Two P&S Faculty Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Two P&S faculty members—Riccardo Dalla-Favera and Rodney Rothstein—have been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences. They, along with Morningside’s anthropology professor Ralph L. Holloway, are among 84 new members announced this week.

Election to the National Academy of Sciences recognizes distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. The 84 new members bring the total number of active members to 2,250.

Riccardo Dalla-Favera, MD, is the Joanne and Percy Uris Professor of Clinical Medicine and professor of pathology & cell biology. He is also a member of the Departments of Genetics & Development and Microbiology & Immunology and director of the Institute of Cancer Genetics. A distinguished investigator in the molecular genetics of cancer, Dr. Dalla-Favera has been an international leader in the field of lymphoid neoplasia for the past 30 years.

Dr. Dalla-Favera received his medical degree and completed his residency at the University of Milan. After finishing a fellowship at the National Cancer Institute and serving seven years on the New York University faculty, Dr. Dalla-Favera joined P&S in the Department of Pathology in 1989. He directed the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center for seven years in addition to leading Columbia’s Institute for Cancer Genetics. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2010.

Rodney Rothstein, PhD, is professor of genetics & development and has a joint appointment in the Department of Systems Biology. He has pioneered the use of recombination to alter genomes and has used these methods to isolate novel genes involved in the maintenance of genome stability. His development of “one-step” gene disruption technology led directly to the “knockout” technology used in many organisms to exploit recombination to either remove or insert DNA sequences into specific positions within the genome.

Dr. Rothstein received his PhD from the University of Chicago, where he started his studies on yeast genetics in 1970. He did postdoctoral work at the University of Rochester and Cornell University before joining the faculty at UMDNJ-Newark. He joined P&S in 1984. In 2009, he was awarded the Genetics Society of America’s Novitski Prize, which recognizes the highest levels of creativity and intellectual ingenuity in solving significant problems of genetics research. He was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2011.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution established under a Congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and—with the National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council—provides science, technology, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.

With the election of Drs. Rothstein and Dalla-Favera, P&S is now home to 19 NAS members.

Read the full list of scientists elected to the NAS this year here.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this news item included an inaccurate title for Dr. Dalla-Favera.