Maxine F. Singer (Chair), president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington (Washington, DC), is an eminent biochemist whose wide-ranging research on RNA and DNA has greatly advanced scientific understanding of viral and human genes. Dr. Singer received her bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College (1952) and her PhD from Yale University (1957). She worked at the National Institutes of Health as a research biochemist in the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases until 1975, studying the synthesis and structure of RNA. In 1975 she moved to the National Cancer Institute. Her interest in primate DNA led to the discovery of a transposable element in the human genome. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, she currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Weizmann Institute and the Johnson & Johnson Corporation. She received the Distinguished Presidential Rank Award, the highest honor given to a civil servant, and the National Medal of Science in 1991.
Bruce M. Alberts, president of the National Academy of Sciences, is a respected biochemist recognized for his work in biochemistry and molecular biology. He is noted particularly for his extensive study of the protein complexes that allow chromosomes to be replicated, as required for a living cell to divide. He is a past chair of the Commission on Life Sciences and has served on the faculty of Princeton University and as vice chair and chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics of the University of California, San Francisco. Being committed to the improvement of science education, he has dedicated much of his time to education projects in San Francisco elementary schools.