Philip Hieter, a Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Hieter studies the molecular genetics of proteins that are required for proper transmission of chromosomes during cell division, with the goal of relating his work in yeast to human cancer. Chromosome instability in cancer cells is now widely recognized to be a major predisposing condition in cancer initiation and progression. His research has provided a basic understanding of the mechanisms of chromosome transmission, and is therefore directly relevant to an understanding of cancer mechanisms. The results may also be useful in developing strategies for cancer therapy and for sub-classification of tumors. His work has also demonstrated and advocated the value of yeast and other model experimental organisms for understanding mechanisms of human disease.
He has received research grants from the National Institutes of Health, Merck, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the Canadian Genetic Disease Network, and the National Cancer Institute of Canada. In 2000 he received a Senior Scientist Award from the Medical Research Council of Canada. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (1998), and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2005) and a member of the Royal Society of Canada (2005). He was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Scholar from 2007 to 2011. This year, he is serving as President of the Genetics Society of America, and was co-organizer of the GSA-sponsored Yeast Genetics sand Molecular Biology Meeting in Vancouver in 2010. He was formerly Director of the Michael Smith Laboratories.
One of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 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.