American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Alfred Newton Richards, elected 1937

Alfred Newton Richards

Alfred Newton Richards, PhD, proved kidneys filter blood by inventing glomerular micropuncture, first employed inulin to study glomerular filtration rate, and determined that renal tubules secreted or reabsorbed various substances in processing final urine. Receiving an undergraduate degree from Yale in 1897 and his PhD in physical chemistry from Columbia University in 1901, he subsequently joined the faculty at Columbia and received a scholarship from the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research where he fell under the influence of Christian Herter. Richards helped found the Journal of Biological Chemistry in 1904, eventually rising to editor, and held a life-long interest in the laboratory effects of drugs on the kidney.

In 1908, he was appointed professor of pharmacology at Northwestern University Medical School and later was appointed chair of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to training a legion of distinguished investigators, Richards was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1927, received the Lasker Award in 1946, and and later served as president of the National Academy of Sciences in 1947. President Roosevelt appointed him to head the Committee on Medical Research during the Second World War where he put penicillin in production as a therapeutic agent. From 1939 to 1948, Richards served as Vice President for Medical Affairs at the University of Pennsylvania.


Hans Popper, elected 1967

Hans Popper

Hans Popper, MD, PhD, is widely regarded as the father of hepatology. A medical graduate of the University of Vienna and pre-war immigrant from Austria, Popper settled in Chicago, received his PhD in pathology in 1944 from the University of Illinois, and worked as a physician-scientist at the Cook County Hospital, where he rose to become director of the Hektoen Institute of Medical Research. Publishing more than 800 papers with particular focus on the liver in health and disease, he became a founding member of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, now with more than 2,000 members. Returning from service following World War II, Popper was appointed associate professor of pathology in 1949 at Northwestern University Medical School, and promoted to professor in 1956. In 1957, Popper became chairman of pathology at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and helped form the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he later served as dean and president. In 1967 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and, in 1976, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.


Thomas E. Starzl, elected 1971

Thomas E. Starzl

Thomas E. Starzl, MD, PhD, received a master's degree in anatomy in 1950 and in 1952 earned a doctoral degree in neurophysiology and a medical degree with distinction from Northwestern University Medical School. He served on the faculty of the medical school from 1958 to 1961 and joined the University of Colorado School of Medicine as an associate professor in surgery in 1962. He was known as the father of transplantation, and performed the first successful liver transplant in 1967 at the University of Colorado. Starzl conducted the first multiple organ transplant in 1983, the first heart and liver transplant in 1984, and the first liver and intestine transplant in 1990. In 1980 he introduced the anti-rejection medications, anti-lymphocyte globulin and cyclosporine. He was instrumental in developing tacrolimus, a drug that significantly increased survival rates in transplantation patients.

Starzl joined the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine as professor of surgery in 1981. Northwestern University presented Starzl with an honorary doctor of science degree in 1982. In 1996 the University of Pittsburgh’s transplant center was renamed the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, where he still devotes his time to research and as a professor. He was elected into the Institute of Medicine in 1999 and received a Lasker Award in 2012.


Edwin Taylor, elected 1991

Edwin Taylor

Edwin Taylor, PhD, adjunct professor in Cell and Molecular Biology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, studied the molecular mechanisms for the movements of cells and made significant contributions to the biochemistry of muscle contraction and cytoskeletal research. He discovered several molecular cell motors, some of which assist in the motility of certain white blood cells. Taylor also showed how actin and myosin induce movement in non-muscle cells. His investigations provided the first kinetic model describing how molecular motors convert chemical energy into mechanical force.

Taylor joined Northwestern faculty in 1999 as a research professor in cell and molecular biology. He was the recipient of the E.B. Wilson Medal, the highest honor awarded by the American Society for Cell Biology. He is also a member of the Royal Society of London and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Laszlo Lorand, elected 1998

Laszlo Lorand

Laszlo Lorand, PhD, professor emeritus in Cell and Molecular Biology, was the first director of a National Institutes of Health-funded Biochemistry Training Program and became a founding member of the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at Northwestern University Medical School. He served from 1990 to 1991 as deputy director for Basic Sciences of the Cancer Center. In 1993, he transferred to Feinberg as a research professor in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology and was a distinguished investigator of the Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute.

He is editor and co-editor of several books, and author and co-author of more than 200 scientific publications. His research focused on cell migration and wound healing. With his collaborators, he made the fundamental discoveries that laid the foundation for the molecular understanding of the clotting of fibrinogen in blood.  This led to the reconstruction of the physiological process as well as to the diagnosis of unusual bleeding disorders. His work served as a foundation for studying protein cross-linking in aging cells.


Samuel Stupp, elected 1998

Samuel Stupp

Samuel I. Stupp, PhD, director of the Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Board of Trustees Professor of Materials Science, Chemistry, and Medicine, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2012 for advances in processes of self-assembled polymers for biomedical applications. His research focuses on nanostructures and materials with emphasis in regenerative medicine, organic electronics, solar energy, and cancer therapies. Stupp’s research group is highly interdisciplinary, integrating chemistry, materials science, and medicine.

Stupp is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a fellow of the American Physical Society and the Materials Research Society. He has received several awards and honors including a Department of Energy Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Materials Chemistry, the American Chemical Society Award in Polymer Chemistry, the Materials Research Society Medal, and the Humboldt Award for Senior U.S. Scientists.

In 1977, Stupp earned his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern and joined Northwestern in 1999 as Board of Trustees Professor of Materials Science, Chemistry, and Medicine.


