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Geoffrey Wahl elected to Academy of Arts and Sciences Class of 2014 for outstanding scientific work

Geoffrey Wahl

Last April, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) elected Geoffrey Wahl, a professor in Salk’s Gene Expression Laboratory and holder of the Daniel and Martina Lewis Chair, to its distinguished membership. The society’s ranks include Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize recipients and Oscar winners, as well as intellectual luminaries dating back to the founding of the United States. George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were members, as was Albert Einstein. Wahl joins 13 other Salk professors as members of the organization.

Wahl seeks to determine how cancers originate and progress and why tumors become resistant to even the most powerful anti-cancer drugs. His goal is to translate the knowledge gained from basic research into the development of new treatment strategies to manage all types of cancer more effectively.

“It has been my privilege to call Geoff a colleague and a dear friend,” says Inder Verma, a professor in Salk’s Laboratory of Genetics and American Cancer Society Professor of Molecular Biology. “His work in understanding cancer has been critical to the field, and he is highly deserving of this honor.” Verma, along with Carol Prives, a professor at Columbia University, nominated Wahl for membership in the academy; both are AAAS members themselves.

“I am humbled by the honor and privilege of being included as a member of this academy and deeply grateful to those who nominated and supported me,” says Wahl. “I have been fortunate to work with students, postdoctoral scholars and collaborators whose efforts, insights and intellect were vital to my work.”

The academy is one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious honorary learned societies and a leading center for independent policy research. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners. Other members elected in 2014 include authors John Irving and E. Annie Proulx, cartoonist Jules Feiffer, actor Al Pacino, political economist Robert Reich, former Paramount CEO Sherry Lansing and oceanographer Robert Ballard, along with a host of illustrious scientists, mathematicians, engineers, economists, historians, social scientists, educators, philanthropists, artists and more.