Three University of Washington faculty members – James Bardeen and Ann Nelson in physics and Evan Eichler in genome sciences – have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences for excellence in their original scientific research.
Their selection brings to 68 the total number UW faculty named to the National Academy of Sciences. The three will join 81 other scientists to be formally inducted next April during the academy’s 150th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
Bardeen, a professor emeritus of physics, is a theoretical physicist who has specialized in general relativity. His achievements include what is called the “Bardeen vacuum,” an exact solution to Einsteins equations of general relativity. His work contributed to understanding the properties of relativistic stars and black holes and included a paper, “The Four Laws of Black Hole Mechanics,” written with Brandon Carter and Stephen Hawking.
Bardeen graduated from Harvard University and received a doctorate from the California Institute of Technology in 1965. He joined the UW faculty in 1967, left for Yale University from 1972 to 1976, and then returned to UW in 1976.
Evan Eichler is a professor of genome sciences and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. His lab studies hotspots in human and animal genomes. These are regions that have undergone rapid structural changes from jumping or duplicated segments. Technologies developed by his group have advanced the understanding of primate evolution, and also of mutations linked to intellectual and mental disabilities, and autism.
Eichler graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1990 and earned a doctorate from Baylor College of Medicine in 1995 and joined the UW faculty in 2004.
Nelson, also a physics professor, specializes in the physics of particles and fields. Her research includes the theory and phenomena related to physics that go beyond the standard model, the view of fundamental forces that affect subatomic particles. She has collaborated on a number of significant theories, including an explanation for the observed imbalance between matter and anti-matter in the universe.
Nelson graduated from Stanford University in 1980 and earned her doctorate at Harvard University in 1984. She joined the UW faculty in 1994.
There currently are 2,152 active members of the National Academy of Sciences, and nearly 200 living members have won Nobel prizes. The academy was founded in 1863 and its membership has included Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Thomas Edison, Orville Wright, and Alexander Graham Bell.