U-M’s Schlissel, Deloria elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

April 22, 2015
Bernie DeGroat

ANN ARBOR—University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel and U-M professor Philip Deloria have been elected as new members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based academy, which convenes leaders from the academic, business and government sectors “to respond to the challenges facing the nation and the world,” announced its new members today. They include some of the world’s most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic, corporate and philanthropic leaders, including winners of the Nobel Prize and the Pulitzer Prize, MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships, and Grammy, Emmy, Oscar and Tony awards.

“We are honored to elect a new class of extraordinary women and men to join our distinguished membership,” said Don Randel, chair of the academy’s board of directors. “Each new member is a leader in his or her field and has made a distinct contribution to the nation and the world. We look forward to engaging them in the intellectual life of this vibrant institution.”

Academy President Jonathan Fanton said the honor of election is also a call to service.

“Through its projects, publications and events, the academy provides its members with opportunities to discover common interests and find common ground,” he said. “We invite every new member to participate in our important and rewarding work.”

Schlissel became the 14th president of U-M and the first physician-scientist to lead the institution in July 2014. He previously was provost of Brown University, dean and professor at the University of California-Berkeley and a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

His research has focused on the developmental biology of B lymphocytes, the cell type in the immune system that secretes antibodies. His work has contributed to a detailed understanding of genetic factors involved in the production of antibodies and how mistakes in that process can lead to leukemia and lymphoma.

Nationally, Schlissel has served as member and chair of the Immunobiology Study Section at the National Institutes of Health and on the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Scientific Review Board. He was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigators in 1998 and the American Association of Physicians in 2013, has been a member of the American Association of Immunologists since 1992 and was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2013.

Deloria, the Carroll Smith-Rosenberg Collegiate Professor of American Culture and History, is the former associate dean of undergraduate education at the U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and past director of the Program in American Culture and its Native American studies program.

He is an expert on issues of culture and representation concerning Native Americans, as well as 19th-century cultural history and theory, Native American history, history of the American West and American environmental history.

Deloria also has served as president of the American Studies Association, a council member of the Organization of American Historians and a Trustee of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

One of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to academy publications and studies of science and technology policy, global security and international affairs, social policy and American institutions, and the humanities, arts, and education.

Since its founding in 1780, the academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th, and Margaret Mead and Martin Luther King Jr. in the 20th. Current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony Oct. 10 in Cambridge, Mass. The list of new members is located at myumi.ch/aVPn4.