archive: SETI news release - NOBEL PRIZE WINNER TO LEAD NASA ASTROBIOLOGY

SETI news release - NOBEL PRIZE WINNER TO LEAD NASA ASTROBIOLOGY

Larry Klaes ( lklaes@bbn.com )
Tue, 18 May 1999 14:52:55 -0400

>Resent-Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 10:33:51 -0700 (PDT)
>Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 10:32:39 -0700 (PDT)
>To: ames-releases@lists.arc.nasa.gov
>From: John Bluck <jbluck@mail.arc.nasa.gov>
>Subject: news release - NOBEL PRIZE WINNER TO LEAD NASA ASTROBIOLOGY
> INSTITUTE
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>May 18, 1999
>David Morse
>NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA
>(Phone: 650/604-4724 or 604-9000)
>email: dmorse@mail.arc.nasa.gov
>
>RELEASE: 99-33
>
>NOBEL PRIZE WINNER TO LEAD NASA ASTROBIOLOGY INSTITUTE
>
> NASA selected Dr. Baruch Blumberg, distinguished professor,
>researcher, biochemist and winner of the 1976 Nobel prize for Physiology or
>Medicine, as Director of NASA's Astrobiology Institute (NAI), effective
>today. NAI is an institution without walls, a virtual organization
>comprising NASA centers, universities and others dedicated to studying the
>origin, evolution, distribution and destiny of life in the universe.
>
> "Dr. Blumberg is a world-renowned scientist and researcher who will
>bring powerful and committed leadership to the Agency's Astrobiology
>Institute," said NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin. "We are extremely
>fortunate to have a person of his scholarship, experience and
>accomplishment. I am delighted that he has joined the NASA team to lead
>our visionary program in astrobiology."
>
> Blumberg is currently senior advisor to the president of the Fox Chase
>Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA. He was formerly vice president for
>population oncology and associate director for clinical research at the
>Center. Since 1977, he has served as professor of medicine and
>anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania.
>
> "Dr. Blumberg is internationally known for his pioneering and Nobel
>Prize-winning work on developing the hepatitis B vaccine," said Dr. Henry
>McDonald, Director of NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA.
>"During his distinguished career, he has made many important contributions
>to the fields of human biology, biochemistry and genomics. Genomics will
>be at the core of the theoretical and experimental underpinnings for future
>NASA research thrusts in Astrobiology. We are delighted that Dr. Blumberg
>will lead NASA's Astrobiology Institute into the 21st century."
>
> The Astrobiology Institute, established in July 1998, employs a
>multidisciplinary focus to bring together astronomers, biologists,
>chemists, exobiologists, geologists and physicists. A key goal is to
>search for the origins of life -- on Earth, elsewhere in our solar system
>and beyond.
>
> "The NASA Astrobiology Institute is dedicated to basic scientific
>research on one of the most fascinating questions in biology -- the
>origins, evolution and destiny of life on Earth and in the universe," said
>Blumberg.
>
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>
>"NASA's tradition of discovery research, using the remarkable devices and
>techniques they have developed, will be continued in the Institute. I am
>honored to have been asked to assume the directorship and, building on the
>excellent organization that already exists, to lead NAI into the next
>millennium."
>
> As director of the Institute, Blumberg will lead the new
>public-private partnership in its efforts to promote and conduct
>astrobiology research and train young researchers. He will guide efforts
>to develop modern communication tools and information technologies to link
>far-flung science teams and laboratories. Blumberg succeeds current
>interim director, Ames' Dr. Scott Hubbard, who continues in his role as
>deputy director of space.
>
> "Dr. Blumberg has made a tremendous impact in this world with his
>remarkable discoveries in the field of science and medicine. Now he has
>the opportunity to make a significant contribution on a new frontier," said
>Dr. Robert C. Young, president of Fox Chase. "Needless to say, we're
>extremely supportive of this new endeavor, and we will also be grateful for
>his continued work on cancer prevention at Fox Chase."
>
> Blumberg received a medical degree from Columbia University and a
>doctorate in biochemistry from Oxford University. He was Master of Balliol
>College in Oxford, England, between 1989 and 1994, and has taught human
>biology at Stanford University. Since his discovery of the hepatitis B
>vaccine and its widespread availability in 1982, the number of people
>infected with the disease worldwide has fallen dramatically.
>
> Blumberg holds honorary degrees from numerous universities and
>colleges and has received many honors and awards during his distinguished
>career. He is a member or fellow of many professional organizations,
>including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Society of Human
>Genetics and the American Philosophical Society.
>
> Blumberg and his wife, Jean, are the parents of two daughters and two
>sons. He enjoys long-distance walks, canoeing and cattle raising.
>
> NASA's Astrobiololgy Institute currently has eleven member
>institutions selected through a competitive proposal review process in May
>1998. Present members include: Arizona State University, Tempe; the
>University of Colorado, Boulder; Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA;
>The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA; the University of California,
>Irvine; Pennsylvania State University, University Park; Harvard University,
>Cambridge, MA; the University of California, Los Angeles; Woods Hole Marine
>Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA; Carnegie Institution, Washington,
>DC; NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX; and the Jet Propulsion
>Laboratory, Pasadena, CA.
>
> Further information about NASA's Astrobiology Institute is available
>on the web at:
>http://nai.arc.nasa.gov
>
>-end-
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>----
>John Bluck
>Information Systems Liaison (Public Affairs)
>NASA Ames Office of External Affairs
>(voice 650-604-5026) (fax 650-604-3953)
>Mail stop 204-12, email: jbluck@mail.arc.nasa.gov
>Moffett Field, CA, USA 94035-1000
>----
>
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