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Release: Immediate

Welsh named American Academy of Arts and Sciences fellow

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Dr. Michael J. Welsh, professor of internal medicine and physiology and biophysics in the University of Iowa College of Medicine, is one of 146 persons elected this year as fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Welsh, a native of Marshalltown, is also one of three UI faculty members holding the prestigious rank of investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Welsh, who joined the UI faculty in 1981, is internationally known for his breakthrough research into the genetic causes of cystic fibrosis, the most common fatal inherited disease. He will be formally inducted into the academy during ceremonies Oct. 3 in Cambridge, Mass.

Last year three faculty members from the College of Medicine were inducted into the AAAS: Drs. Francois Abboud, and Antonio and Hanna Damasio. Linda Kerber, May Brodbeck Professor in the Liberal Arts and UI professor of history was also inducted.

There are approximately 4,000 fellows of the academy worldwide, including 160 Nobel laureates and 65 Pulitzer Prize winners. The other UI fellows are James Van Allen, physics and astronomy; June Helm, anthropology; and James McPherson, creative writing. Former UI President Hunter Rawlings was elected to the Academy in 1995, just before leaving the campus to serve as president of Cornell University.

The Academy was founded by John Adams during the American Revolution. Today it is a learned society with a dual function--to honor achievement in science, scholarship, the arts and public affairs; and to conduct a varied program of projects and studies reflecting the interest of its members and responsive to the needs and problems of society.