(This article incorporates a correction that ran in Tech Talk on 5/15/96)
Two MIT faculty members in the Department of Biology are among 60 new members elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. The new MIT members are Dr. Richard O. Hynes, professor of biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and director of the Center for Cancer Research, and Dr. Robert T. Sauer, Whitehead Professor of Biochemistry and associate head of the Department of Biology.
Professor Hynes, a distinguished cell biologist whose research focuses on the molecular basis of cell structure and adhesion and its roles in development, physiology and disease, headed the Department of Biology from 1989 to 1991 and has been director of the Center for Cancer Research since then. He holds the BA (1966) in biochemistry and the MA (1970) from Cambridge University in England and the PhD (1971) in biology from MIT. He joined the MIT faculty in 1975.
Professor Sauer is a protein biochemist and molecular geneticist, recognized as a world leader in the field of molecular recognition in structural biology. His research program is focused on determining the chemical principles that govern protein folding, understanding the interactions of gene regulatory proteins with nucleic acids, and probing the mechanisms by which specific proteins are targeted for intracellular degradation. A 1972 biophysics graduate of Amherst College, he joined the MIT faculty in 1978 and received the PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard University in 1979.
The National Academy of Sciences was established by Congress in 1863 to act as an official advisor to the federal government in matters of science and technology. Election to membership is one of the highest honors accorded to scientists.
The election of Professors Hynes and Sauer brings to 104 the number of MIT faculty members in the NAS.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 8, 1996.