Four NYU faculty elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Election to the NAS is seen as one of the highest honors in science.



Elections to the National Academy of Sciences were recently announced. Among the new elects are four NYU faculty members, Professor Carrasco, Moore, Przeworski and LeCun. (Staff Illustration by Jake Capriotti)

Mei Lamison, Staff Writer

Four NYU faculty were among the 120 new members elected to the National Academy of Sciences this year. Marisa Carrasco, Yann LeCun, Kathryn J. Moore and Adam Przeworski were all elected to the NAS based on continued achievements in original research.

Members of the NAS are affiliated with one of six scientific disciplines: physical and mathematical sciences, biological sciences, engineering and applied sciences, biomedical sciences, behavioral and social sciences, or applied biological, agricultural and environmental sciences. Every year, the sitting members of the organization admit a maximum of 120 domestic candidates and 30 international candidates. As of the 2021 election, the NAS has 2,900 members.

Moore, the Blechman Professor of Cardiology in the Grossman School of Medicine, studies the immune system and its relation to atherosclerosis, cholesterol deposition and experimental therapies. Her recent study investigates how heart attacks and their effects on the immune system might speed up the development of breast cancer.

“It was such an exciting surprise, particularly since the pandemic has been so challenging for scientists,” Moore wrote to WSN. “On a normal day, I would be in the laboratory, but during these last months I have spent more time working from home … It was wonderful to receive the news with my husband and kids nearby.”

“This honor recognizes not just my own research efforts, but those of the many graduate students and postdoctoral fellows that have trained with me over the years,” Moore continued. “They are my science family, and I am so pleased to see the impact that our work together has had on the field.”

Marisa Carrasco, the Silver Professor of Psychology and Neural Science and Collegiate Professor at NYU, researches visual perception and attention, focusing on their relationship to psychological and physiological mechanisms. Her most recent work investigates brain regions, sensory representations and the deployment of attention. As a Mexican citizen, she was one of the 30 international scientists elected to the NAS this year to join the 500 international members of the NAS.

Yann LeCun, the Silver Professor of Computer Science at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, is also the vice president and chief artificial intelligence scientist at Facebook as well as the founding director of the NYU Center for Data Science. He researches machine learning, computer vision, mobile robotics and computational neuroscience. LeCun has made notable breakthroughs in AI technologies like deep learning.

Adam Przeworski, a professor at NYU’s Department of Politics, theorizes about democratic societies, the theory of democracy, capitalism and economic development. His most recent publications include “Crises of Democracy” and “Democracy and the Limits of Self-Government.”

“My main source of happiness is that my daughter was elected one year earlier and we may be the first daughter-father pair in the history of the Academy,” Przeworski wrote in an email to WSN.

59 of this year’s 120 elected members were women — the most ever elected in a single year.

“There have been many pioneering female scientists whose accomplishments have gone unrecognized, but their trailblazing efforts paved the way for the next generations of women in science,” Moore wrote. “It is gratifying to see the achievements of a record number women recognized and celebrated this year.”

Email Mei Lamison at [email protected]