News

Susan Lindquist Elected Foreign Member of the UK's Royal Society

Vallee Visiting Professor Susan Lindquist (MIT, Whitehead Institute, HHMI), who has transformed our understanding of how protein folding shapes biological systems and made ground-breaking contributions in genetics, cell biology and biochemistry, has been elected a Foreign Member of the UK’s Royal Society, the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.  Foreign Members are elected for life through a peer review process on the basis of excellence in science.  

Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, said:  “Science and its application are at the core of so many aspects of our modern lives. From treating infectious diseases, to building safe bridges and tunnels, searching out life on other planets and even vacuuming our living rooms, science helps us understand ourselves better and it makes life better. Without scientific knowledge, we might not be able to solve some of the greatest challenges of our time: food shortages, climate change and tackling diseases. The scientists elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society this year are leaders in their fields and have contributed much to the scientific endeavour. We are delighted to welcome them alongside the likes of great British scientist such as Newton, Boyle and Darwin.”

Other Members of the Royal Society, whether foreign of home grown, in the Vallee Foundation community include:

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Susan Lindquist, Member, Whitehead Institute and Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, discovered the functions of heat-shock proteins, identified prions as conduits of protein-based inheritance, and pioneered new platforms for neurodegenerative disease. She established the key role of the heat-shock proteins in tumor progression and the evolution of fungal drug resistance. She discovered that protein-folding buffers and releases genetic variation in response to environmental stress, providing the first plausible explanation for rapid bursts of evolution.