Children's Hospital Boston Researcher Elected to National Academy of Sciences
April 25, 2006
David Clapham, MD, PhD, director of the Cardiovascular Basic Research Laboratory at Children's Hospital Boston, is one of 72 new members elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences (NAS). His election was announced today in recognition of his past and continuing achievements in original research.
Dr. Clapham, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at Children's, has been a leader in the field of cell signal transduction for 25 years, making seminal contributions to understanding cellular signaling in the heart and other tissues. His work has focused specifically on ion channels, molecules that broker the passage of electrically charged ions across cell membranes. Dr. Clapham has determined the function and control of a variety of cellular ion channels, providing a deeper understanding of a host of critical physiologic activities. His studies of the role of potassium and calcium channels in the control of heart rate and heart rhythms may make it possible to develop improved drugs to alleviate cardiac arrhythmias.
Dr. Clapham received a B.E.E. in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and his MD and PhD (in anatomy and cell biology) from Emory University. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital and his postdoctoral fellowship at the Max Planck Institute in Goettingen, Germany, with Nobel Prize winner Dr. Erwin Neher. In 1996, Dr. Clapham was named director of the Cardiovascular Basic Research Laboratory at Children's Hospital Boston, a position he still holds. He became an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Children's Hospital Boston in 1997, and was named Aldo R. Casta?eda Professor of Cardiovascular Research at Harvard Medical School in 2001.
Dr. Clapham, also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including the Cole Award for Contributions to Membrane Biophysics of the Biophysical Society, the American Society for Clinical Investigation Award for Research and Contributions to the Biomedical Community, the American Heart Association Basic Science Award, and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cardiovascular Research.
Seven other scientists at Children's Hospital Boston are current members of the NAS: Frederick Alt, MD; Mary Ellen Avery, MD (emeritus); Judah Folkman, MD; Stephen Harrison, MD; Louis Kunkel, PhD; Joseph E. Murray, MD (emeritus); and Stuart H. Orkin, MD.
For a full list of elected NAS members, see
For information on Dr. Clapham's research, visit:
To read a feature article about Dr. Clapham's work, visit:
Children's Hospital Boston is home to the world's largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. More than 500 scientists, including eight members of the National Academy of Sciences, nine members of the Institute of Medicine and 11 members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Children's research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Children's Hospital Boston today is a 347-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care grounded in the values of excellence in patient care and sensitivity to the complex needs and diversity of children and families. Children's also is the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more information about the hospital and its research visit: http://www.childrenshospital.org/research/.
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