Rice's Ben-Jacob elected to American Philosophical Society

May 02, 2014

Rice University physicist Eshel Ben-Jacob has been elected a member of the American Philosophical Society, the oldest learned society in the United States.

Founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin, the society has had fewer than 5,500 members and has fewer than 1,000 living members in all fields of science, humanities and the arts. Other notable members include Thomas Jefferson, Charles Darwin, Louis Pasteur, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. The society announced 33 newly elected members last week. Ben-Jacob is one of only five international members in the 2014 class.

Ben-Jacob, a senior investigator at Rice's Center for Theoretical Biological Physics (CTBP), is the Maguy-Glass Chair in Physics of Complex Systems and professor of physics and astronomy at Tel Aviv University.

"The more I learn about the American Philosophical Society, the more surprised I am and the more honored I feel to have been elected," said Ben-Jacob, who splits his time between Tel Aviv University and CTBP. "Personal achievement is always the outcome of a group effort, which is what is so special about the CTBP."

Ben-Jacob is one of the world's leading experts in biocomplexity, the theory of self-organization and pattern formation in open systems. His longstanding collaboration with CTBP co-director Herbert Levine dates to the mid-1980s, a time when each was working on a mathematical explanation for the centuries-old question of why snowflakes have six sides and a unique crystalline pattern. After solving that problem, Ben-Jacob began researching bacterial self-organization. Over the past 25 years, he has developed new pattern-forming bacteria species and pioneered the study of bacterial intelligence and social behavior.

Ben-Jacob joined CTBP in 2005, shortly after the center was founded at the University of California, San Diego. The center moved to Rice's BioScience Research Collaborative in 2011 when CTBP founders Levine, José Onuchic and Peter Wolynes, who is also a member of the American Philosophical Society, were recruited to the BRC to expand their groundbreaking biological studies into cancer research and treatment. At Rice, Ben-Jacob and his CTBP colleagues have focused on ways to exploit the social behavior and decision-making process of cancer cells to develop new treatments that outsmart the disease.

Ben-Jacob's honors and contributions to science include the 1986 Landau Research Prize, the 1996 Siegle Research Prize of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the 2013 Weizmann Prize in Exact Sciences. Ben-Jacob is former president of the Israel Physical Society and chairs the Israel Ministry of Education's Advisory Council of High School Physics Education.
-end-
For more information about the American Philosophical Society, visit http://www.amphilsoc.org.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation's top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,920 undergraduates and 2,567 graduate students, Rice's undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6.3-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for "best value" among private universities by Kiplinger's Personal Finance.

Rice University

Related Rice Articles from Brightsurf:

C4 rice's first wobbly steps towards reality
An international long-term research collaboration aimed at creating high yielding and water use efficient rice varieties, has successfully installed part of the photosynthetic machinery from maize into rice.

Rice has many fathers but only two mothers
University of Queensland scientists studied more than 3000 rice genotypes and found diversity was inherited through two maternal genomes identified in all rice varieties.

Rice rolls out next-gen nanocars
Rice University researchers continue to advance the science of single-molecule machines with a new lineup of nanocars, in anticipation of the next international Nanocar Race in 2022.

3D camera earns its stripes at Rice
The Hyperspectral Stripe Projector captures spectroscopic and 3D imaging data for applications like machine vision, crop monitoring, self-driving cars and corrosion detection.

Climate change could increase rice yields
Research reveals how rice ratooning practices can help Japanese farmers increase rice yields.

Breeding new rice varieties will help farmers in Asia
New research shows enormous potential for developing improved short-duration rice varieties.

High-protein rice brings value, nutrition
A new advanced line of rice, with higher yield, is ready for final field testing prior to release.

Rice plants engineered to be better at photosynthesis make more rice
A new bioengineering approach for boosting photosynthesis in rice plants could increase grain yield by up to 27 percent, according to a study publishing January 10, 2019 in the journal Molecular Plant.

Can rice filter water from ag fields?
While it's an important part of our diets, new research shows that rice plants can be used in a different way, too: to clean runoff from farms before it gets into rivers, lakes, and streams.

Rice plants evolve to adapt to flooding
Although water is essential for plant growth, excessive amounts can waterlog and kill a plant.

Read More: Rice News and Rice Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.