Vitetta elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

DALLAS – May 6, 2003 – The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has elected Dr. Ellen Vitetta, director of the Cancer Immunobiology Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, to membership. She is the 12th faculty member and the first woman from UT Southwestern to be elected to the prestigious academy.

“This is a great honor for me personally and another validation of the exceptional environment which UT Southwestern provides to its faculty,” said Dr. Vitetta, professor of microbiology.

Dr. Vitetta is internationally recognized for her research on B lymphocytes and Interleukin-4, and is a pioneer in immunotoxin therapies for cancer and AIDS. Immunotoxins function much like a “smart bomb,” finding cancer cells and destroying them without hurting the surrounding cells or tissue.

Dr. Vitetta joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 1974 and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1994. She holds the Scheryle Simmons Patigian Distinguished Chair in Cancer Immunobiology.

Congress enacted the American Academy’s charter in 1780. Today the academy consists of 3,700 fellows and 600 foreign honorary members who exemplify achievement in science, scholarship, the arts and public affairs. Vitetta was one of 187 fellows and 29 foreign honorary members elected on Monday, including journalist Walter Cronkite, philanthropist Bill Gates, novelist Michael Cunningham, and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Donald Glaser. Only five fellows elected were from Texas.

The American Academy directs a program of projects, studies and publications regarding critical issues and current topics confronting society.

Other UT Southwestern faculty who are members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the year they were elected are: Dr. Donald Seldin (1974), Dr. Michael Brown (1981), Dr. Joseph Goldstein (1981), Dr. Jean Wilson (1982), Dr. Alfred Gilman (1988), Dr. Daniel Foster (1992), Dr. David Garbers (1992), Dr. Steven McKnight (1992), Dr. Jonathan Uhr (1993), Dr. Roger Unger (1994) and Dr. Eric Olson (1998).


Media Contact: Rachel Horton

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