Robert F. Furchgott, elected 2000

Robert F. Furchgott

Robert Furchgott, PhD ’40, graduated Northwestern University Medical School with a PhD in biochemistry in 1940. In 1978, he discovered a substance in endothelial cells that relaxes blood vessels, calling it endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF). He later determined that EDRF was nitric oxide and identified the role that nitric oxide plays in the regulation of cardiovascular function. He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1998, which he shared with Louis J. Ignarro and Ferid Murad for “their discoveries concerning nitric oxide as a signaling molecule.” Furchgott’s discoveries have helped scientists understand and find new treatments for cardiovascular diseases and other conditions ranging from immune disorders to memory loss, pulmonary disease, and erectile dysfunction.

Furchgott, a long time faculty member at SUNY Downstate, also received a Gairdner Foundation International Award and the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research. He died in 2009.


Patricia Spear, elected 2003

Patricia Spear

Patricia Spear, PhD,  professor emeritus in Microbiology-Immunology, identified the mechanisms of the herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 to enter cells, in addition to characterizing cell surface carbohydrates and proteins required for penetration of human cells and viral spread by cell-cell fusion.  She studied cell tropism and pathogenesis as determined by differential expression of multiple viral receptors in different cell types and the ability of viral strains to use different receptors for entry.

Spear joined the faculty of Northwestern University Medical School in 1987 as the Guy and Anne Youmans Professor and Chair of Microbiology-Immunology.


Gary Borisy, elected 2004

Gary Borisy

Gary Borisy, PhD, adjunct professor in Cell and Molecular Biology, was associate vice president for research and the Leslie B. Arey Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He joined Northwestern in 2000. In 1965, Borisy discovered the protein tubulin, which comprises a key part of the cell's cytoskeleton. He provided important insights into chromosome movement and the role of the protein actin, a major component of cell motility; and the dynamics of microtubules, filaments that help direct cell division.

Borisy is the author of more than 200 papers, the editor of two books, and has received numerous professional honors, including a National Institutes of Health Merit award, the Carl Zeiss award from the German Society for Cell Biology, and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Chicago. Borisy currently is president and director of the Marine Biological Laboratory.


J. Larry Jameson, elected 2004

J. Larry Jameson

J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, joined the Northwestern University Medical School faculty in 1993 as chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Molecular Medicine. He was the Irving S. Cutter Professor and served as chair of the department of medicine from 2000 to 2007, when he was named vice president for medical affairs and dean of the medical school. He has a long-standing interest in the genetics of endocrine tumors and possible approaches to their treatment. He has published more than 250 scientific articles and co-edited the fourth and the fifth editions of the authoritative text, DeGroot and Jameson’s Endocrinology. He is His book Principles of Molecular Medicine received the Best Health Science Book of 1998 award.  He has served as an editor for the 15th and 16th editions of Harrison’s, Principles of Internal Medicine and is an editor of Harrison’s Online.

Jameson served as president of the Endocrine Society and has received several awards, including the Oppenheimer Award from the Endocrine Society and the Van Meter Award from the American Thyroid Association. He has been elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians and, in 2004, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was elected into the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2005. He joined the University of Pennsylvania in 2011.


Robert Lamb, elected 2007

Robert Lamb

Robert Lamb, PhD, is the John Evans Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the Department of Molecular Biosciences, a professor of Microbiology-Immunology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He studies the replication and pathogenesis of influenza virus and paramyxoviruses, specifically virus-mediated membrane fusion, the action of protein-selective ion channels, enveloped virus assembly, and how these viruses defeat innate immunity.

He is past president of the American Society for Virology and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He joined Northwestern in 1983.


Chad Mirkin, elected 2011

Chad Mirkin

Chad Mirkin, PhD, director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology and the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry, and professor of Medicine-Infectious Diseases, came to Northwestern University in 1991 as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry.

A world renowned nanoscience expert, he is known for the development of nanoparticle-based biodetection schemes, the invention of Dip-Pen Nanolithography, and contributions to supramolecular chemistry, nanoelectronics, and nanooptics. He is the author of more than 440 manuscripts and over 400 patents and applications, and the founder of three companies, Nanosphere, NanoInk, and Aurasense, which are commercializing nanotechnology applications in the life science and semiconductor industries. He is a member of President Obama's Council of Advisors for Science and Technology.

He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2009 for the development of DNA programmable inorganic materials and dip pen nanolithography. He was elected in 2010 to the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.


David J. Skorton, elected 2011

David J. Skorton

David J. Skorton, MD, graduated from Northwestern University in 1970 and the Feinberg School of Medicine in 1974. He trained in internal medicine and cardiology at the University of California, and then joined the faculty at the University of Iowa.

In 2003, Skorton was appointed president of the University of Iowa. He was then appointed president of Cornell University in 2006. Since 2015, he has served as secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Feinberg School of Medicine in 2009.


Eric G. Neilson, elected 2016

Eric G. Neilson

Eric G. Neilson, MD, vice president for medical affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean, came to the Feinberg School of Medicine in 2011, after serving as the Hugh Jackson Morgan Professor and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the C Mahlon Kline Professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Neilson’s research has made important contributions to understanding the cell fate of fibroblasts in fibrogenesis, the expression of the nephritogenic immune response, and the biochemical mechanisms of renal hypertrophy. He has published more than 300 scientific articles, reviews, commentaries, editorials, and book chapters.

Neilson is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, the American Clinical and Climatological Association, the Interurban Clinical Club, the Association of Subspecialty Professors, and the Association of Professors of Medicine.