Maxine Singer to be President of Carnegie Institution
The Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Institution of Washington today announced that Maxine Frank Singer, a leading molecular
biologist, will become the Institution's eighth President. Dr. Singer is now serving as Chief, Laboratory of Biochemistry,
Division of Cancer Biology and Diagnosis, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland.
Her presidency at Carnegie will begin on March 1, 1988.
Dr. Singer's research has yielded forefront contributions in nucleic acid chemistry and metabolism, in the biochemistry
of animal viruses, and in other areas of modern biology. Her current work deals with genome organization in primates, and
she plans to continue these investigations during her tenure at Carnegie. She has also written on such broader topics as genetics
and the law, integrity in scholarship, possibilities and hazards in genetic engineering, perspectives on recombinant DNA research,
and ethical questions in frontier biological research.
Singer graduated from the Midwood High School, Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1948; she received the A.B. degree with high honors from
Swarthmore College in 1952 and the Ph.D. (biochemistry) from Yale University in 1957. She has served at NIH as Postdoctoral
Fellow (Public Health Service and National Institute for Arthritis, Metabolism, and Digestive Diseases, or NIAMD), as Research
Chemist in the NIAMD's Section on Enzymes and Cellular Biochemistry (1958-19741, and as Chief, Section on Nucleic Acid
Enzymology, Division of Cancer Biology and Diagnosis, National Cancer Institute (1974-1979). She undertook her present role,
first as Acting Chief in 1979 and then as Chief in 1980. Intervening were periods as Visiting Scientist, Department of Genetics,
Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel (1971-1972), and as Regents Visiting Professor, Department of Biochemistry,
University of California, Berkeley (1981).
In other professional activities, she currently serves as Chairman of the Editorial Board, Proceedings of the National Academy
of Sciences; Trustee of Yale University; Member of the Board of Directors, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research; and
Member of the Board of Governors and Scientific Advisory Council, Weizmann Institute. She has served as Member, Editorial
Board, Journal of Biological Chemistry (1968-1974) and Science (1974-1982), Director of the Foundation for Advanced Education
in the Sciences, Inc. (1972-1978), and Member, Scientific Advisory Council, International Institute of Genetics and Biophysics,
Naples, Italy (1982-1986).
She has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the
Pontifical Academy of Sciences (The Vatican). She holds honorary doctoral degrees from Wesleyan, Swarthmore, University of
Maryland (Baltimore County), and Cedar Crest College (Pennsylvania). Among her honors are the Katherine D. McCormick Distinguished
Award of Stanford University (1983) and the Award for Research in Biological Sciences, Yale Scientific and Engineering Association
(1974). Her 1984 U.S. Government Senior Executive Service Outstanding Performance Award is the most recent of several governmental
awards. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi. She is married to Daniel Morris Singer, an attorney in Washington.
The President of Carnegie Institution since 1978 has been James D. Ebert. On July 1, 1987, upon his retirement from the Institution,
Dr. Ebert will become the Director of the Chesapeake Bay Institute of the Johns Hopkins University; he will continue as Vice
President of the National Academy of Sciences.
Founded in 1902 by Andrew Carnegie, the Carnegie Institution of Washington is an nonprofit research and educational organization
whose scientists conduct basic investigations in biology, astronomy, and the earth sciences. The Institution's five research
centers are the Department of Embryology in Baltimore, the Department of Plant Biology in Stanford, California, the Department
of Terrestrial Magnetism and the Geophysical Laboratory, both in Washington, D.C., and the Mount Wilson and Las Campanas
Observatories (offices in Pasadena, California). There are about 60 scientific staff members and about 140 fellows, research
associates, and students.
Dr. Singer's predecessors as President of the Institution are here listed: