Eugene Mele and Nancy Speck of the University of Pennsylvania have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) “in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.”
Mele and Speck are among 100 new members, along with 25 new foreign associates. Researchers are elected by their peers for membership in the NAS based on contributions made to the field, and election to the NAS is considered one of the highest honors a scientist can receive.
Mele is the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Physics in the School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Physics & Astronomy. His research is focused on the study of quantum electronic phenomena in condensed matter. By studying how microscopic structures of carbon-derived nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotubes, can elicit a wide range of electronic phenomena such as insulating and superconducting, Mele’s research has the potential to provide insights on how these molecular properties could be modified to better control a wide range of electronic phenomena in these novel materials. Mele also shares the prestigious 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.
Speck is chair of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology in the Perelman School of Medicine and is a widely recognized international leader in the field of hematology. She is also co-leader of the Hematologic Malignancies Program at the Abramson Cancer Center and is an investigator in the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute. Her lab purified, cloned, and characterized the proteins RUNX1 and CBFβ, mutations in which are frequently found in leukemia. In her 30-plus-year career, Speck has made important contributions in understanding the role of RUNX1 and CBFβ in normal blood cells, as well as how this knowledge can be translated into ways to fight the disease.
The complete list of new NAS members is available on the Academy’s website.