Public Release: 

National Academy of Sciences elects 2 Brandeis University scientists to membership

Brandeis University

Waltham, MA --The nation's most honored scientific advisory organization, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), announced today the election of two Brandeis University professors to its membership. Neuroscientist Eve Marder and biochemist Chris Miller were elected to the Academy in recognition of their "distinguished and continuing achievements in original research," according to the NAS.

Membership in the Academy is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded a U.S. scientist or engineer. Today 72 new members and eighteen foreign associates were elected to the Academy, bringing the total to 2,025 members. With the election of Marder and Miller to the Academy, Brandeis counts ten NAS members, a remarkable achievement for a small research university. In addition, two Brandeis faculty are members of the Academies' Institute of Medicine.

Marder and Miller are international experts in their respective fields and have been honored with numerous other accolades. Marder is president-elect of the Society for Neuroscience and is the recipient of the Society's Gerard Prize for her lifetime contributions to the field, among other awards. Miller is an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the leading biomedical philanthropy that supports select scientists with the potential to make significant contributions to science.

"It is a great honor to be elected to National Academy of Sciences, and I am proud to join so many other eminent women and men who have contributed to the progress of science," said Marder.

Marder's pioneering work focuses on understanding the how specific interactions between neurons give rise to the function of neuronal circuits. Specifically, she uses neural circuits in lobsters and crabs that generate rhythmic movements to understand how neuromodulators influence circuit behavior, and most recently to understand the limits of variability across individual animals.

Miller has spent his research career studying the molecular underpinnings of the generation of electricity within the cell. The ion channels, a subclass of membrane proteins, mediate all electrical activity and control important physiological functions, including hormone secretion, blood volume homeostasis and muscle contraction. Miller studies the molecular mechanisms by which ion channel proteins open and close to switch the flows of ions across cellular membranes, allowing only the ion appropriate to the cellular task at hand to permeate.

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About Brandeis University

Brandeis was founded in 1948 as a nonsectarian university under the sponsorship of the American Jewish community. Brandeis ranks second out of 4,200 colleges and universities in the U.S. in the percentage of faculty who are members of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences or fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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