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Fellows Directory

Marc Kirschner

Marc Kirschner

Professor Marc Kirschner ForMemRS

Foreign Member

Elected: 1999


Marc Kirschner is an American bioscientist whose eclectic research interests and skills have delivered major and diverse contributions to cell and developmental biology. Marc’s work has revealed much about the dynamic internal skeleton of the cell, the factors that regulate cell division, and the signals that control embryo development.

Marc is noted for his pioneering work towards the understanding of the structure, function and dynamics of microtubules. These cytoskeletal polymers are key to intracellular transport and segregation of chromosomes. Marc discovered how microtubules locate correctly, as well as the biochemical basis for their ability to rapidly grow and shrink.

In the field of cell cycle control, amongst other achievements Marc discovered the anaphase-promoting complex. This large enzyme is of interest to cancer researchers because it is key to coordinating the degradation of many different proteins — necessary to allow the cell to proceed to divide. Marc is also a political influencer in support of state funding for biomedical research.

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