Two Penn faculty have recently been admitted into the National Academy of Sciences for their achievements in original research.
Eugene Mele, the Christopher Browne Distinguished Professor of Physics in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, and Nancy Speck, chair of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology in the Perelman School of Medicine were elected to the NAS. Mele and Speck are apart of the 100 new members and 25 foreign associates in the Academy, Penn Today reported.
Researchers are nominated by peers in their field for their outstanding research, which is followed by an extensive vetting process that results in a final ballot at the Academy's annual meeting in April, according to the NAS website.
Mele was chosen for his research in the study of "quantum electronic phenomena in condensed matter." Mele and his longtime collaborator Charles Kane were awarded the 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, according to Penn Today, for their work on discovering “topological insulators," a new class of electronic materials.
Speck is also an investigator in the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute and co-leader of the Hematologic Malignancies Program. Speck’s lab has worked with two specific proteins whose mutations are often found in leukemia, according to Penn Today. The lab's studies have led to important breakthroughs in understanding the roles of the proteins and how the disease can be cured.