Peter Dervan, professor of chemistry at Caltech, has been named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the country's leading honor societies which was founded in 1780 by John Adams and other leaders of the American Revolution.
Dervan heads a research team that has pioneered the development of chemical methods that analyze how drugs and proteins bind to deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, the basic material of genes. Caltech spokesmen said the research is important to the treatment of cancer and viral illnesses.
Several other Caltech faculty members have received national awards this month. Genetic researchers Howard Lipshitz and Paul Sternberg are among 15 biologists in the country who were named Searle scholars. Each will receive a grant of $180,000 to support their work over a three-year period.
Roger Blandford, professor of theoretical astrophysics, and Barry Simon, professor of mathematics and theoretical physics, have been awarded fellowships by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation of New York. The awards are given to people whose achievements "show exceptional promise for future accomplishment," a Caltech spokesman said.