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Bretscher, Lord elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Anthony P. Bretscher

Catherine Lord

Professor of cell biology Anthony P. Bretscher has been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, along with Catherine Lord, professor of psychology in pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.

One of seven newly elected members in cellular and developmental biology, microbiology and immunology, Bretscher joined the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics in 1981.

He leads the Bretscher Lab in the Weill Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology, studying how microfilaments contribute to the functional organization of eukaryotic cells. He is a member of the graduate fields of biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, and genetics and development. His research areas of expertise also include cell polarity, cell signaling and membrane trafficking.

Bretscher trained as a physicist at the University of Cambridge, England (B.A. ’71, M.A. ’74) and earned a Ph.D. in genetics in 1974 from the University of Leeds, England, with his dissertation on gene regulation in E. coli. He came to Cornell from the faculty of Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.

As a postdoctoral researcher, Bretscher was an EMBO Fellow in biochemistry at Stanford University and a Max Planck Society Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Germany, beginning his studies in cell biology with Klaus Weber.

He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Cell Biology and Journal of Cell Science, and has served on the Journal of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Biology of the Cell.

Elected in the section of social and developmental psychology and education, Lord is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in diagnosis, social and communication development and intervention in autism spectrum disorders. She is the founding director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain (CADB) at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

She is known for her work in longitudinal studies of children with autism and for her role in developing the autism diagnostic instruments used in practice and in research worldwide today, including an observational scale and a parent interview, now considered the gold standard for research diagnoses.

Lord’s work at CADB – a program jointly sponsored with Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, in partnership with New York Collaborates for Autism – includes research in validity and longitudinal studies; early diagnosis of, and regression in, children with autism; and clinical evaluations and diagnoses of children and adults who may have autism.

A professor of psychology in pediatrics since 2013, Lord also has served from 2012-18 as professor of psychology in psychiatry and a DeWitt Wallace Senior Scholar in psychiatry, all in the Department of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine.

She received the prestigious Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health in November 2017.

Lord earned a bachelor’s in psychology in 1971 from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in 1978 from Harvard University. She completed a clinical internship at Division TEACCH at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The academy elected 213 individuals in a wide range of disciplines and professions to its 2018 class of fellows, announced April 18. The induction ceremony for newly elected members from the United States and international honorary members is Oct. 6 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Newly elected fellows also include Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States; actor Tom Hanks; Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor; Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden; jazz composer Carla Bley and the CEOs of Netflix and Lockheed Martin.

Academy projects and publications generate ideas and recommendations to advance the public good in the arts, science, education, citizenship, government, the humanities, international relations, energy and other areas.

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