Bruce Alberts

University of California, San Francisco


Primary Section: 21, Biochemistry
Secondary Section: 22, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Membership Type: Member (elected 1981)

Biosketch

A prominent protein biochemist and cell biologist with a strong commitment to the improvement of science and mathematics education, Bruce Alberts, was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Barack Obama in 2014 and the 2016 Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science. Dr. Alberts served as Editor-in-Chief of Science (2009-2013) and as one of the first three United States Science Envoys (2009-2011). He is now the Chancellor’s Leadership Chair in Biochemistry and Biophysics for Science and Education at the University of California, San Francisco, to which he returned after serving two six-year terms as the president of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). During his tenure at the NAS, Alberts was instrumental in developing the landmark National Science Education Standards that have been implemented in school systems nationwide. Alberts is also noted as one of the original authors of The Molecular Biology of the Cell, a preeminent textbook in the field now in its sixth edition. For the period 2000 to 2009, he served as the co-chair of the InterAcademy Council (now IAP Policy), a new organization governed by the presidents of 15 national academies of sciences and established to provide science advice to the world. 

Research Interests

Science policy, especially how to encourage innovative research by the next generation of biomedical scientists.  Science education, especially how to dramatically alter this education at all levels, so as to focus on imparting scientific habits of mind to all students, including both a demand for evidence in making personal judgements and a respect for, and understanding of, the scientific enterprise.

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