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Emory's Victor Corces elected to prestigious National Academy of Sciences

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Wayne Drash

Victor Corces, a world-renowned geneticist and distinguished Emory educator, was elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences.

Election to the NAS is a high professional distinction bestowed to those who demonstrate outstanding contributions to research. Scientists are elected by their peers to NAS, which is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology.

Corces was one of 120 members and 20 international members elected to the NAS in “recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research,” the academy said in its announcement.

With a background in biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics, Corces has been a pioneer in epigenetics, genomics and computational biology. Beyond the lab, he is a beloved professor on campus, having taught Developmental Biology to undergraduate students for 13 years. He has also mentored 26 graduate students and 29 postdoctoral fellows, and created a program to teach and train disadvantaged high school students.

His current research centers on the trans-generational transmission of obesity resulting from exposure to chemicals in the environment, with an emphasis on the role of the three-dimensional organization of the chromatin fiber in this process. The architectural proteins CTCF and cohesin involved in these processes are often mutated in leukemia and other cancers. The Corces Laboratory made some of the first observations that led to the identification of insulators as novel regulatory sequences.

As a Howard Hughes Medical Institute professor, Corces created the Research Internship and Science Education program, or RISE, aimed at attracting more students from disadvantaged backgrounds to study biology. To experience science firsthand, biology-minded high school students can join an all-student lab to work on a project from Corces' research. The goal is to train and mentor the young students, with the ultimate hope they graduate from Emory and spend a lifetime in the sciences.

Corces, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Human Genetics at Emory School of Medicine. He is also a member of the Cell and Molecular Biology Research Program at Winship Cancer Institute and the HERCULES Exposome Research Center in the Rollins School of Public Health.

Corces has been a member of the Molecular Genetics Study Section and the Nuclear and Cytoplasmic Structure/Function and Dynamics Study Section of the National Institutes of Health, and the Science and Technology Research Centers Review Panel of the National Science Foundation. In 2009, he was named a member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Science was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and — with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine — provides science, engineering, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations

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