National Academy of Sciences adds five Berkeley faculty members to its ranks

new NAS members

The new National Academy of Sciences members are, clockwise from upper left, Yang Dan, Ehud Isacoff, Umesh Vazirani, Kristie Boering and Michael Manga.

A chemist, two neuroscientists, a geophysicist and a computer scientist at UC Berkeley are among 84 new members and 21 new foreign associates of the National Academy of Sciences announced today.

The five – Kristie Boering, the Lieselotte and David Templeton Professor of Chemistry; Yang Dan, a professor of molecular and cell biology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator; Ehud Isacoff, a professor of molecular and cell biology and director of the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute; Michael Manga, a professor of earth and planetary science; and Umesh Vazirani, the Roger A. Strauch Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences – bring the total number of living UC Berkeley faculty members who are members of the academy to 137.

The academy, founded in 1863 and the most prestigious scientific society in the U.S., provides science, engineering and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations. The new members will be inducted at the annual national meeting in 2019.
Boering, who also has an appointment in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science, is an atmospheric chemist who combines airborne and ground-based experiments with computer simulations to learn how atmospheric chemistry and climate are linked on Earth and other planets over time scales ranging from months to billions of years.

Dan uses state-of-the-art techniques to explore how the brain controls sleep and how the brain’s frontal cortex exerts top-down executive control over our actions.

Isacoff, who also directs the Molecular Imaging Center, develops new techniques to manipulate neurons and their synaptic connections to other neurons in order to understand the brain circuits responsible for perception and motor activity.

Manga studies geological processes involving fluids, ranging from the mantle plumes that feed volcanoes and the underground plumbing of geysers to the impact of earthquakes on stream flow.

Vazirani, who is co-director of the Berkeley Quantum Computation Center, is one of the founders of the field of quantum computing and conducts research on computer algorithms and the theory of computing.

The NAS members elected today bring the total number of active members to 2,382 and the total number of foreign associates to 484.

National Academy of Sciences announcement