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David Bricker
University Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, April 29, 2009

IU Distinguished Professor Michael Lynch named a National Academy of Sciences fellow

April 29, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Michael Lynch, an evolutionary biologist at Indiana University Bloomington, has been elected a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, the academy announced today from its 146th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Michael Lynch

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Distinguished Professor of Biology Michael Lynch

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Fellowship in the NAS is considered by some to be the highest honor afforded in American science. According to the academy, election recognizes "distinguished achievements in original research," as well as scholarly prowess.

"Mike has used a very wide range of model organisms and developed important mathematical tools for investigating some of the most important problems in evolutionary biology," said Biology Department colleague and fellow evolutionary biologist Michael Wade. "His current work on the origins and evolution of genome architecture has been path breaking both in its methods of analysis and in its findings."

Lynch has made numerous contributions to the field of evolutionary genomics, which studies how large segments of DNA and even whole chromosomes are organized, as well as how large-scale organization has changed as the result of natural selection -- and also "neutral," random and undirected processes.

Among his many accomplishments are a theory accounting for genetic duplication, pioneering work in ecological genetics and extensive work on mutation rates, including the "mutational meltdown" model that builds on the work of IU Bloomington geneticist and Nobel Prize winner Hermann Muller.

Lynch's election brings IU's number of NAS fellows to 10, and the state of Indiana's total 12.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for general welfare. It was established in 1863 by a congressional act of incorporation signed by Abraham Lincoln that calls on the academy to act as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology. Additional information about the Academy and its members is available online at

To speak with Michael Lynch, please contact David Bricker, University Communications, at 812-856-9035 or