David Tirrell, Caltech’s provost and Ross McCollum-William H. Corcoran Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, has been elected to the American Philosophical Society. The Society, comprised of scholars from a wide variety of academic disciplines, honors “extraordinary accomplishments in all fields.”
Tirrell, who holds the Carl and Shirley Larson Provostial Chair, works across the disciplines of chemistry, biology, and materials science. He focuses on the genetic code and has shown how modifying the molecular machinery of the cell can lead to new approaches to macromolecular design, protein evolution, biological imaging, and proteome-wide analysis of cellular processes. In recognition of his significant contributions in these areas, Tirrell has received numerous accolades from professional societies and universities around the world. He is one of only 19 individuals elected to all three National Academies: Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Tirrell earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from MIT and a PhD in polymer science and engineering from the University of Massachusetts. He served as chair of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from 1999 to 2009 and as director of Caltech’s Beckman Institute from 2012 until 2018. He was appointed as Caltech’s 10th provost in 2017.
The American Philosophical Society is the oldest learned society in the United States and was founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin for the purpose of “promoting useful knowledge.” More information about the society is online here.