Columbia Molecular Geneticist Elected to the Royal Society

Columbia’s Lorraine Symington is one of more than 90 researchers elected this year to fellowship in the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of sciences.

Lorraine Symington

Lorraine Symington

Symington, the Harold S. Ginsberg Professor of Microbiology & Immunology in the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, joins fellows who are recognized for their contributions to science. Scientists in the newest class, drawn from academic, industry, and related fields, are from several countries.

The Royal Society cited Symington for her work on the mechanisms of homologous recombination using the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as an experimental system. She pioneered the development of genetic assays to identify mutants with altered rates of recombination and employed physical monitoring methods to decipher the molecular mechanisms of double-strand break repair. Her studies have led to greater insights into homologous recombination mechanisms in higher eukaryotes.

Symington, who joined the Columbia faculty in 1988, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2020, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2018, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2009. She received her PhD in genetics from the University of Glasgow.

The Royal Society of scientists who represent all areas of science, engineering, and medicine was founded in 1660 to recognize, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science to benefit humanity.