Cell Biologist, Historian Elected to Academy of Arts and Sciences

Two UNC professors have been elected 2006 fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences for “preeminent contributions” to their fields and to society.

New faculty fellows from UNC are Edward D. “Ted” Salmon, the James Larkin and Iona Mae Ballou distinguished professor of cell biology, and Christopher R. Browning, Frank Porter Graham distinguished professor of history, both in the College of Arts and Sciences. Salmon also is a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

This brings the total number of UNC faculty members who have been elected to academy membership to 30.

Among the 175 fellows and 20 foreign honorary members named to the academy this year are former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, actor and director Martin Scorsese, choreographer Meredith Monk and New York Stock Exchange chairman Marshall Carter.

Salmon, who has been at UNC since 1976, is an internationally recognized cell biologist who has had a long-standing interest in microtubules of the cell cytoskeleton and the mitotic spindle. Microtubules are protein fibers that act as scaffolding inside the cell. Salmon’s particular interests include the mechanisms by which microtubules generate forces for chromosome separation during mitosis (cell division) and for cell motility.

He also studies how microtubules act to ensure accurate segregation of a cell’s chromosomes to create duplicate daughter cells. Failure of this process can have such serious consequences as cancer or developmental defects.

Throughout his career, Salmon and his laboratory members have developed new video and digital imaging microscopy methods for visualizing and analyzing dynamic processes in living cells and in vitro. For many years, he has taught the undergraduate required biology course for majors, cell and developmental biology, and he has organized and taught courses on analytical and quantitative light microscopy.

Browning, who has been at UNC since 1999, specializes in the history of the Holocaust and Nazi Germany. He has published seven books in the field of Holocaust studies, including two that have been awarded the National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust category: Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (1992) and The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939-March 1942 (2004).

Browning regularly teaches a large lecture course on the history of the Holocaust. In 1996, and again in 2002-03, he was a senior visiting scholar at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. He will be a fellow at the National Humanities Center next year.

His current research project is to write a history of the Nazi factory slave labor camps for Jewish workers in Starachowice, an industrial town in central Poland. The primary source for this project is a collection of 244 survivor testimonies that have been given during the past 60 years.

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences was founded in 1780 to cultivate the arts and sciences.

Share via: