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Fox Chase Cancer Center Researcher Elected Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences

PHILADELPHIA (September 25, 2000) -- The New York Academy of Sciences has elected Anna Marie Skalka, Ph.D., senior vice president for basic science at Fox Chase Cancer Center, as one of its 2000 Academy fellows. Selected from among the Academy's 32,000 members for her distinguished contributions to science, Skalka was honored at the Academy's annual meeting on September 12 in New York City.

Based in New York City, the New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide since 1817. The Academy's goals focus on science across disciplines and nations, technology in economic progress, and bridges between society and science.

Skalka is internationally known for her work on the molecular biology of retroviruses. She focuses her laboratory research on studies of retroviral enzymes, which have important implications for understanding both cancer and AIDS. The integration of viral DNA into the host cell's genes is essential for replication of the retroviruses and, therefore, the retroviral enzyme that catalyzes this reaction is an important target for the development of antiviral drugs to treat people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus. In addition, the study of retroviral integration provides unique opportunities to uncover critical aspects of cellular biology.

Skalka is a member of the National Cancer Institute's Board of Scientific Counselors, serving a four-year term to which she was appointed in 1997. Earlier this year, she began a two-year term on the Defense Science Board. In addition, Skalka is an adjunct professor in the department of microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania and visiting professor in the department of molecular biology at New York's Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Among her honors, Skalka was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1996 and a member of the board of governors of the American Academy of Microbiology in 1999. The New York Association of Women in Science honored her with its Outstanding Woman Scientist Award in 1985.

The National Cancer Institute awarded her a prestigious long-term Outstanding Investigator Grant in 1990. She later received an unrestricted grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. for research on infectious disease.

Author of more than 175 peer-reviewed publications, Skalka is a past editor of Gene and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Virology, Cancer Research and the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

She was vice chair of the International Council of Scientific Unions' Committee on Genetic Experimentation (COGENE) from 1981 to 1995 and a leader of COGENE's working groups on risk assessment and training and education. She is also a member of the American Society for Microbiology, the International Association for Women Bioscientists, the American Association for Cancer Research and a number of other professional societies.

Skalka resides in Princeton, N.J. Born in New York, N.Y., she received her undergraduate degree in biology from Adelphi University in Garden City, N.J., and her Ph.D. in microbiology from New York University Medical School in 1964. Skalka came to Fox Chase in 1987 from the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology in Nutley, N.J., where she headed the department of molecular oncology.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, one of the nation's first comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute in 1974, conducts basic and clinical research; programs of prevention, detection and treatment of cancer; and community outreach. For more information about Fox Chase activities, visit the Center's web site at

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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