Helen Berman Elected to National Academy of Sciences

05/02 PDB101 News

RCSB PDB Director Emerita Helen M. BermanRCSB PDB Director Emerita Helen M. Berman

Helen M. Berman, RCSB PDB Director Emerita and Board of Governors distinguished professor emerita of chemistry and chemical Biology at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Berman is among 120 members and 23 international members who were elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that 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.

In 1971, Berman cofounded the Protein Data Bank (PDB) – the international archive of the structures of biological macromolecules. She directed the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics Protein Data Bank (RCSB PDB), a member of the Worldwide Protein Data Bank, from 1998 to 2014. Berman plays a leadership role for the Electron Microscopy Data Resource (EMDR) and is currently developing infrastructure for archiving structures that have been determined using integrative/hybrid methods. Her work on structural bioinformatics has been informed by her research in structural biology, where she focused on nucleic acids, protein nucleic acid complexes, collagen and hydration of macromolecules.

Helen is a member of the American Academy for Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the Biophysical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Crystallographic Association, and the International Society for Computational Biology. She is the recipient of several awards including the Benjamin Franklin Award for Open Access in the Life Sciences, the DeLano Award for Computational Biosciences, the ACA Martin Buerger and David Rognlie Awards, the Distinguished Service Award from the Biophysical Society, and the Carl Brändén Award from the Protein Society.

Her memoir is hosted by the American Crystallographic Association’s History Portal.

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