Faculty Honors

UCLA professors elected to National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences


By Meg Sullivan

Published May 2, 2008 2:54 PM

Fields Medal-winning mathematician Terence Tao is one of three UCLA professors who were elected Tuesday to the National Academy of Sciences for their excellence in original scientific research.

Michael Grunstein, a professor of biological chemistry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and Thomas M. Liggett, a professor of mathematics, will join Tao in being formally inducted into the academy next April.

Membership in the academy is one of the highest honors given to a scientist or engineer in the United States. There are currently more than 2,000 active academy members, 343 of them from the University of California system. Among the academy's most renowned members are Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Thomas Edison, Orville Wright and Alexander Graham Bell. More than 180 living members have won the Nobel Prize.

The election of this year's UCLA fellows — who are among 72 new fellows from across the U.S. and 18 foreign associates from nine countries — brings the number of living UCLA academy members to 31.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit honorific society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furthering of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare.

Faculty members elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Seven UCLA faculty members were elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and independent policy-research centers.

Drawn from the sciences, the arts and humanities, business, public affairs, and the nonprofit sector, the academy's 191 new fellows and 22 new foreign honorary members are leaders in their fields and include Nobel laureates and recipients of Pulitzer and Pritzker prizes, Academy and Grammy awards, and Kennedy Center Honors.

The UCLA faculty members who will join the august group are: Utpal Banerjee, department chair and professor of molecular, cell and developmental biology, and professor of biological chemistry; Alessandro Duranti, department chair and professor of anthropology; Thom Mayne, professor of architecture; Calvin Normore, professor of philosophy; Theodore Porter, professor of history and department vice chair for undergraduate affairs; Charles Ray, professor of sculpture; and Debora Silverman, professor of history and art history.

The faculty join other new fellows who include famed blues guitarist B.B. King; former chief executive officer of eBay Margaret Whitman; director and screenwriter Pedro Almodóvar; two-time cabinet secretary and former White House Chief of Staff James A. Baker III; and two university presidents.



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