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Kerry Bloom, Thad L. Beyle Distinguished Professor of biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center for independent policy research.

Bloom, a biologist who studies the organization and distribution of chromosomes when cells divide, is among 198 new fellows and 12 new foreign honorary members that include some of the world’s most accomplished leaders in academia, art, business, philanthropy, science and the humanities. Bloom will be inducted Oct. 12, 2013 at academy headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

Members of the 2013 class include winners of the Nobel Prize; National Medal of Science; the Lasker Award; the Pulitzer and the Shaw prizes; the Fields Medal; MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships; the Kennedy Center Honors; and Grammy, Emmy, Academy, and Tony awards.

With Bloom, UNC has 36 faculty members in the academy.

Throughout his career, Bloom has become an internationally recognized expert on chromosome segregation, which is key to understanding birth defects and cancer. He was the first person in the world to clone and molecularly describe a centromere, the region on a DNA molecule that directs segregation of chromosomes to daughter cells, and has developed biochemical and optical methods to visualize these dynamics – work that has pioneered the field of nuclear migration.

Bloom began his career at UNC in 1982, and received UNC’s highest research award, the Ruth and Philip Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement, in1989. During his tenure, Bloom has received numerous honors and awards, including election to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011.

In addition to his distinguished professorship in the College of Arts and Sciences, he is also a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Published April 25, 2013.