May 1, 2008
Five scholars elected to the National Academy of Sciences
By By Arielle Lasky and Amy Adams
In recognition of their distinguished and original contributions to scientific research, Stanford Professors Steven Boxer, Margaret Fuller, Ronald Levy, Andrei Linde and David A. B. Miller have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. They were joined by 67 other new members and 18 foreign associates who were elected at the academy's 145th annual meeting on Tuesday.
There are now 2,041 active members in the academy, a prestigious society of scientists and engineers that serves to further science and its applications for the general good. Since 1863, the academy has advised the federal government, upon request, in the areas of its expertise. Election to the academy is one of the highest honors an American scientist or engineer can receive.
The academy currently includes 131 scholars from Stanford, and below are profiles of the five elected this week:
Steven Boxer is the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Professor in Chemistry. His lab explores biological systems' composition and function, with a focus on several areasfrom using Stark spectroscopy to study electrostatics to developing new biotechnology from lipid bilayersall with a strong emphasis on understanding the underlying physical properties. Boxer received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Tufts University and his doctorate from the University of Chicago. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1997. In 2007, he became a fellow with the Biophysical Society. On faculty at Stanford since 1976, Boxer has received many awards, including the NIH MERIT Award, the American Chemical Society Arthur Cope Scholar Award and the Earle K. Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy.
Margaret Fuller, the Reed-Hodgson Professor in Human Biology, is a professor of developmental biology and of genetics. Her work involves understanding the mechanisms that regulate adult stem cells. She uses the fruit fly male germ line as a model for teasing apart the factors that either hold stem cells in an undifferentiated state or push cells to differentiate into adult fates. She graduated summa cum laude with honors in 1974 from Brandeis University and earned her PhD in microbiology in 1980 from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She did her postdoctoral work at Indiana University in developmental genetics. She was assistant professor then associate professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder until 2000, when she came to Stanford as associate professor. Fuller served as chair of Stanford's Department of Developmental Biology from 2003 to 2007. She received the American Cancer Society Junior Faculty Research Award (1983-1986), received the Searle Scholar Award from the Chicago Community Trust (1985-1988) and held the 1994 ACS Scholar in Cancer Research Award. Fuller became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2006.
Ronald Levy, the Robert K. and Helen K. Summy Professor in the School of Medicine, is chief of the school's division of oncology. His research led to the development of the drug Rituxan, now a standard of care for lymphoma. He is currently developing vaccines against lymphoma and looking for receptors that could be targeted by a monoclonal antibody treatment for the disease. Levy received a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Harvard University in 1963 and an MD from Stanford in 1968. He returned to Stanford as assistant professor in 1975 after his residency and fellowships. In 1993 he became chief of the division of oncology. Levy is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and a member of the Institute of Medicine. He has received the 2000 Medal of Honor from the American Cancer Society, the 2001 Evelyn Hoffman Memorial Award from the Lymphoma Research Foundation of America, the 2003 Jeffrey A. Gottlieb Memorial Award from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and the 2004 Damashek Prize from the American Society of Hematology.
Andrei Linde is a professor of physics at the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics. In 1983, Linde introduced the "chaotic inflation" theory of the universe, which helped explain and alter some of the lingering gaps in the Big Bang theory. In this vein, he also developed the concept of the "inflationary multiverse," a universe that contains many different universes. Linde received his bachelor's degree from Moscow State University and his doctorate from the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow. He also worked at the European Organization for Nuclear Research prior to coming to Stanford in 1990. He is the recipient of the Dirac Medal, the Peter Gruber Prize, the medal of the Paris Institute of Astrophysics, the Robinson Prize for Cosmology from Newcastle University and the Lomonosov Award of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR.
David A. B. Miller, the W. M. Keck Foundation Professor of Electrical Engineering and professor, by courtesy, of applied physics, is the director of the Solid State and Photonics Laboratory and co-director of the Stanford Photonics Research Center. He studies optics and their applications in a variety of areas, including computing, physics, communications, information processing, interconnection and switching. Miller earned his bachelor's degree in physics from St. Andrews University and his doctorate from Heriot-Watt University, where he subsequently taught. Before coming to Stanford, he also worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories. Miller is a fellow of the IEEE, American Physical Society, the Royal Society of London, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Optical Society of America (OSA). He has received the Adolph Lomb Medal of the OSA, R.W. Wood Medal, IEEE Third Millennium Medal and the Prize of the International Commission for Optics. A professor at Stanford since 1996, Miller holds 62 patents and is the author of Quantum Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers.
Arielle Lasky is a science-writing intern at the Stanford News Service. Amy Adams writes for the Stanford Medical Center Office of Communication and Public Affairs.