Doing the Honors

Academy members have been recognized with Nobels, MacArthurs, Laskers, and many other prizes.

Published April 10, 2009

The Academy's Board of Governors and President's Council count more than two-dozen Nobel Laureates among their number. But Academy members are no strangers to many of the other well-known awards and honors in cience.

For example, the latest (2008) winners of the MacArthur Foundation fellowships, better known as “genius” grants, included Sally Temple of the New York Stem Cell Institute, who spoke with us about her work on neural stem cell regulation, and Nancy Siraisi, a member of the Academy's History & Philosophy of Science Section. Among the 2007 fellows was Academy member Michael Elowitz, an Assistant Professor of Biology and Applied Physics at Caltech cited for his work on stochasticity in gene regulation. Elowitz spoke at the Academy two years ago as part of our New Vistas Series.

Other prominent Academy members, and their recent honors, include:

Ralph Steinman, winner of the 2007 Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research for his discovery of dendritic cells, is both an Academy member and editor of a 2006 Annals volume on human immunology.

Honorary Life Governor Torsten Wiesel, was awarded the 2005 National Medal of Science, the United States' highest scientific honor. The White House announced the honor in May 2007.

Letitia Obeng, appointed the first female president of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008, was named in 2008 as chair of the Global Water Partnership at the World Bank.

And Sten Grillner, Professor and Director of the Nobel Institute for Neurophysiology at the Karolinska Institute, was one of the first seven scientists to win the $1 million Kavli Award, a  biannual science prize established in Norway by physicist and philanthropist Fred Kavli and first given in 2008.