Mark Johnston

Mark Johnston, professor and chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics in the School of Medicine, was among 180 influential artists, scientists, scholars, authors, and institutional leaders who were inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences at a ceremony on Oct. 6 in Cambridge, Mass.

As part of the formal ceremony, Johnston signed (photo) the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Book of Members, a tradition that dates back to 1780

The American Academy is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious societies and an independent research center that draws from its members’ expertise to conduct studies in science and technology policy, global security, the humanities and culture, social policy and education.

“Induction recognizes the achievement and vitality of today’s most accomplished individuals who together with the Academy will work to advance the greater good,” said Academy President Leslie Berlowitz. “These distinguished men and women are making significant strides in their quest to find solutions to the most pressing scientific, humanistic and policy challenges of the day.”

When the honor was announced earlier this year, Johnston said, “I’m honored to be recognized. The list of people in the Class of 2012, in my field and overall, is quite impressive. It means much to me that my colleagues thought enough of my contributions to nominate and elect me.”

A focus of Johnston’s work is on how glucose fuels life and how organisms have evolved sophisticated mechanisms for sensing and responding to this key nutrient.

Since its founding by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots, the American Academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation. The current membership includes more than 300 Nobel laureates, some 100 Pulitzer Prize winners and many of the world’s most celebrated artists and performers.

View a full list of the new Academy members here.

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