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Mary Beckerle, Huntsman Cancer Institute Executive Director, Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

The American Academy of Arts & Sciences, one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and independent policy research centers, today announced the election of a new class of members. Among those elected is Mary C. Beckerle, Ph.D., Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) executive director and distinguished professor of biology at the University of Utah.

Drawn from the sciences, the arts and humanities, business, public affairs, and the nonprofit sector, the 190 new Fellows and 22 Foreign Honorary Members are leaders in their fields. They include Nobel laureates and recipients of Pulitzer and Pritzker prizes, Academy and Grammy awards, and Kennedy Center Honors.

"The Academy honors excellence by electing to membership remarkable men and women who have made preeminent contributions to their fields and to the world," said Academy President Emilio Bizzi. "We are pleased to welcome into the Academy these new members to help advance our founders' goal of 'cherishing knowledge and shaping the future.'"

Beckerle holds the Ralph E. and Willia T. Main Presidential Endowed Chair in Cancer Research at the University of Utah. At this time last year, she was presented with the Rosenblatt Prize, the most prestigious award given to University of Utah faculty members.

In recognition of her many research accomplishments, Beckerle was named an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association and received a Senior Research Award from the American Cancer Society. In 2001, Beckerle was honored as a recipient of the Utah Governor's Award for Science and Technology. She is an active participant in national scientific affairs and served as president of the American Society for Cell Biology, an international research organization. In 2008, she was appointed to the Scientific Review Board of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Board of the Coalition for Life Sciences, and to the National Institutes of Health Advisory Committee to the Director.

The 2008 Class of Fellows is comprised of scholars, scientists, and artists as well as civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders from 20 states and 15 countries. They range in age from 37 to 86. Represented among this year's newly elected members are more than 50 universities and more than a dozen corporations, as well as museums, national laboratories and private research institutes, media outlets, and foundations.

An independent policy research center, the Academy undertakes studies of complex and emerging problems. Its diverse membership of scholars and practitioners from many disciplines and professions gives the Academy a unique capacity to conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary, long-term policy research. Current studies focus on science, technology, and global security; social policy and American institutions; the humanities and culture; and education.

"For 228 years, the Academy has served the public good by convening leading thinkers and doers from diverse perspectives to examine—and provide practical policy solutions to—the pressing issues of the day," added Chief Executive Officer and William T. Golden Chair Leslie Berlowitz. "I am confident that this distinguished class of new members will continue that tradition."

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on October 11 at the Academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other scholar-patriots, the Academy has elected as members the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth. The current membership includes some 200 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

A list of all newly elected Fellows and Honorary Foreign Members with their affiliations may be viewed at

About Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah
The mission of Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at The University of Utah is to understand cancer from its beginnings, to use that knowledge in the creation and improvement of cancer treatments, to relieve the suffering of cancer patients, and to provide education about cancer risk, prevention, and care. HCI is a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, which means that it meets the highest national standards for cancer care and research and receives support for its scientific endeavors. HCI is also a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), a not-for-profit alliance of the world's leading cancer centers, which is dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with cancer. For more information about HCI, please visit