Wayne State University professor elected to the National Academy of Sciences

May 1, 2002

President Irvin D. Reid is pleased to announce that Dr. Morris Goodman, Wayne State University School of Medicine distinguished professor of anatomy and cell biology, and professor in the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics at WSU, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Election to membership in the Academy is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded a U.S. scientist or engineer. Dr. Goodman is the first professor in the history of Wayne State University to receive this illustrious honor and recognition from the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Goodman is considered a founder in the field of molecular evolution, and has influenced debate and scientific study about man's molecular and genetic history through his critically important observations and discoveries. During his years as a leading edge scientist, he has been recognized as a founding pioneer of the field of molecular phylogenetics with his initial discoveries about the genetic similarities between humans and other primates.

"Dr. Goodman is a great scientist who has had a distinguished career of greater than 42 years at Wayne State University," said Dr. George Dambach, vice president for research at WSU. "He has been the world leader in the study of molecular evolution and has made enormously important discoveries about human life and our ancestry," he added.

Science is all about asking questions and searching for answers. "Dr. Goodman has an outstanding ability to ask important questions and then with innovation, creativity and perseverance finds answers," commented Dr. John Crissman, dean of WSU's School of Medicine. "Dr. Goodman has also been an outstanding leader guiding the development of many students who have become recognized scientists. We are proud of his recognition and achievements and grateful that he has been a leader in our university," Crissman added.

In 1996, Dr. Goodman was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Most recently he received the 2002 Charles R. Darwin Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. He has been a faculty member since 1958, and is a member of the WSU Academy of Scholars, and recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Award.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare. Established in 1863 by a congressional act of incorporation, the Academy acts as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, to study specific concerns. The results of these deliberations have inspired some of America's most significant and lasting efforts to improve the education, health and welfare of all.

Dr. Goodman received his B.S. in Zoology, M.S. in Zoology and Biochemistry and Ph.D. in Zoology and Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin.

For further information about the National Academies, go to their website,

Wayne State University is one of the nation's pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. In the past 20 years, Wayne State's research has grown 11 percent annually, with research expenditures reaching nearly $170 million in 2001. Over 65 percent of research at WSU is focused on the life sciences, and this focus has led our School of Medicine to climb the National Science Foundation rankings to 23 in 2000.

Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world.