Four Stanford researchers are among the 100 newly elected members of the National Academy of Sciences.
The new members are Karla Kirkegaard, the Violetta L. Horton Research Professor, and professor of genetics and of microbiology and immunology; Mark Krasnow, the Paul and Millie Berg Professor of Biochemistry; Todd Martinez, the David Mulvane Ehrsam and Edward Curtis Franklin Professor in Chemistry and professor of photon science; and William Weis, PhD, William M. Hume Professor and professor of structural biology, of molecular and cellular physiology and of photon science.
Kirkegaard’s work focuses on the impact of basic science discoveries on the transmission of viruses in infected hosts. She has combined her interests in biochemistry, cell biology and genetics in the study of RNA virology, using poliovirus and other positive-strand RNA viruses to understand the cell biology of viral infections and the genetics of viral variability.
Krasnow, who is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, uses genetic and genomic approaches to elucidate the cellular and molecular basis of lung development and stem cells and the neural circuit of breathing. His research seeks to understand the normal processes and how they go awry in human diseases such as lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Martinez studies physical and theoretical chemistry, bridging the gap between traditional molecular dynamics and quantum chemistry. He has developed interactive simulations to discover heretofore unknown chemical reactions with the goal of making molecular modeling both predictive and routine.
Weis studies molecular interactions that underlie the establishment and maintenance of cell and tissue structure using biochemical and biophysical methods. His lab’s specific areas of interest are the architecture and dynamics of intercellular adhesion junctions and signaling pathways that govern cell fate determination. The team also investigates carbohydrate-based cellular recognition and adhesion.
The academy is a private, nonprofit institution that was created in 1863 to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Scholars are elected in recognition of their outstanding contributions to research. This year’s election brings the total of active academy members to 2,347.
Kirkegaard is also a member of Stanford Bio-X and Stanford ChEM-H. Krasnow is also a member of Stanford Bio-X, the Cardiovascular Institute, the Maternal and Child Health Research Institute, the Stanford Cancer Institute and the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute. Martinez is also a member of Stanford Bio-X, Stanford ChEM-H and the PULSE Institute. Weiss is also a member of Stanford Bio-X, the Stanford Cancer Institute and Stanford ChEM-H.