Nobel laureate Linda Buck elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Buck becomes the fifth Center scientist to win membership in one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious honorary societies.
Dr. Linda Buck
Dr. Linda Buck joins other Nobel laureates—and recipients of Pulitzer and Pritzker prizes, Academy and Grammy awards and Kennedy Center honors—as a member of the AAAS 2008 Class of Fellows. Photo by Roland Morgan

Nobel laureate Dr. Linda Buck, of the Basic Sciences Division, is among the newest members of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and independent policy-research centers.

Buck is among 190 new fellows and 22 foreign honorary members elected to join the AAAS 2008 Class of Fellows. Drawn from the sciences, the arts and humanities, public affairs and the nonprofit sector, AAAS fellows are leaders in their fields.

This year’s class includes Nobel laureates, recipients of Pulitzer and Pritzker prizes, Academy and Grammy awards and Kennedy Center honors. The honorees include blues guitarist B.B. King, filmmakers Ethan and Joel Cohen, and astronomer Adam Riess, who contributed to the discovery of dark energy in the universe.

In 2004, Buck received the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for her groundbreaking work on odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system—the network responsible for our sense of smell. She shared the honor with Dr. Richard Axel of Columbia University.

Buck, is the fifth Hutchinson Center researcher chosen for AAAS membership. Other Center AAAS fellows are Dr. Lee Hartwell, president and director, who in 2001 received the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for his work in yeast genetics; Dr. Mark Groudine, deputy director and former director of the Basic Sciences Division; Dr. Robert Eisenman, a leader in the field of oncogenes, aberrantly regulated genes that cause cancer; and the late Dr. Harold Weintraub, an international leader in the field of molecular biology.

Buck, also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and an affiliate professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Washington, is the recipient of many national and international scientific awards. In 2003 she received the Gairdner Award, the Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize and became a member of the National Academy of Sciences. She’s also the recipient of the Unilever Science Award, the LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton Science for Art Prize, the R.H. Wright Award in Olfactory Research and the Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Research.

Founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots, the AAAS elects the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation, including George Washington, Ben Franklin, Daniel Webster, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill. The current membership includes more than 200 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

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