Ohio State University: Anita Hopper elected to National Academy of Sciences

Anita Hopper, professor of molecular genetics at The Ohio State University, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Hopper is one of 120 new members and is part of NAS’ largest-ever cohort of 59 new female members.

“This is a tremendous recognition for Anita and her groundbreaking research in RNA biology,” said Gretchen Ritter, executive dean and vice provost of the College of Arts and Sciences. “I join her many colleagues, collaborators, students and lab alumni in offering my congratulations and admiration.”

The NAS is committed to furthering science in America, and its members are active contributors to the international scientific community. Members are elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research, and membership is considered one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive. Hopper joins nine other current Ohio State faculty who are NAS members.

Hopper’s research focuses on utilizing yeast (S. cerevisiae) as a model to study the intracellular distribution of RNA and proteins between nucleus and cytoplasm, which is expected to shed light on fundamental cellular processes that affect many aspects of human health. Her work has been published in Genetics, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Genes & Development, Nucleus and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Throughout her decades of pioneering research, she and her team have made paradigm-shifting discoveries that have helped set the stage for a better understanding of the role RNA — the most ancient form of nucleic acid — plays in cell development. Today, RNA is a powerful tool used by biologists, mathematicians, physicists, chemists, and medical and agricultural researchers to answer important, fundamental questions.

Hopper is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She received the Lifetime Achievement in Service Award and the Lifetime Achievement in Science Award from the RNA Society, and she is the former editor of the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology. She was named an Ohio State University Distinguished Scholar in 2012. Last year, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Hopper received her BS in biology and her PhD in cell biology from the University of Illinois. She worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington. Prior to coming to Ohio State in 2006, Hopper was a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Pennsylvania State University.

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