Dr. Robert Eisenman, an investigator in the Basic Sciences Division, was elected this month as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The 2003 class of 187 Fellows and 29 Foreign Honorary Members includes three Nobel Prize winners and four Pulitzer Prize winners. Among this year's new inductees are Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations; journalist Walter Cronkite; and philanthropist William H. Gates Sr., co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Eisenman, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, is a leader in the field of oncogenes, aberrantly regulated genes that cause cancer. His studies on a gene known as myc are seminal to scientists' understanding of how normal cells become cancerous. Eisenman's work has paved the way for the discoveries of other oncogenes that work by interacting with DNA.
In 2002, Eisenman's achievements were recognized by the American Association for Cancer Research, which named him as the first recipient of the Kirk A. Landon Prize for Basic Cancer Research.
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences was founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other scholar-patriots "to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people." The Academy has elected as Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation, including George Washington and Ben 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 150 Nobel laureates and 50 Pulitzer Prize winners. Drawing on the wide-ranging expertise of its membership, the American Academy conducts thoughtful, innovative, non-partisan studies on international security, social policy, education, and the humanities. New Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members are nominated and elected by current members of the Academy.