Three UCSF Professors Inducted into American Academy of Arts and Sciences

UCSF Professors Lewis Lee Lanier, Talmadge Everett King, Jr., and Kevan M. Shoka

At a ceremony on Oct. 1, UCSF Professors Lewis Lanier, Talmadge King, Jr. and Kevan Shokat sign the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Book of Members, a tradition that dates back to 1780.

Three UCSF professors were among 179 of the nation’s most influential artists, scientists, scholars, authors and institutional leaders who were inducted on Oct. 1 into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center for independent policy research.

The three new UCSF inductees are:

  • Talmadge Everett King, Jr., Julius R. Krevans Distinguished Professor in Internal Medicine and Chair, Department of Medicine;
  • Lewis Lee Lanier, American Cancer Research Professor; professor and chair, Department of Microbiology and Immunology; and professor, Cancer Research Institute; and
  • Kevan M. Shokat, professor and chair, Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology.

“Induction recognizes extraordinary individual achievement and marks a commitment on the part of new members to provide fundamental, non-partisan knowledge for addressing today’s complex challenges,” said American Academy President Leslie C. Berlowitz.
The 231st Class of the Academy includes winners of Nobel, Pritzker, and Pulitzer prizes; the Turing Award; MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships; Kennedy Center Honors; and Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy awards. Foreign Honorary Members from Argentina, India, Israel, Japan, and the United Kingdom were also inducted.
Participants in the Oct. 1 ceremony included: singer-songwriter Paul Simon, groundbreaking researcher and biologist Frances Arnold of the California Institute of Technology; author and literary critic Denis Donoghue, University Professor and the Henry James Professor of English and American Letters at New York University and Sir Adam Roberts, President of the British Academy and one of the foremost experts on international strategic affairs.

Members contribute to academy studies of science and technology policy, global security, social policy and American institutions, the humanities, and education.

Talmadge King, Jr.

An internationally respected expert in lung disorders, King was recruited to UCSF from the University of Colorado in 1997 to be chief of medical services at San Francisco General Hospital, where he served for a decade, improving the quality of clinical care and research and advocating for the public hospital, particularly its mission of community service.

In September 2007, King was named chair of the UCSF School of Medicine's Department of Medicine, where he oversees the university’s largest department, comprising 550 doctors and scientists and more than 700 support staff.

A graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., King earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He conducted his residency at Emory University Affiliated Hospitals, Atlanta, Ga., and a pulmonary fellowship at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, where he later became a medical professor.

King is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and is on the Advisory Council of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, among several distinguished professional organizations. King has been listed on several of the “Best Doctors lists in America” for more than a decade and in 2007 won the American Thoracic Society’s highest honor, the Trudeau Medal, for his work.

Lewis Lanier

Lanier has made extensive contributions to our understanding of immunology, from his initial characterization of human natural killer (NK) cells and identification of many of the NK receptors, to his demonstration that these cells directly recognize viruses and play a key role in protecting their host against pathogens and tumors.

He joined the UCSF faculty as a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and in the Cancer Research Institute in 1999, and became chair of the department in 2009. Lanier was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2010.

Lanier graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and received his PhD from University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. He conducted postdoctoral work in immunology at the UNC Lineberger Cancer Center and the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.

He worked as a senior scientist and Research Fellow at Becton Dickinson Immunocytometry Systems from 1981 to 1990, and from 1991 to 1999 at the DNAX Research Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Inc., where he was director of immunology.

Lanier was president of the American Association of Immunologists from 2006 to 2007 and serves on the editorial board of numerous research publications, as well as the scientific advisory boards of biotechnology companies.

Kevan Shokat

Shokat is a leader in the field of chemical biology. He uses the tools of synthetic organic chemistry, structural biology, genetics and mathematical modeling to decipher the role of individual proteins called kinases and their cellular signaling networks. Those efforts include research to understand which kinases could be targeted to treat diseases such as cancer and immune dysfunction.

Shokat is currently a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.

A graduate of Reed College, in Portland, Ore., Shokat earned his PhD in organic chemistry from UC Berkeley. He has been a joint member of both the UCSF and UC Berkeley faculties since 1999, after serving as an assistant professor at Princeton University, and has led the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology since January 2010.

About the Academy

Since its founding in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other scholar-patriots, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, according to the institution. They include George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the 20th, as well as more than 250 Nobel laureates and 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious learned societies, and an independent research center that draws from its members’ expertise to conduct studies in science and technology policy, global security, the humanities and culture, social policy, and education.

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