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Spudich Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
John L. Spudich, Ph.D., director of the Center for Membrane Biology in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), an international learned society founded in 1780.
“This is terrific news – Dr. Spudich richly deserves this honor,” said James T. Willerson, M.D., president of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. “We are very proud of him.”
Spudich is holder of the Robert A. Welch Distinguished Chair in Chemistry at the UT Medical School, which he joined in 1991. His research interests include the mechanism by which photosensory receptors sense and transmit information concerning the color, intensity and pattern of light in the environment.
The AAAS Class of 2007 includes former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt, former Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, New York Mayor and businessman Michael Bloomberg and filmmaker Spike Lee. An induction ceremony will be Oct. 6 in Cambridge, Mass., for the 203 new AAAS Fellows and 24 new Foreign Honorary Members – scholars, scientists, artists, and civic, corporate and philanthropic leaders, who come from 27 states and 13 countries, and range in age from 36 to 92.
Spudich earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana and his doctorate in biophysics from the University of California at Berkeley, after which he pursued post-doctoral studies in biochemistry and molecular biology at Harvard Medical School and the University of California, San Francisco.
Spudich acknowledged the support of his wife and research collaborator, Elena Spudich, as well as Center for Membrane Biology colleagues Kevin D. Ridge, Ph.D.; Vasanthi Jayaraman, Ph.D.; Renhao Li, Ph.D.; and Lei Zheng, Ph.D.
The UT Health Science Center faculty includes three other AAAS Fellows: Irma Gigli, M.D., deputy director of The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases (IMM); IMM Director Ferid Murad, M.D., Ph.D., a 1998 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine; and William J. Schull, Ph.D., emeritus professor of the UT School of Public Health’s Human Genetics Center.
All hold faculty appointments in the UT Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston.
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