University Professor Richard Axel Elected to Royal Society

Nobel Laureate Richard Axel, MD, University Professor, has been elected to the Royal Society as a foreign member.

The Royal Society, the United Kingdom's national academy of science, was founded in the 1660s to recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity. Each year the society elects up to 52 new fellows and up to 10 new foreign members.

Dr. Axel was awarded a Nobel Prize in 2004, with Linda Buck, PhD, for their series of pioneering studies that clarified how the sense of smell works. Dr. Axel's lab continues to focus on olfaction to address basic issues of neuroscience, such as the nature of sensory representations in the brain and how these representations elicit specific animal behaviors.

Prior to his olfaction research, Dr. Axel helped develop gene transfer techniques that permit the introduction of virtually any gene into any animal cell. These techniques spread through academic laboratories and made possible a wide range of new drugs.

Dr. Axel is a professor in the Departments of Neuroscience, Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, and Pathology & Cell Biology. He is a member of the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain and Behavior Institute at Columbia University and of the Kavli Institute for Brain Science and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.