People, Research, Awards

Seven UC Berkeley scientists elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

By Public Affairs

An image with four circular headshots

Clockwise from upper left, Alberto L. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, Doris Bachtrog, Uroš Seljak, Irfan Siddiqi, Mark T. D'Esposito, James Hurley and Polly Arnold.

Graphic by Neil Freese/UC Berkeley

Seven UC Berkeley scientists — including a chemist, a psychologist, an engineer, two biologists and two physicists — are among 250 new members elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences today.

The Academy recognizes excellence and convenes leaders from every field of human endeavor to examine new ideas, address issues of importance to the nation and the world, and to work together to cultivate art and science.

"We honor these artists, scholars, scientists, and leaders in the public, non-profit, and private sectors for their accomplishments and for the curiosity, creativity and courage required to reach new heights," said David Oxtoby, president of the Academy. "We invite these exceptional individuals to join in the Academy’s work to address serious challenges and advance the common good."

The new Berkeley members are:

Polly Arnold, professor of chemistry and director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Chemical Sciences Division, studies the bonding and reactivity of heavy elements. Arnold's work has shown how rare earth elements offer great potential for the catalytic conversion of simple inert molecules needed for a renewable-based chemical industry and has advanced new techniques for controlling the chemistry of actinides, which underpin the long-term, safe management of nuclear waste.

Doris Bachtrog, professor of integrative biology, focuses on the processes that have shaped the evolution of sex chromosomes and the emergence of new species. Research in Bachtrog's lab integrates data from a variety of fields, including population biology, comparative and functional genomics, developmental genetics, chromatin biology, epigenetics and aging.

Mark T. D'Esposito, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology, studies the neural bases of high-level cognitive processes such as working memory and executive control, as well as the effects of normal aging on prefrontal function. D'Esposito's research uses a variety of different experimental approaches, including functional MRI (fMRI), pharmacological studies and behavioral studies.

James Hurley, the Kirsch Springer Chair in Biological Sciences and professor of cell biology, development and physiology, who explores the interactions between proteins and membranes that determine cell and organelle shape and the evolution of shape over time. One of Hurley’s primary interests is how pathogens, such as HIV, subvert and co-opt these interactions.

Alberto L. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, the Edgar L. and Harold H. Buttner Chair of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, develops and improves a variety of modern electronics systems, including tools for wireless sensor networks, embedded systems, hybrid systems, cyber-physical systems, systems of systems and electronic design automation.

Uroš Seljak is a professor of physics and of astronomy, co-director of the Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics and senior scientist in Berkeley Lab's Physics Division. Seljak works to extract fundamental properties of our universe from cosmological observations, and is currently seeking to understand what seeded the initial structures in the universe, the nature of dark energy and dark matter, and the future fate of the universe.

Irfan Siddiqi is a professor of physics, faculty scientist in Berkeley Lab's Applied Mathematics and Computational Research Division and director of Berkeley Lab's Advanced Quantum Testbed. Siddiqi's group, the Quantum Nanoelectronics Laboratory, investigates the quantum coherence of various condensed matter systems ranging from microscopic nanomagnets to complex macroscopic electrical circuits, and develops novel microwave frequency quantum-noise-limited amplifiers to measure the electric and magnetic properties of these systems.

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