Columbia University Medical Center

American Academy of Arts and Sciences Inducts Two Researchers from CUMC

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Seven Columbia faculty will be inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences this year, among them two researchers from Columbia University Medical Center: Maxwell E. Gottesman, director of the Institute of Cancer Research, and Rodney J. Rothstein, professor of genetics and development.
“I am honored to have been inducted and thank my colleagues in the field for recognizing me in this way,” Dr. Rothstein said upon learning of his selection.
Dr. Rothstein was selected for elucidating the essential biological processes underlying the recognition and repair of DNA damage. Dr. Rothstein has also been studying a special type of cell division seen in adult stem cells that is also present in yeast. By using budding yeast as an experimental organism, researchers such as Dr. Rothstein aim to find better tools to identify adult stem cells that are hidden in adult tissues.
Dr. Gottesman was selected for his studies of transcription termination in E. coli bacteria. He has shown than translation and transcription are coupled by the NusG protein and that failure to terminate transcription leads to chromosome breaks. Failure to repair such breaks can have catastrophic effects, including cancer. Other work involves the mechanism of DNA double-strand break repair and the linkage between repair and DNA methylation. Dr. Gottesman and his colleagues have determined that PTPD1, the protein tyrosine phosphatase that activates Src, is up-regulated in bladder cancer.
Other Columbians named to this year’s class are: Shou-Wu Zhang, professor of mathematics, Shree K. Nayar, co-director of the Columbia Vision and Graphics Center; T.C. Chang Professor, Computer Science, Mark Mazower, Ira D. Wallach Professor of  World Order Studies; professor of history, James S. Shapiro, Larry Miller Professor of English, and Michael Scammell, biographer, translator and professor in the Department of Creative Writing.
Since its founding in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other scholar-patriots, the Academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners. For a full list of the 231st class of fellows, please see the official American Academy of Sciences announcement here.
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Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, pre-clinical and clinical research, in medical and health sciences education, and in patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Established in 1767, Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons was the first institution in the country to grant the M.D. degree and is now among the most selective medical schools in the country. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the most comprehensive medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest in the United States. Columbia University Medical Center is affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, the nation’s largest not-for-profit, non-sectarian hospital provider. For more information, please visit www.cumc.columbia.edu.

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