External Advisory Committee

Bruce Alberts, Ph.D.

Professor of Biophysics and Biochemistry
University of California, San Francisco
Dr. Alberts has returned to an academic position after serving several years as president of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Alberts is one of the original authors of The Molecular Biology of the Cell, the leading advanced textbook in this field, now in its fourth edition. His most recent text is Essential Cell Biology.

Richard Axel, M.D.

University Professor
Columbia University
Dr. Axel holds the titles of University Professor at Columbia University, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and of Pathology at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Axel's primary research interest is how the brain interprets the sense of smell, specifically mapping the parts of the brain that are sensitive to specific olfactory receptors. He and Linda B. Buck, Ph.D., received the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system."

Titia de Lange, Ph.D.

Leon Hess Professor
The Rockefeller University
Dr. de Lange is head of the Laboratory of Cell Biology and Genetics at The Rockefeller University in New York. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. She seeks to understand how the human telomeric complex executes its two main functions: to protect chromosome ends and mediate their replication. She has been honored for her discoveries of proteins that bind these telomeres and has described the key components of the protein machinery that maintains the lengths of these chromosomal ends.

Tony Hunter, Ph.D.

Professor and Director
The Salk Institute
Tony Hunter, a professor in the Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory and director of the Salk Institute Cancer Center, studies how cells regulate their growth and division, and how mutations in genes that regulate growth lead to cancer. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. His lab has made significant contributions in the area of signal transduction, how signals that stimulate or rein in growth are routed within a cell. His recent work has highlighted the importance of crosstalk and feedback loops in the PI-3 kinase-Akt-mTOR cell growth pathway, has elucidated mechanisms of activation of the ATM protein kinase in response to double strand DNA breaks, and has identified a role for the ERK MAP kinase pathway in the motility of early breast carcinoma cells.

Marc W. Kirschner, Ph.D.

Professor of Systems Biology
Harvard Medical School
Dr. Kirschner is the founding chair of the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School. Together with John Gerhart, Ph.D., he wrote the textbook Cells, Embryos, and Evolution, which draws on the advances made in molecular, cell, and developmental biology over the past 25 years. Dr. Kirschner is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. His laboratory investigates three broad, diverse areas: regulation of the cell cycle, the role of the cytoskeleton in cell morphogenesis, and mechanisms of establishing the basic vertebrate body plan.

Huda Zoghbi, M.D.

Professor of Pediatrics, Molecular and Human Genetics, Neurology and Neuroscience
Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Huda Zoghbi is a Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Molecular and Human Genetics, Neurology and Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. She is also an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute (NRI) at Texas Children's Hospital.  Dr. Zoghbi has made major contributions to our understanding of childhood neurological disorders and to the discovery of genes essential for normal neurodevelopment.  She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Stephen Elledge, M.D.

Gregor Mendel Professor of Genetics
Harvard Medical School
Dr. Stephen Elledge is the Gregor Mendel Professor of Genetics in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and the Division of Genetics at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. Elledge is also an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He has received numerous honors for his groundbreaking work on the mechanisms of DNA damage and cell cycle control, including the Lasker Prize and election to the National Academy of Sciences.