Jaenisch Named to National Academy of Sciences

April 29, 2003

Tags: Jaenisch LabAwards + Announcements

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Founding Whitehead Institute Member Rudolf Jaenisch is one of 72 new members of the National Academy of Sciences elected this morning in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. The Academy also elected 18 foreign associates from 11 countries.

The election was held during the business session of the 140th annual meeting of the Academy. Election to membership in the Academy is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded a U.S. scientist or engineer. Those elected today bring the total number of active members to 1,922.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare. It was established in 1863 by a congressional act of incorporation, signed by Abraham Lincoln, which calls on the Academy to act as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology.

Jaenisch is one of the founders of transgenic science (gene transfer to create mouse models of human disease). His lab has produced mouse models leading to new understanding of cancers and various neurological diseases. He also has made important contributions to cloning technology and in identifying the difficulties encountered when the genome from an adult cell is reprogrammed to create a new individual.

Jaenisch received his doctorate in medicine from the University of Munich in 1967. He came to Whitehead from the University of Hamburg in Germany, where he was head of the Department of Tumor Virology at the Heinrich Pette Institute. Jaenisch is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Microbiology and a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. In 1996, he was awarded the Boehringer Mannheim Molecular Bioanalytics Prize. He was named the first recipient of the Peter Gruber Foundation Award in Genetics in 2001, and this year received the Charles Rodolphe Brupbacher Prize for basic research in oncology.

Jaenisch joins Whitehead Members Fink, Lander, Lindquist, Lodish and Weinberg as members of the Academy.

By Rick Borchelt


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