Press Release

Seven faculty members elected to NAS

| 28 April 2009

Seven researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, are among 72 new members elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the nation's most prestigious societies of scholars engaged in science and engineering research.

Election to the academy, announced today (Tuesday, April 28), is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded a U.S. scientist or engineer.

The new UC Berkeley members are Alex Filippenko, professor of astronomy; Robert Fischer, professor of plant and microbial biology; Sarah Hake, director of the USDA Plant Gene Expression Center and adjunct professor of plant and microbial biology; Hiroshi Nikaido, professor of molecular and cell biology; Christos Papadimitriou, professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences; Mu-ming Poo, professor of molecular and cell biology; and Kevan Shokat, professor of chemistry with a joint appointment at UC San Francisco.

The members were elected "in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research," according to the academy. Along with the 72 new members, 18 foreign associates from 15 countries were elected to the academy. This year's election brings the total number of NAS members at UC Berkeley to 136.

The NAS was established in 1863 by a congressional act of incorporation signed by Abraham Lincoln. The society serves to advise government leaders on matters of science and technology.

Such historic figures as Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Thomas Edison, Orville Wright and Alexander Graham Bell were members of the academy. In addition, more than 180 living academy members have won Nobel Prizes.

There are now more than 2,150 active members and 404 foreign associates in the academy. The full list of new members is available on the National Academy of Science Web site.