 67.
 
 Name:  Dr. Salvador E. Luria
 Institution:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 Year Elected:  1964
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1912
 Death Date:  2/6/91
   
 Name:  Dr. Trudy F. C. Mackay
 Institution:  Clemson University
 Year Elected:  2021
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1952
   
 
Trudy Mackay received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. from Dalhousie University, Canada and her Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh. She has been a faculty member at the University of Edinburgh and North Carolina State University. Currently, she is the Director of the Center for Human Genetics, the Self Family Endowed Chair of Human Genetics and Professor of Genetics and Biochemistry at Clemson University. Her laboratory focuses on understanding the genetic and environmental factors affecting variation in quantitative traits, using Drosophila as a translational model system. Her laboratory seeks to identify the genetic loci at which segregating and mutational variation occurs, allelic effects and environmental sensitivities, and the causal molecular variants. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Society, a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, the 2016 Wolf Prize Laureate for Agriculture and the 2018 Dawson Prize recipient, Trinity College, Dublin.
 
 Name:  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
   
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