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De Lange, Nussenzweig elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an independent policy research center that undertakes studies of complex and emerging problems, announced this week that two Rockefeller University faculty members have been elected to its membership. Titia de Lange, head of Rockefeller’s Laboratory of Cell Biology and Genetics, and Michel C. Nussenzweig, head of the Laboratory of Molecular Immunology, will be inducted into the academy this fall.

De Lange, who is Leon Hess Professor at Rockefeller, was one of the first scientists to isolate telomeres, sections of repetitive DNA at the ends of chromosomes that protect the integrity of DNA during chromosome replication. Her research focuses on how telomeres fulfill their functions. De Lange came to Rockefeller University in 1990. She is a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences and has received the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research and the National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award, among other honors.

Sherman Fairchild Professor Michel Nussenzweig, who is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, joined the Rockefeller faculty in 1990. He studies the innate and adaptive immune systems, specifically the development and functions of the antibody-producing lymphocytes known as B cells. Nussenzweig is the recipient of a Solomon A. Berson Award for Basic Science and an American Association of Immunologists Huang Foundation Meritorious Career Award, among other honors.

“The contributions that Drs. de Lange and Nussenzweig have made during their careers go far beyond Rockefeller and the scientific community alone; they have added important knowledge to our understanding of key biological mechanisms. I am pleased to see their outstanding accomplishments recognized by membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,” says Rockefeller President Paul Nurse, who was elected to the academy last year.

Founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots, the academy has members from diverse industries and disciplines who have made significant contributions in their fields or to society at large. Current research interests at the academy include science and global security, the humanities and culture, social policy and education. Previous generations of inductees include George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the 20th. The current membership includes more than 170 Nobel laureates and 50 Pulitzer Prize winners. The 227 newly elected members represent 27 states and 13 countries.

De Lange and Nussenzweig will be honored with other elected members at the academy’s annual induction ceremony on October 6 at the academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.