Jef Boeke Elected to National Academy of Sciences
Jef Boeke, Ph.D., a professor in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences, is one of the 84 new members elected this year to the National Academy of Sciences. Membership in the academy, which advises the government on scientific matters, is a top honor for U.S. scientists. Boeke will be inducted into the academy next April during its 151st annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
“This is a wonderful endorsement of Jef's research and his lab’s work over the years by many scientific colleagues,” said Carol Greider, Ph.D., a professor and director of the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Boeke’s department.
“Jef is an extraordinarily creative, collaborative scientist, and I can think of no one more deserving of this honor,” added Stephen Desiderio, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of molecular biology and genetics and director of the Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences.
Boeke is best known for elucidating how mobile yeast and human transposons, or “jumping genes,” move about the genome, and for his pioneering synthetic biology work. He is the founding director of the High Throughput Biology Center (HiT Center), the first interdisciplinary center in the Johns Hopkins' Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences. A professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, he also holds a joint appointment in the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and an adjunct appointment in biology at the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. Boeke has served as principal investigator of a National Cooperative Drug Discovery/Development Group, a National Institutes of Health Common Fund Protein Capture Initiative Center and a Common Fund Technology Center aimed at developing new technologies for dissecting networks and pathways of lysine modification. A major current activity in his lab is the design and construction of a synthetic yeast genome, aided by undergraduate students in the “build-a-genome” course and an international collaborative project funded by the National Science Foundation and agencies in the U.K. and China. He has also been active in technology transfer, serving as a founder of biotechnology company Avigen and CDI, Inc., and has executed various licensing deals. He has served as organizer and co-organizer of several international meetings on transposition and genome engineering.
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