Biographical Information on Committee Members
Lubert Stryer, Chair, is the Winzer Professor in the School of Medicine and professor of neurobiology at Stanford University. He recently served as chairman and chief scientific officer of Senomyx, Inc., a chemosensory technologies biotech company in La Jolla, California. His research in neurobiology has focused on vision and calcium signaling. Among his many honors, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and recipient of the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize and the Distinguished Inventors Award from the Intellectual Property Owners Association. He has taught biochemistry, biophysics, cell biology, and neurobiology, and has authored four editions of a textbook on biochemistry. He received a BS from the University of Chicago and an MD from Harvard University.
Ronald Breslow is a University Professor and professor of chemistry and professor of biology at Columbia University. His research in bioorganic and physical organic chemistry includes the development of novel molecules and artificial enzymes. He is a former president of the American Chemical Society and was named “one of the top 75 contributors to the chemical enterprise in the past 75 years” in a 1997 poll conducted by Chemical and Engineering News. Among his many honors are the National Medal of Science and the Priestley Medal. He holds membership in the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of Great Britain, and the Royal Society of Chemistry of London, as well as honorary membership in the Indian Academy of Sciences and the Japanese Chemical Society. He received the Columbia University Great Teacher Award and the Mark van Doren Medal for teaching, also awarded by Columbia University. He has BS and PhD degrees in chemistry from Harvard University, as well as a master’s in medical science, also from Harvard.
James Gentile is dean for the natural sciences at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. His research focuses on the connection between inflammation and cancer. He is currently editor-in-chief for the journal Mutation Research. He has received the Cancer Research Medallion from the National Cancer Institute of Japan, among other awards. He has served as a member of the Science Advisory Board for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He is a former president of the Environmental Mutagen Society, which awarded him the Student Educator of the Year Award in 1998. He is a past council member of the Council on Undergraduate Research. He also serves on the executive committee for Project Kaleidoscope. He is currently serving on the NRC’s Committee on Undergraduate Education. He has been program director for grants from HHMI, NSF, and the W.M. Keck Foundation to improve undergraduate science education at Hope College. His bachelor’s degree is from St. Mary’s University in Minnesota and PhD from Illinois State University.
David M. Hillis is director of the School of Biological Sciences and Roark Centennial Professor in the Section of Integrative Biology and the Institute of Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Texas at Austin. His research is on the evolution of biotic diversity and uses the techniques of molecular genetics to study relationships among populations, species, and higher taxa. He received the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1987 and the MacArthur Fellowship in 1999. He is a past president of the Society of Systematic Biologists, president of the Society for the Study of Evolution, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received his undergraduate degree from Baylor University and a PhD in biological sciences from the University of Kansas.
John Hopfield is Howard A. Prior Professor in the Life Sciences and professor of molecular biology at Princeton University. His research encompasses neurobiology and computing networks. He is a member of the Na-
tional Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and American Philosophical Society. He has received the MacArthur Fellowship and the APS prize in Biophysics, and was named California Scientist of the Year for 1991. He has taught in physics departments (from first-year physics to graduate condensed matter physics), in chemistry departments (first-year chemistry to graduate biophysical chemistry), and now in a molecular biology department, where he teaches a senior course related to how networks of neuron-like elements compute. He has a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College and PhD from Cornell University.
Nancy Kopell is W.G. Aurelio Professor of Mathematics and Science and co-director of the Center for BioDynamics (a multidisciplinary center for biology, mathematics, and engineering) at Boston University. Her research includes the mathematics of self-organizing systems (both physical and biological); currently she is focusing on dynamics of the nervous system, especially rhythmic activity associated with cognition and motor control. She was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. She received a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and PhD from University of California at Berkeley.
Sharon Long is dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences and professor of biological sciences at Stanford University. Her research examines the interaction of Rhizobium bacteria with a host plant in symbiotic nitrogen fixation. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She served on the NRC Committee on Undergraduate Science Education from 1993-1996. At Stanford she served on departmental and university committees for curriculum development. She teaches departmental courses in biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics and helped design and teach an interdisciplinary course for nonmajors on Light in the Physical and Biological World. Her undergraduate degree is from California Institute of Technology and her PhD is from Yale University.
Edward Penhoet is director for science and higher education programs at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. He was previously dean of the School of Public Health at the University of California at Berkeley. He co-founded Chiron and was president and CEO until 1998. He has published extensively on biochemistry of viruses and vertebrates. He was a member of the NRC Committee on Undergraduate Science Education from 1998 to
1999 and served on the NRC committee that recently produced the report Addressing the Nation’s Changing Needs for Biomedical and Behavioral Scientists. He has served as a member of the NIH Economic Roundtable on Biomedical Research and the Board of National Foundation for Biomedical Research of the NIH, and as chair for the NIH Forum on Sponsored Research Agreements. He was a member of the University of California (system-wide) Biotechnology Advisory Committee. He is on the board of directors for the Foundation for California Community Colleges. While at Chiron, he continued to teach undergraduates at Berkeley, including a biochemistry course. He received Berkeley’s first Distinguished Faculty Award for the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology in 1991 and was also awarded a Dreyfus Foundation Teacher-Scholar Award. His bachelor’s degree is from Stanford and his PhD from the University of Washington.
Joan Steitz is HHMI Investigator and Henry Ford II Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University School of Medicine. Her research concerns the structure and function of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has received the National Medal of Science, the Warren Triennial Prize, and the Christopher Columbus Discovery Award in Biomedical Research, among many others. She teaches Principles of Biochemistry at Yale. Her bachelor’s degree is from Antioch College and her PhD from Harvard University.
Charles Stevens is HHMI Investigator and Professor at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies and adjunct professor of pharmacology and neuroscience at the University of California at San Diego. His research focuses on the mechanisms of synaptic transmission. He taught at Yale University from 1975 until 1990. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is on the steering committee for the NIH Alliance for Cellular Signaling. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Harvard University, MD from Yale University, and PhD in biophysics from Rockefeller University.
Samuel Ward is professor of molecular and cellular biology and professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona. His research focuses on the genetic control of cellular morphogenesis during spermatogenesis in the nematode C. elegans, and genomic analysis of the
germline. He directs the HHMI-funded undergraduate and precollege biology education program at the University of Arizona. He has been active with Project Kaleidoscope and chaired the NRC study committee that produced the report The Role of Scientists in the Professional Development of Science Teachers. His bachelor’s degree is from Princeton University and his PhD is from California Institute of Technology.