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The Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems
chemistry with the ultimate goal of highlighting subtle but important long-range controls in local molecular reactivity. Dr. Cody was awarded an Enrico Fermi Scholarship in the Chemistry Division at Argonne National Laboratory in 1994 and a Japanese Society for the Advancement of Science fellowship in 1996. He was elected vice chair of the Origins of Life Gordon Conference for 2003, and subsequently chair, in 2005. Dr. Cody also served as co-organizer of the Living Planet Symposium held at the Carnegie Institution of Washington in 2002. He served as a member of the NRC Task Group on Exploring Organic Environments in the Solar System (2000-2004).
SHELLEY D. COPLEY is a professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her research interests center on the molecular evolution of enzymes and metabolic pathways and protein structure-function relationships. Dr. Copley is a member of the Council of Fellows of the University of Colorado’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. Dr. Copley served on the NSF Molecular Biochemistry Panel (1999-2003), was co-chair for the Gordon Conference on Enzymes, Coenzymes, and Metabolic Pathways (2004), and currently serves on the National Institutes of Health Genetic Variation and Evolution Study Section.
NORMAN R. PACE is a professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado. Dr. Pace is an internationally recognized expert in nucleic acids and associated enzymes. His studies of ribosomal RNA structures have set new standards for the definition of phylogenetic relationships among organisms. His research interests include RNA enzymes, RNA processing, macromolecular structure, molecular evolution, and microbial ecology. Dr. Pace formerly served as a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Microbiology. In addition, he has served on several NRC committees, including the Committee on the Origins and Evolution of Life in the Universe (2000-2002), the Committee for a Review of Programs to Determine the Extent of Life in the Universe (2001-2002), and the Steering Group for the Workshop on Size Limits of Very Small Microorganisms (1998-1999).
JAMES H. SCOTT leads the geobiology group within the Department of Earth Sciences at Dartmouth College. He analyzes carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur isotope ratios to understand how physiological and biochemical processes that occur in microorganisms affect the surrounding geochemistry, and vice versa. Recently, he has been focusing on the isotopic fractionation associated with specific biochemicals such as amino acids, lipids, and nucleotides, which may reveal key pathways that communities of microorganisms use in metabolism. He was formerly a member of the senior staff in the Geophysical Laboratory at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. He has presented papers at numerous scientific conferences, including ASLO, Under Represented Minorities Program, Presentation Session, Santa Fe, N. Mex., 1992; Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D.C. (Geophysical Laboratory, Fall-Winter Seminar Series), 1999 and 2001; and the American Chemical Society, San Diego, Calif., 2001. In addition, he has presented papers at the (1) International Conference on High Pressure Bioscience and Biotechnology, Dortmund, Germany 2002, (2) Living Planet Seminar at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D.C., 2002, (3) Carnegie Centennial Symposium (Connecting the Earth’s Physical and Biological Components), Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D.C., 2002, and (4) Gordon Research Conference on the Origins of Life in Ventura, Calif., 2005. His academic awards and distinctions include a 1989 SROP-CIC internship, University of Wisconsin (UW)-Milwaukee; a 1991 REU-NSF internship, Center for Great Lakes Studies, UW-Milwaukee; a 1992-1995 AOP pre-doctoral fellow award; a 1993 MBL scholarship, Microbial Diversity Summer Course, MBL, Woods Hole, Mass.; and the 2001 NASA Astrobiology Institute Director’s Travel Scholarship.
ROBERT SHAPIRO is professor emeritus and senior research scientist in the Department of Chemistry at New York University. His research has centered on the chemistry of nucleic acids, with emphasis on the reactions of DNA and RNA with carcinogens and mutagens. Dr. Shapiro is author or co-author of over 110 publications, primarily in the area of DNA chemistry. In particular, he and his co-workers have studied the ways in which environmental chemicals can damage our hereditary material, causing changes that can lead to mutations and cancer.