May 22, 2017 9:00 AM


Mary Beckerle standing in hallway

SALT LAKE CITY – Mary Beckerle, PhD, CEO and Director of Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah, has been elected to highly distinguished membership in the American Philosophical Society (APS), joining a group of 32 inductees that includes former United States president Barack Obama.

Each spring a new group of members is elected. The individuals represent national and international leaders in mathematical and physical sciences, biological sciences, social sciences, humanities, the arts, and public and private affairs. In addition to Beckerle and President Obama, inductees this year include the secretary of the Smithsonian, the CEO of the New York Times, the Vice-Chancellor at the University of Oxford, and scientists from Stanford, Harvard, and Princeton Universities.

Beckerle says she’s honored to be included among such an extraordinary group of scholars and thought leaders. Beckerle notes, “It is a tremendous privilege to join such a community of scholars and innovative thinkers who are tirelessly committed to advancing knowledge and having a positive impact on society.”

The American Philosophical Society is the oldest learned society in the United States. Members are involved in diverse scholarly activities and are encouraged to attend semi-annual meetings where scientific papers are presented and discussed. Current membership consists of 827 Americans and 161 international members. Since 1900, more than 240 members have received the Nobel Prize.

APS was founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin for the purpose of “promoting useful knowledge.” Early members included George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton. Later Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Margaret Mead, and Robert Frost were added to the ranks.

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About Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah

Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah is the official cancer center of Utah. The cancer campus includes a state-of-the-art cancer specialty hospital as well as two buildings dedicated to cancer research. HCI treats patients with all forms of cancer and is recognized among the best cancer hospitals in the country by U.S. News and World Report. As the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Mountain West, HCI serves the largest geographic region in the country, drawing patients from Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. More genes for inherited cancers have been discovered at HCI than at any other cancer center in the world, including genes responsible for hereditary breast, ovarian, colon, head, and neck cancers, along with melanoma. HCI manages the Utah Population Database, the largest genetic database in the world, with information on more than 11 million people linked to genealogies, health records, and vital statistics. HCI was founded by Jon M. and Karen Huntsman.