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Texas A&M Professor Andersson Elected Into Prestigious American Philosophical Society

Posted June 30, 2017


Andersson, Leif-8x10

Dr. Leif Andersson

Leif Andersson, professor of animal genomics in the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences and professor in functional genomics at Uppsala University in Sweden, is one of 32 to be elected a member of the American Philosophical Society this year.

Andersson will be officially welcomed as an international member in biological sciences during an inauguration ceremony in November. The 2017 cohort also includes former President Barack Obama and Kenyan paleoanthropologist Meave Leakey, as well as professionals and professors from around the world.

"Dr. Andersson is an outlier. He is an outstanding faculty member with a superb record of discovery, scholarly writings, and impact,” said Dr. Eleanor M. Green, the Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine. "Faculty members such as Dr. Andersson continue to raise the bar of excellence in scientific discovery. Not only is his work highly relevant, it is well-aligned with One Health, one of the grand challenges for Texas A&M. We congratulate him on earning this highly prestigious award and joining the ranks of the prevous iconic award recipients. "

The society has 1,019 living members and has elected only 5,605 since being founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1743. Members represent all fields of science, humanities, and the arts and have also included George Washington, Louis Pasteur, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.

“It is an immense honor to become one of the members of the oldest learned society in the USA, which has contributed so much to promote knowledge and science for more than 250 years,” Andersson said. “I was particularly amused to learn that one of my scientific heroes, Charles Darwin, was also an international member of this society.”

Andersson is among the world’s most renowned scholars in the genomic and molecular study of domestic animals.

As group leader and professor at Uppsala University in Sweden, Andersson has carved a scientific niche by approaching farm animals as model organisms, including analyzing interbreeding among divergent populations such as between wild boars and domestic pigs to identify the genes and mutations that affect specific traits. He also investigates how the mutations may alter the function and regulation of the genes.

Andersson and his research team compare genomes from many species of domestic animals to discover the molecular mechanisms and underlying traits that are important to human and veterinary medicine. Their discoveries provide insights in genetics, animal breeding, evolution, and biomedical research.

A professor in functional genomics in the Uppsala University Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Andersson also serves as a guest professor in molecular animal genetics at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala. He earned his doctorate from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in 1984.

In January 2014, the Wolf Foundation selected Andersson for the Wolf Prize in Agriculture—considered equivalent to the Nobel Prize—to honor his use of cutting-edge genomic technologies in animal research.

He also is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and has been recognized with myriad awards, including the Thureus Prize in Natural History and Medicine from the Royal Society of Sciences and the Linneus Prize in Zoology from the Royal Physiographic Society of Lund.

He has published more than 380 scientific articles, received six patents and filed applications for two more patents.

An eminent scholarly organization of international reputation, the American Philosophical Society promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities through excellence in scholarly research, professional meetings, publications, library resources, and community outreach.


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Contact Information: Megan Palsa, Executive Director of Communications, Media & Public Relations, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Science; ; 979-862-4216; 979-421-3121 (cell)

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