Two VVPs elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Many congratulations to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Erin Schuman who have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Charpentier (Max Planck Institute for the Science of Pathogens, Berlin) and Schuman (Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt) are both Vallee Visiting Professors. They share this honor with 268 new members.
Dr Charpentier is an expert in regulatory mechanisms underlying processes of infection and immunity in bacterial pathogens and is best known for her role in deciphering the molecular mechanisms of the bacterial CRISPR/Cas9 immune system and repurposing it into a tool for genome editing. She and Dr Jennifer Doudna (University of California, Berkeley) were awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work showing that Cas9 can be used to make cuts in any DNA sequence. This pivotal method of editing the genome is now used by researchers everywhere.
Dr Schuman is best known for her pioneering work on molecular mechanisms of brain development and plasticity, including her discovery that neurons can synthesize proteins outside the cell body, within dendrites, a phenomenon called local protein synthesis. Her lab, which she heads together with husband Gilles Laurent, also a renowned neuroscientist, focuses on studying the molecular and cell biological processes that control protein synthesis and degradation in neurons and their synapses.
When announcing this year's new members, Academy President David W. Oxtoby said, "With the election of these members, the Academy is honoring excellence, innovation, and leadership and recognizing a broad array of stellar accomplishments. We hope every new member celebrates this achievement and joins our work advancing the common good."
The American Academy of Arts & Sciences, founded in 1780, is both an honorary society that recognizes and celebrates the excellence of its members and an independent research center convening leaders from across disciplines, professions, and perspectives to address significant challenges.