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Three medical school faculty elected to National Academy of Sciences

Karla Kirkegaard, Mark Krasnow and William Weis are now part of an organization created in 1863 to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology.

Karla Kirkegaard

Three School of Medicine researchers are among the 100 newly elected members of the National Academy of Sciences.

The new members are Karla Kirkegaard, PhD, the Violetta L. Horton Research Professor, and professor of genetics and of microbiology and immunology; Mark Krasnow, MD, PhD, the Paul and Millie Berg Professor and professor of biochemistry; and William Weis, PhD, William M. Hume Professor in the School of Medicine and professor of structural biology, of molecular and cellular physiology and of photon science.

Kirkegaard’s work focuses on the impact of basic science discoveries on the transmission of viruses in infected hosts. She has combined her interests in biochemistry, cell biology and genetics in the study of RNA virology, using poliovirus and other positive-strand RNA viruses to understand the cell biology of viral infections and the genetics of viral variability.

Mark Krasnow

Krasnow, who is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, uses genetic and genomic approaches to elucidate the cellular and molecular basis of lung development and stem cells and the neural circuit of breathing. His research seeks to understand the normal processes and how they go awry in human diseases such as lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension and sudden infant death syndrome.

Weis studies molecular interactions that underlie the establishment and maintenance of cell and tissue structure using biochemical and biophysical methods. His lab’s specific areas of interest are the architecture and dynamics of intercellular adhesion junctions and signaling pathways that govern cell fate determination. The team also investigates carbohydrate-based cellular recognition and adhesion.

William Weis


The academy is a private, nonprofit institution that was created in 1863 to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Scholars are elected in recognition of their outstanding contributions to research. This year’s election brings the total number of active academy members to 2,347.

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