Baltimore, MD—Douglas E. Koshland, staff scientist at Carnegie’s Department of Embryology, has been elected as one of 72 new members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for his excellence in original scientific research. Membership in the NAS is one of the highest honors given to a scientist or engineer in the United States. Koshland will be inducted into the academy next April during its 148th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
Using the simple, single-celled yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Koshland has become a leader in studying the molecular processes that control the dynamics of chromosome structure and evolution—the foundations for understanding developmental problems and diseases such as cancer. He is interested in how genetic integrity is maintained during cell-division, particularly when duplicated chromosomes, known as sister chromatids, are produced, remain connected, and then separate to make two new cells.
“When there were few believers, Doug Koshland was able to show how the tiny chromosomes of yeast can be used to characterize some of the most fundamental mechanisms that govern all animal chromosomes including humans,” remarked department director Allan Spradling. “Doug Koshland has been a source of novel ideas and an inspiration to researchers in cell and chromosome biology for many years as this honor shows.”
“Doug Koshland’s accomplishments embody the original reason that Andrew Carnegie founded this institution,” said Carnegie president Richard A. Meserve. “Carnegie knew that if exceptional individuals were given the freedom to pursue their life’s work, great discoveries would follow and humankind would be the beneficiary.”
Koshland has been a staff scientist at Carnegie since 1987 and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator for about half that time. He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Biology at the Johns Hopkins University. Among his many affiliations, Koshland is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He serves on numerous editorial boards. Koshland received his B.A. from Haverford College and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Currently there are just over 2,000 active NAS members. Among the NAS’s renowned members are Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Thomas Edison, Orville Wright, and Alexander Graham Bell. Over 180 living academy members have won Nobel Prizes.