Two faculty members, trustee emeritus elected to American Philosophical Society

Two members of the University of Chicago faculty, R. Stephen Berry and Olufunmilayo Olopade, and Trustee Emeritus Richard J. Franke were elected 2011 fellows of the American Philosophical Society.

Berry, the James Franck Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in Chemistry, was elected to the Mathematical and Physical Sciences class; and Olopade, the Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics and Associate Dean for Global Health, was elected to the biological sciences class of the society. Franke was elected to the Arts, Professions and Leaders in Public and Private Affairs class of the APS.

Olopade, director of the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics and Global Health, is a practicing physician and director of the University’s Cancer Risk Clinic.  In her clinical work, Olopade is an authority on cancer risk and prevention, and on individualized treatment based on risk factors and quality of life. She also works with doctors in Nigeria, and with government officials and drug companies across Africa, to improve education and treatment.

Her research focuses on the interactions between genetic and non-genetic factors in the onset and progression of cancer, especially young onset breast cancer that disproportionately affect women of African ancestry in the United States and West Africa, and on the prevention and early detection of breast cancer in women at high risk.

Olopade studied medicine in her native Nigeria, where she earned an MBBS with distinctions in Pathology and Pediatrics from the University of Ibadan. After completing an internship in medicine, surgery, pediatrics and OB/GYN at the University College Hospital in Ibadan and serving as a medical officer at the Nigerian Navy Hospital in Lagos, she completed her residency and chief residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. Following that, Olopade completed a post–doctoral fellowship in hematology and oncology at the University of Chicago.

A recipient of numerous professional honors and awards, including the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, Olopade is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Earlier this year, President Obama nominated Olopade to the National Cancer Advisory Board.

Berry has conducted research on atomic collisions, thermodynamics, the efficient use of energy resources, the behavior of sub-nanoscale particles and their relation to proteins, and intellectual property and electronic scientific communication.

He is a fellow and former vice president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member and former home secretary of the National Academy of Sciences.

Berry also was one of the first two chemists to receive a fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, in 1983.

He has received many other honors from the United States and abroad, including foreign membership in the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences, the J. Heyrovsky Honorary Medal for Merit in the Chemical Sciences from the Czech Republic’s Academy of Sciences, and Germany’s Alexander von Humboldt-Stifung Senior Scientist Award.

Franke, chairman and CEO emeritus of the Nuveen Investments, is one of the nation’s most prominent advocates of the humanities and was presented the National Humanities Medal in 1997 by President Clinton. His career is a richly detailed example of how dedication to the business world can be enhanced by an equal involvement in the cultural life of society. 

Franke, who served as a Trustee of the University from 1987 to 2002, is the founder of the University of Chicago Franke Institute for the Humanities. He is the founding chairman and director emeritus of the Chicago Humanities Festival in the city of Chicago and former chairman of the Illinois Humanities Council. He currently serves as a director of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Franke is the author of the 2004 book, Cut From Whole Cloth: An Immigrant Experience.