Three UC San Francisco Scientists Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Arturo Alvarez-Buylla, PhD

Donna M. Ferriero, MD

Regis B. Kelly, PhD


Three UC San Francisco scientists have been selected to join the 2013 class of one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies for top scholars, scientists, writers, artists and civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders.

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday the election of 198 new members, including UCSF neuroscientist Arturo Alvarez-Buylla, PhD; UCSF pediatric neurologist Donna M. Ferriero, MD, MSc; and Regis B. Kelly, PhD, director of the Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3).


The new UCSF inductees join more than 50 existing members representing the University.

The academy is also a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to the academy’s publications and studies covering a variety of areas, including science, technology global security, humanities and education.

“Election to the Academy honors individual accomplishment and calls upon members to serve the public good,” said Academy President Leslie C. Berlowitz. “We look forward to drawing on the knowledge and expertise of these distinguished men and women to advance solutions to the pressing policy challenges of the day.”

Other notable members of the 2013 class include neuroscientist Marc Tessier-Lavigne, chemist Xiaowei Zhuang, mathematical physicist Robbert Dijkgraaf, educator Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, astronaut and former Sen. John Glenn, actor and director Robert De Niro, musicians Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger, U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, and operatic soprano Renée Fleming.

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 12 at the academy headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

New AAAS Members from UCSF

  • Arturo Alvarez-Buylla is a professor with the Department of Neurological Surgery at UCSF, where he holds the Heather and Melanie Muss Endowed Chair. He also is principal investigator for the UCSF Brain Tumor Research Center, internationally recognized as a major research and treatment center for adults and children with tumors of the brain and spinal cord. Alvarez-Buylla has conducted seminal experiments to identify stem cells in a region of the brain called the subventricular zone, and is among those who helped to clearly demonstrate that new neurons can indeed be born in the adult brain throughout life. He collaborates with colleagues to explore the feasibility of using neural stem cells and the cells derived from them to treat neurological disorders, working with mouse models of disease.
  • Donna Ferriero is a professor of pediatrics and neurology, chair of the UCSF Department of Pediatrics and physician-in-chief of the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. Ferriero is director of the Neonatal Brain Disorder Laboratories and co-director of the Newborn Brain Research Institute at UCSF. Her laboratory has been critical in defining the relationship of selectively vulnerable populations of neural cells during maturation-dependent injury. She is a past president of the Child Neurology Society. She is president-elect of American Pediatric Society. She is the recipient of the 2000 Sydney Carter Award for excellence and leadership in Child Neurology, and was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2005. She received the Royer Award for Excellence in Academic Neurology in 2007 and the Willis Lecture for outstanding contributions to stroke research in 2010. She was elected to the Association of American Physicians in 2011.
  • Regis Kelly is director of QB3, one of four California Institutes for Science and Innovation that aim to translate innovative research on UC campuses into innovative companies, products and jobs that drive economic growth. Based on the UCSF Mission Bay campus, QB3 focuses on research in the quantitative biosciences at UCSF, UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz. Prior to joining QB3 in 2004, Kelly served as executive vice-chancellor at UCSF, where he oversaw the UCSF research enterprise and was also responsible for construction of the new Mission Bay campus. He was chairman of the Bay Area Scientific Innovation Consortium and has served on the boards of the Malaysian Biotechnology Industry Advisory Board, the Scleroderma Foundation and Bridge Pharmaceuticals. He serves as an advisor to the Thailand Bionanotechnology Institute, Ho Chi Minh City Biotechnology Department Corp., University of Oxford Systems Biology Program, and the San Francisco Mayor’s Biotechnology Advisory Group. Kelly joined the UCSF Department of Biochemistry in 1971 and has served as director of the Cell Biology Graduate Program, director of the Hormone Research Institute, and chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.

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.