Dr. Eckard Wimmer, a world-renowned scientist most known for his work on the poliovirus, has been named to the National Acadmey of Sciences, Stony Brook University announced Monday.
Wimmer joins a group of 2,152 members of the National Academy of Sciences since it was formed by Congress in 1863. Its membership has approximately 200 Nobel prize winners among its ranks. The NAS, described by the university as "a private, non-profit society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the public good," also advises the U.S. government on matters of science and technology.
Wimmer has published close to 300 papers. During the late 1970s, he was recognized for his work on the chemical structure of the poliovirus genome and subsequent discoveries related to its development and the human body's receptors for the virus. His work spawned further study of viruses not possible prior to his discoveries, according to the university.
University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said in a statement Stony Brook is fortunate and proud to have such a brilliant mind among its faculty.
"Since coming to Stony Brook nearly 40 years ago, Eckard's work has been internationally acknowledged for its significance. Election to the NAS can be viewed as a pinnacle in terms of recognition for his groundbreaking achievements and we applaud him."
Wimmer has been with Stony Brook since 1974, and served as chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology from 1984 to 1999. He lives in Setauket with his wife, Dr. Astrid Wimmer.