Two UNC-Chapel Hill scientists elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

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Two UNC-Chapel Hill scientists elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Researchers’ election to prestigious academy underscores UNC-Chapel Hill’s impact on health, disease and the environment


(Chapel Hill, N.C. – May 4, 2016) – Two scientists from UNC-Chapel Hill have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies that includes some of the world’s most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, as well as civic, business and philanthropic leaders.


The addition of Joel Kingsolver, Ph.D. and Keith Burridge, Ph.D. brings the number of current faculty who have been elected to the academy to 38.


“This is one of the top academic honors in the country,” said UNC-Chapel Hill Provost Jim Dean. “And so to have two of our own honored and recognized is not only a recognition of merit and accomplishments, but a reflection of how our University attracts and retains the best and the brightest. We are so proud of their distinguished work and scholarship, which shape some of the most important health and environmental issues of our time.”


Kingsolver, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Biology, studies how insects and other organisms respond to rapid environmental change:  how recent climate warming is affecting alpine butterflies, and whether they can evolve to keep up; how insect pests colonize and adapt to new regions and continents; how invasive plants are threatening native butterflies; why some insect species become agricultural pests, but their close relatives do not.


Burridge, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology, has conducted seminal research on the basic building blocks of cells for four decades. His work on the basic mechanisms of cell biology and cellular movement has been at the forefront of the field and has led to a much deeper knowledge of how cells, especially cancer cells, do what they do, a feat that has led to the identification of new drug targets.


Kingsolver and Burridge were elected to the academy 2016 class among 213 new members, including novelist Colm Tóibín, La Opinión Publisher and CEO Monica Lozano, jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter, former Botswanan President Festus Mogae, and autism author and spokesperson Temple Grandin.


– Carolina –


About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 113 master’s, 68 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty – including two Nobel laureates – staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 308,000 alumni live in all 50 states and 150 countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.



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