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Roeland Nusse named Reed-Hodgson Professor in Human Biology

Roeland Nusse face and shoulders, with light grey beard, light blue shirt, sitting with background of microscope

Roeland Nusse 

Nov 16 2018

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Please join Human Biology in congratulating Professor Roeland Nusse, Virginia and Daniel K. Ludwig Professor in Cancer Research, who has been named to the Reed-Hodgson Professorship in Human Biology on September 1, 2018.

The Reed-Hodgson Chair was the second to be established in the Program in Human Biology, which provides an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the human being from biological, behavioral, social, and cultural perspectives.

Professor Roel Nusse is an exemplar of Stanford University teacher and scholar.  

Professor Nusse is recognized internationally for his research on signaling between cells during normal development and in cancer. From his initial interest in breast cancer in mouse models, he has made breakthrough contributions to the fields of developmental biology, cancer, Drosophila embryogenesis, and growth factors. His work has also led to a better understanding of the link between normal stem cells and cancer, and has provided essential tools to control the growth of stem cells.  His current research has contributed to discoveries of links between cancer and normal stem cell growth, and Wnt proteins are now known as major self-renewal signals for cancer stem cells.

Professor Nusse’s teaching in Human Biology is similarly exemplary.  He has inspired close to 2,000 students over the course of a decade, teaching cell signaling in the Human Biology Core sophomore course sequence.  Year after year students cite their appreciation of learning from a pre-eminent scientist, while complimenting Professor Nusse’s ability to simplify complex biology, be practical, and demonstrate passion and even humor.  Professor Nusse consistently demonstrates his commitment to teaching tomorrow’s scholars, scientists, and leaders. 

The Reed-Hodgson chair was established in 1973, through a gift from the late Richard Hodgson and his wife, Geraldine Coursen Reed, together with funds from a Ford Foundation grant to the Human Biology program.

Hodgson, who died in 2000, served as a corporate senior vice president of the International Telephone and Telegraph Corp. until 1980. He was also a cofounder and director of Intel Corp. as well as several other technology companies. He received an AB in engineering from Stanford in 1937, and his wife, Geraldine, received an AB in philosophy from Stanford in 1938. The couple were strong supporters of Stanford, and other members of their family are also Stanford alums.