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CSHL's Hannon named to National Academy of Sciences

Gregory J. Hannon, Ph.D., a CSHL Professor and

Gregory J. Hannon, Ph.D., a CSHL Professor and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). (May 1, 2012) (Credit: Handout)

Gregory J. Hannon, a molecular biologist at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, officials said Tuesday.

Hannon is a pioneer in the field of using nucleic acids similar to DNA to help identify cancer genes, thwart viral infections and treat other diseases. He is among 84 U.S. scientists chosen to join the academy, established by Congress in 1863 to advise the government on matters of science and technology. It has a total of 2,152 members.

"It’s a huge honor and a real thrill to be recognized by my colleagues in this way,” said Hannon, who lives in Huntington and grew up in western Pennsylvania.

Hannon, an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute of Chevy Chase, Md., has been a professor at Cold Spring Harbor for 20 years. His work has focused on ribonucleic acid, a single-stranded molecule also known as RNA. By altering the makeup of the molecule, Hannon and others have learned to essentially freeze individual genes inside living cells, allowing scientists to learn how to track and treat cancer and other diseases.

“It is a very powerful tool, and Greg is one of the pioneers,” said Dagnia Zeidlickis, a spokeswoman for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. “We are extremely proud of that.”

Tags: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

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