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Marc Kirschner

chair, systems biology, Harvard

Marc W. Kirschner is founding chair of the Department of Systems Biology. He is co-author of Cells, Embryos, and Evolution (Blackwell, 1997) and a newly published book, The Plausibility of Life: Resolving Darwin's Dilemma (Yale University Press, 2005). Kirschner was elected Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London and as a Foreign Member of the Academia Europaea in 1999. He was the 2001 recipient of the William C. Rose Award, presented by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Later that year, he received a 2001 International Award by the Gairdner Foundation of Toronto. He was awarded the Rabbi Shai Shacknai Lectureship Prize for 2003 at the Lautenberg Center for General and Tumor Immunology at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In December 2003, Kirschner received the EB Wilson Medal, the American Society of Cell Biology's highest scientific honor named for an early 20th century pioneer of American biology who advocated the chromosomal theory of inheritance, is awarded by scientific peers to those who have made significant and far reaching contributions to cell biology over the course of a career. He received the Dickson Prize for Science from Carnegie Mellon University for his outstanding contributions to science in 2004. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has served on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health and as President of the American Society for Cell Biology. Kirschner's laboratory investigates three broad, diverse areas: regulation of the cell cycle, the role of cytoskeleton in cell morphogenesis, and mechanisms of establishing the basic vertebrate body plan.