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UW-Madison biochemist to serve on president’s National Medal of Science committee

January 12, 2012 By Nicole Miller

University of Wisconsin–Madison biochemist Judith Kimble has been selected to serve on President Obama’s Committee on the National Medal of Science.

As a committee member, Kimble will help choose the next winners of the National Medal of Science, the nation’s most prestigious science award. Established in 1959 and administered by the National Science Foundation, the award is given to about eight individuals each year who have made outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical and engineering sciences.

“I’m very flattered that I was considered for this,” says Kimble. “It’s a huge honor to be in a position to help select our future National Medal of Science awardees.”

Kimble is the Vilas Professor of Biochemistry at the UW–Madison and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She studies the molecular regulation of animal development, and has made a number of key discoveries in the field, including finding the first stem cell “niche,” the micro-environment that controls stem cell maintenance.

Kimble is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the American Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. She has been president of the Genetics Society of America and the Society for Developmental Biology, and has served on numerous boards and committees, including the NAS Council and the NAS Committee of Science, Engineering and Public Policy.

The President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science is composed of 14 individuals, including 12 scientists and engineers appointed by the president, the NAS president and the director of the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy. Members serve three-year terms and are invited to attend the National Medal of Science awards ceremony each year.