Five Penn Professors Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | | 215-898-9194April 17, 2012

PHILADELPHIA — Five professors from the University of Pennsylvania are among the 220 elected to the 2012 class of members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

One of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, the Academy is also a leading center for independent policy research. The current membership includes some of the world's most accomplished leaders from academia, business, public affairs, the humanities and the arts.

Joining the Academy this year will be Robert M. Seyfarth, George J. Mailath, Michael Kearns, Gary A. Koretzky and Thomas Curran.

Robert M. Seyfarth, professor of psychology, is a specialist in animal behavior and communication. His field studies of nonhuman primates, specifically a troop of baboons in Botswana, have illuminated how primate relationships may reflect the evolutionary origins of social relationships, intelligence and language in humans.

George J. Mailath is the Walter H. Annenberg Professor in the Social Sciences and a professor of economics. His research on game theory, cooperation and reputations has led to numerous publications, including a graduate textbook, Repeated Games and Reputations: Long Run Relationships. He is a fellow of the Econometric Society and has served as an editor for several journals.

Michael Kearns is professor and National Center Chair in Resource Management and Technology in the Computer and Information Science Department and is founding director of Penn’s new Market and Social Systems Engineering Program. Working on machine learning, algorithmic game theory, social networks, computational finance and artificial intelligence, he has contributed to technological applications related to finance, spoken dialogue systems and interactions in social networks. He also serves as an advisor to a number of technology companies.

Gary A. Koretzky is vice chair for research, chief scientific officer and Francis C. Wood Professor in the Department of Medicine. Through investigations of the regulation of blood cell formation and movement, he has made inroads into understanding the complexities of immune system function.

Thomas Curran is professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and an investigator at the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute and also deputy scientific director at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. His studies of the molecular basis of brain cell growth have informed new strategies to treat pediatric brain tumors. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and of the Royal Society.

An alphabetical list of the 220 new members is at

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 6, at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.