How Does the National Academy of Sciences Support Art and Culture?

Jef Boeke stays active in his professional field through membership in many scientific organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Sciences supports the research of many scientists in many fields, including molecular biology experts like Jef Boeke, through generous grants and other forms of research funding.

Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences (CPNAS) offers the opportunity for members of the arts and science communities to explore the relationships between their various disciplines through a variety of exhibitions, art collections, and other events. Jef Boeke serves on the Academy’s Forum on Synthetic Biology, given his active involvement in that field.

Focusing primarily on the support of art projects which bridge the gaps between artistic and scientific thought, CPNAS has funded artistic efforts in areas such as mapping and medicine, allowing artists to demonstrate new perspectives on issues ranging from Alzheimer’s disease to information management. The organization has also hosted concerts for internationally renowned musicians. Donations to CPNAS support online symposia and traditional exhibitions about the intersections of creativity and reason.


High Throughput Screening Enables Scientists to Develop New Drugs

Accomplished in the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology, Jef Boeke, PhD, is the founder of the Baltimore-based High Throughput Biology Center, also referred to by the acronym HiT. The research division is overseen by Dr. Jef Boeke in collaboration with Dr. Min Li.

Part of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences, also referred to as the IBBS, the High Throughput Biology Center has been set up to study the various disciplines related to biologic research and study. These areas include biology, computer science, math, chemistry, physics, and engineering, all of which are used in high-throughput methods or screening.

High-throughput screening, or HTS, is an experimental process that is conducted with the use of software, robotics, and related devices for genetic or pharmacological testing. HTS enables scientists to identify and record genes, antibodies, or biological or chemical compounds.

By using the screening method, scientists can better understand biochemical reactions or speed up the creation of new hypotheses. This type of study can assist researchers in developing models for new drugs as well.

Exploring Genetics and Epigenetics to Understand Medical Conditions

A professor and director at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Jef Boeke, Ph.D., is a leading expert in the biomedical field. In 2014, he will be joining NYU Langone Medical Center, one of the nation’s most respected centers for medical healthcare and medical research. Jef Boeke will head the center’s newest research facility, the Institute for Systems Genetics.

The newly formed institute’s research program will focus on four overlapping areas of study: Omics technologies, human genetics, biomedical engineering, and computational sciences. It will leverage existing outstanding facilities of the medical center and use the latest technologies to tackle questions in genetics and epigenetics.

While genetics dictates an individual’s traits like physical attributes and risk for medical conditions, epigenetics is a relatively newer field of study that explores how variables like diet and exposure to toxins could subtly alter the DNA. Scientific research on this field could offer explanations – and subsequently even cure – to medical conditions that genetics alone could not address.