Two NYU Faculty Elected to the National Academy of Sciences

June 20, 2024

Two New York University scientists were elected this week to the National Academy of Sciences: microbiologist K. Heran Darwin and plant geneticist Michael Purugganan. Her ongoing work seeks to understand the proteasome’s functions and pathways and the relationship between M. tuberculosis and an infected host, with a goal of identifying activities in M. tuberculosis that could be targeted by new drugs to treat tuberculosis. In the past decade, 23 NYU faculty have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Along with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences provides science, engineering, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations. A full list of members elected this year can be found at the National Academy of Sciences’ website.

Two New York University scientists were elected this week to the National Academy of Sciences: microbiologist K. Heran Darwin and plant geneticist Michael Purugganan. Darwin and Purugganan are among the 120 members and 24 international members elected this year in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

K. Heran Darwin, professor of microbiology at Grossman School of Medicine, has dedicated her career to studying Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes tuberculosis, which kills about 1.5 million people each year. Using genetics and biochemistry, her research has characterized a protease complex called the proteasome in M. tuberculosis, which is essential for the bacteria’s ability to cause lethal infections in a host. Her ongoing work seeks to understand the proteasome’s functions and pathways and the relationship between M. tuberculosis and an infected host, with a goal of identifying activities in M. tuberculosis that could be targeted by new drugs to treat tuberculosis.

Michael Purugganan, Silver Professor in the Department of Biology and the Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, both in New York and Abu Dhabi, is a leader in the field of plant evolutionary genomics whose work focuses on identifying the molecular basis for how plants evolve in nature. He studies the genetic diversity of plant species to map their history and evolution, with much of his research focusing on the evolution and domestication of crops such as rice, millet, and dates. Understanding how crops respond to environmental pressures may help scientists identify or develop plant species that meet environmental challenges such as climate change and drought.

In the past decade, 23 NYU faculty have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Along with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences provides science, engineering, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations. A full list of members elected this year can be found at the National Academy of Sciences’ website.

The source of this news is from New York University

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