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Resignations and Appointments, 05.05.2018

Appointment of ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences

The Holy Father Francis has appointed Mrs. Elaine Fuchs, professor of Cellular Biology at the Rockefeller University of New York, United States of America, as ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Professor Elaine Fuchs

Professor Elaine Fuchs was born on 5 May 1950 in Hinsdale, Illinois, United States of America. She graduated in chemistry from the University of Illinois in 1972, and then received a PhD. in biochemistry from Princeton University in 1977.

Since 2002 she has served as professor at Rockefeller University, in the Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development.

Dr. Fuchs studied the origin of stem cells and how they produce and repair tissues, with the aim of developing therapeutic strategies. She analyzes the mechanisms by which stem cells communicate with other cells in their environment, such as dermal cells and the immune system, and how the dysfunctions of this communication lead to aging and cancer.

In order to study the stem cell biology of the skin, Professor Fuchs’ laboratory performs both in vitro studies and studies of classical genetics, RNA interference and CRISPR-Cas gene editing technologies in mouse models. By exploring aberrant signalling pathways in aging and in tumours, and by identifying the mutations that feed tumour growth, Prof. Fuchs hopes that her research will lead to therapeutic treatments that selectively affect cancer stem cells without damaging the tissue stem cells.