Hansjörg Wyss has been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the field of business, corporate, and philanthropic leadership. He joins more than 200 other new members for 2019, who are world leaders in the arts and sciences, business, philanthropy, and public affairs. These elected members join with other experts to explore challenges facing society, identify solutions, and promote nonpartisan recommendations that advance public good.
“I am deeply honored and humbled to be elected to an organization whose goal is to improve the lives of people around the world, and I am eager to engage with my fellow members to continue to make progress solving the biggest problems that plague humanity today,” said Wyss. “I believe that science and engineering are paving the way toward a more healthy, sustainable, and equitable future for all, and it is crucial that those disciplines be supported and enabled to achieve their full potential.”
Wyss is dedicated to helping save the world’s last remaining wild places, encouraging scientific and medical breakthroughs, and empowering the most vulnerable in society. His long-standing support for science, engineering, and medical training include large gifts that enabled Harvard University and four Swiss universities to create multi-disciplinary scientific institutes, including the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, to produce ground-breaking research in a variety of fields.
Among those accomplishments is a new immunotherapy for cancer, currently in clinical trials run by Novartis; organs-on-chips that emulate human organs and could one day replace drug testing on animals; soft exosuits to help rehabilitate stroke patients and protect workers in physically demanding jobs; and a molecular diagnostic platform that can detect diseases at room temperature and without the need for lab equipment.
“It goes without saying that the Wyss Institute would not exist without Hansjörg Wyss’ generosity and constant commitment to our mission of taking inspiration from nature to create new breakthrough technologies that we transition into the marketplace as quickly as possible,” said the Wyss Institute’s Founding Director Donald Ingber. “We are also equally proud of the leadership he has demonstrated as a philanthropist who is helping to save our planet in so many different ways, and this is a wonderful and well-deserved honor for him.”