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Nobel Laureates

press releases

For further MBL News and Media Information, contact the MBL Communications Office at (508) 289-7423 or e-mail us at comm@mbl.edu

For Immediate Release, April 30, 2007

Gina Hebert, MBL, 508-289-7725; ghebert@mbl.edu
Paul Karoff, The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 617-576-5043; pkaroff@amacad.org

MBL Scientists Included Among Scholars, Artists, Civic, Corporate and Philanthropic Leaders Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

MBL Senior Scientist and Co-Director of The Ecosystems Center Jerry M. Melillo

MBL Whitman investigator Avram Hershko

CAMBRIDGE, MA—The American Academy of Arts and Sciences today announced the election of 203 new Fellows, including Jerry M. Melillo, MBL Senior Scientist and Co-Director of The Ecosystems Center. MBL Whitman investigator Avram Hershko was among the 24 individuals named new Foreign Honorary Members.

This year's new Fellows also include former Vice President Albert Gore, Jr.; former Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor; New York Mayor and businessman Michael Bloomberg; Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt; New York Times investigative correspondent James Risen; filmmaker Spike Lee; economists Gregory Mankiw and Murray Weidenbaum; astronomer Donald Brownlee; robotics pioneer Rodney Brooks; Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter; supercomputer expert David Shaw; pianist Emanuel Ax; historian Nell Painter; former White House official and Berkeley Law Dean Christopher Edley; classicist Sabine MacCormack; and international public health leader Allan Rosenfield.

Foreign Honorary Members in this year's class come from Europe, Asia, Canada, and the Middle East, and include Italian glassblower Lino Tagliapietra; French literary scholar Tzvetan Todorov; Pritzker Prize-winning Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas; and Canadian Supreme Court Justice Rosalie Abella.

Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members are nominated and elected to the Academy by current members. A broad-based membership, comprised of scholars and practitioners from mathematics, physics, biological sciences, social sciences, humanities and the arts, public affairs and business, gives the Academy a unique capacity to conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary studies and public policy research.

Melillo is co-director of the MBL’s Ecosystems Center and a professor of biology at Brown University. He has conducted research at the MBL since 1976. Melillo oversees research on global change, management of coastal zone ecosystems, and globalization and transformation of the tropical landscape. He holds a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Wesleyan University and an M.F.S. and Ph.D. from Yale University. In 1996 and 1997, Melillo served as the Associate Director for Environment in the U.S. President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Hershko is a Hungarian-born Israeli biochemist who shared the 2004 Nobel Prize for Chemistry with Aaron J. Ciechanover and Irwin Rose for their joint discovery of the mechanism by which the cells of most living organisms remove unwanted proteins. Hershko received his M.D. in 1969 at the Hadassah and the Hebrew University Medical School, Jerusalem. He is currently a Distinguished Professor at the Rappaport Family Institute for Research in Medical Sciences at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Hershko has been a summer investigator at the MBL since 1991. He was drawn to the MBL when he became interested in learning more about the role that ubiquitin plays in the cell division cycle.

"It gives me great pleasure to welcome these outstanding leaders in their fields to the Academy," said Academy President Emilio Bizzi. "Fellows are selected through a highly competitive process that recognizes individuals who have made preeminent contributions to their disciplines and to society at large."

"Throughout its history, the Academy has convened the leading thinkers of the day, from diverse perspectives, to participate in projects and studies that advance the public good," added Chief Executive Officer Leslie Berlowitz. "I am confident that this distinguished class of new Fellows will continue that tradition of cherishing knowledge and shaping the future."

The Academy will welcome this year's new class at its annual Induction Ceremony on October 6, at the Academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A full list of newly elected Fellows and Honorary Foreign Members with their affiliations can be found at: http://www.amacad.org/news/alpha2007.aspx

Founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots, the Academy has elected as Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth. The current membership includes more than 170 Nobel laureates and 50 Pulitzer Prize winners. An independent policy research center, the Academy undertakes studies of complex and emerging problems. Current Academy research focuses on science and global security; social policy; the humanities and culture; and education.


The MBL® is a leading international, independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to discovery and to improving the human condition through creative research and education in the biological, biomedical and environmental sciences. Founded in 1888 as the Marine Biological Laboratory, the MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the Western Hemisphere. For more information, visit www.MBL.edu