Penn faculty members Shelley Berger and Karen Goldberg have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) “in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.”
Berger and Goldberg are among 84 new members elected this year, along with 21 foreign associates, bringing the total number of active members to 2,383 and the total number of foreign associates to 484. NAS election is considered one of the highest honors a scientist can receive.
Berger is the Daniel S. Och University Professor and a Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor with appointments in the Perelman School of Medicine’s Department of Cell and Developmental Biology and the School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology. She also serves as director of the epigenetics program in Penn Medicine. Her work focuses on how gene expression is influenced by changes in chromatin structure that arise from modifications to histone proteins. Her seminal contributions in the emerging field of epigenetics have implications for understanding aging, infection, cancer, and behavior.
Goldberg is the Vagelos Professor for Energy Research in the School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Chemistry and the inaugural director of the Vagelos Institute for Energy Science and Technology. Her research aims to develop new catalytic systems to efficiently produce chemicals and fuels. By gaining a deep, mechanistic understanding of fundamental organometallic reactions, Goldberg’s work has the potential to lead to more sustainable sources of energy as well as other valuable organic products.
A complete list of new NAS members is available on the Academy’s website.