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Richard Gourse elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

University of Wisconsin-Madison bacteriologist Richard L. Gourse is among leaders from academia, business, public affairs and the arts and humanities elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, it was announced today.

Richard L. Gourse
Richard L. Gourse

The Ira L. Baldwin Professor of Bacteriology, Gourse joins an eminent class of inductees that includes Nobel laureates, winners of the Wolf and Pulitzer Prizes as well as Grammy, Emmy, Oscar and Tony award winners.

Gourse joined the UW-Madison faculty in 1988 and is currently chair of the bacteriology department.

Working primarily with the model organism Escherichia coli, Gourse is well known for his studies of how genes are expressed in cells, primarily transcription initiation and the control of ribosome synthesis. Previous honors include election as a fellow for the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, both in 2003. In 2007, he received the National Institutes of Health Merit Award.

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences was established in 1780 and each year elects “thinkers and doers” as fellows, among them George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Daniel Webster, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Meade and Martin Luther King. Its current membership includes 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.