Biochemist becomes 15th UT Southwestern faculty member serving on National Academy of Sciences

DALLAS April 20, 2004 Dr. Xiaodong Wang, a professor of biochemistry at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas who discovered the biochemical pathway responsible for cell death, today was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors attainable by an American scientist.

Dr. Wang, 41, becomes the 15th UT Southwestern faculty member serving on the prestigious organization. On Monday he received the NAS Award in Molecular Biology, an honor given annually for a recent notable discovery in molecular biology by a young scientist.

There are now 19 NAS members at Texas medical institutions. More than 75 percent of those are at UT Southwestern. Two researchers from other Texas institutions also were among the 72 new members and 18 foreign associates that were elected to the NAS today.

Dr. Wang said he is overwhelmed to be among those UT Southwestern faculty members previously elected to the NAS. These are the people who have been my teachers and mentors, and from whom I have received so much advice.

I think this is recognition from the scientific community of the work Ive done here, said Dr. Wang, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. And Im happy for UT Southwestern as well. Ive spent the last 17 years or so here and I received all my scientific training here.

Dr. Kern Wildenthal, president of UT Southwestern, said the election of Dr. Wang to the National Academy of Sciences is a testament not only to his standing as one of the countrys top researchers, but also to UT Southwesterns continuing success in attracting and nurturing many of the top stars in biomedical science.

Dr. Steven McKnight, chairman of biochemistry at UT Southwestern and a mentor of Dr. Wang, said, Xiaodong has single-handedly resolved the biochemical pathway responsible for the execution of programmed cell death. He has made multiple, very important discoveries and is one of the most cited scientists of the last decad

Contact: Amanda Siegfried
UT Southwestern Medical Center

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