News and Events

English Lecturer and Psychology Alumnus Each Named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

May 13, 2005

GAINESVILLE, Fla.—University of Florida English Lecturer Michael Hofmann and Psychology Alumnus Fred Gage have been named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), along with 211 other leaders in scholarship, business, the arts and public affairs this year, including Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Academy Award winning actor and director Sidney Poitier and television journalist Tom Brokaw.

Gage is one of 196 new fellows nominated for election into the academy for 2005, while Hofmann is one of 17 foreign honorary members selected from outside the United States. A poet and translator, Hofmann was born in West Germany in 1957 as the son of the German novelist Gert Hofmann. He accepted a part-time position as a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at UF in 1994, where he teaches English courses each spring. The rest of the year he resides in England and concentrates on his writing.

Hofmann has published five books of poetry, including Nights in the Iron Hotel (1983), Acrimony (1986), K.S. in Lakeland (1990), Corona, Corona (1993) and Approximately Nowhere (1999). He also has published his poetry in numerous anthologies and magazines, including London Magazine, London Review of Books, The New Yorker and Paris Review. Hofmann is an accomplished critic, and has written extensively for TLS, as well as The London Times, New York Times Book Review and London Review of Books. He is probably best known for his work as a translator of more than 40 works of German literature into English, most notably the works of Joseph Roth.

“The Department of English is honored to have Michael Hofmann elected as a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,” said Department Chair John Leavey. “This significant distinction is an indication of the academy's recognition of his importance in world letters.”

Gage earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UF in 1972 and is the Adler Professor in the Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif. His research has advanced the scientific understanding of adult brain and nervous system’s ability to repair itself. During his 10 years at the Salk Institute, Gage has made numerous research accomplishments, including the discovery of stem cells in the brains of adult mammals. This finding has provided the hope that brain tissue lost to such devastating disorders as stroke and Alzheimer’s disease might, one day, be replaced. Gage’s lab is now working to understand how these cells can be coaxed to become mature nerve cells. The results may help expedite the development of novel drugs to stimulate nerve cell maturation.

In addition to the AAAS, Gage has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine and honored with the Christopher Reeve Research Medal. “While honors such as this are wonderful, they remind me that individual successes are made possible through creative and supportive colleagues and family,” Gage said.

Gage and Hofmann will be inducted formally into the academy on Oct. 8 in a special ceremony held at its headquarters in Cambridge, Mass. Founded in 1780 by John Adams, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has elected as fellows some of the finest minds and most influential leaders from each American generation—including George Washington, Ben Franklin, Daniel Webster, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill. Its current membership holds more than 150 Nobel laureates and 50 Pulitzer Prize winners.


Michael Hofmann, Distinguished Visiting Lecturer, UF Department of English

Fred Gage, Adler Professor, Salk Institute for Biological Studies

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