Stowers Investigator elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Apr 24 2013

KANSAS CITY, MO—Stowers Institute Investigator Jerry Workman, Ph.D., has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Workman shares the honor with some of the world's most accomplished leaders from academia, business, public affairs, the humanities, and the arts.


Jerry Workman, Ph.D.

Workman was one of the first scientists to discover that histones, protein spools that keep the genomic DNA neatly organized inside the cell nucleus, are not only important for the exquisite packaging of DNA into chromatin but that they are also crucial players in the regulation of gene expression. He has identified and characterized several giant protein complexes that modify histones, causing them to either loosen or tighten their grip on DNA, leaving it open to enzymes that can read its code and turn on genes.

“This is a highly prestigious—and very fitting—recognition of Jerry’s pioneering contributions to the field of chromatin biology and gene expression,” said Scientific Director Robb Krumlauf, Ph.D. “With boundless creative and intellectual energy, he changed our fundamental understanding of how genes are turned on and off and as a result has had a profound impact on a wide range of other fields, such as developmental biology and cancer research.”

Workman is the sixth person from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research to be inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among this year’s fellows are the recipient of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine Bruce A. Beutler; the director and actor Robert De Niro; singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen; astronaut, former Senator, and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner John Glenn; Senator Richard Lugar and David M. Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group and a major philanthropist for the arts, libraries, and higher education.

Workman and the new class will be inducted at a special ceremony this year on October 12 at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Since 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has been recognizing “thinkers and doers” from each generation; past members include George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Winston Churchill and Albert Einstein. As one of the nation's most prestigious honorary societies, the Academy is also a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to Academy publications and studies of science and technology policy, energy and global security, social policy and American Institutions, the humanities and culture, and education. Current members include more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

 

About the Stowers Institute for Medical Research

The Stowers Institute for Medical Research is a non-profit, basic biomedical research organization dedicated to improving human health by studying the fundamental processes of life. Jim Stowers, founder of American Century Investments, and his wife, Virginia, opened the Institute in 2000. Since then, the Institute has spent over 900 million dollars in pursuit of its mission.

Currently, the Institute is home to nearly 550 researchers and support personnel; 20 independent research programs; and more than a dozen technology-development and core facilities.