UW News

July 16, 2021

20 UW researchers elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences for 2021

UW News

A spring day on the University of Washington campus.Dennis Wise

Twenty scientists and engineers at the University of Washington are among the 38 new members elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences for 2021, according to a July 15 announcement. New members were chosen for “their outstanding record of scientific and technical achievement, and their willingness to work on behalf of the Academy to bring the best available science to bear on issues within the state of Washington.”

Current academy members selected 29 of the new members. An additional nine were elected by virtue of joining one of the National Academies.

New UW members who were elected by current academy members are:

  • Joel Baker, professor and Port of Tacoma Chair in Environmental Science at UW Tacoma, director of the Puget Sound Institute and science director of the Center for Urban Waters, “for foundational work on the environmental fate, behavior and toxicity of PCBs.”
  • Sapna Cheryan, professor of psychology, “for contributions in research on racial and gender inequality that has influenced practices in education, government, and business” and “for shifting the explanation for inequality away from individual deficiencies and examining how societal stereotypes and structures cause inequalities.”
  • Brandi Cossairt, professor of chemistry and member faculty at the Clean Energy Institute, “for leadership in the innovative synthesis and chemical modification of nanoscale materials for application in light emission and catalysis.”
  • Kristie Ebi, professor of global health and of environmental and occupational health sciences, and founding director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment, “for work on the health impacts of climate change, on climate impact forecasting, on adaptation to climate change and on climate policy to protect health.”
  • Lisa Graumlich, professor of environmental and forest sciences and dean emeritus of the College of the Environment, “for foundational studies of regional paleoenvironmental history and sustained excellence in academic leadership to catalyze and sustain transformative research and educational initiatives.” Graumlich is also president-elect of the American Geophysical Union.
  • Dr. Jonathan Himmelfarb, the Joseph W. Eschbach Endowed Chair in Kidney Research and co-director of the Center for Dialysis Innovation, “for pioneering contributions and outstanding achievements in the development of the novel wearable artificial kidney, as well as numerous investigator-initiated clinical trials and multi-center collaborative studies.”
  • Daniel Jaffe, professor of environmental chemistry and chair of the Physical Sciences Division at UW Bothell, “for leadership in monitoring and understanding the global transport of atmospheric pollutants from energy production, wildfire, and other sources, as well as science communication and service that has informed citizens and enhanced public policy.”
  • Cheryl Kaiser, professor and chair of psychology, “for contributions demonstrating how psychological science can inform long-standing issues about racial and gender discrimination” and “for research that has deep and penetrating implications for the law and societal efforts to remedy social inequities with evidence-based programs and actions.”
  • Munira Khalil, the Leon C. Johnson Professor of Chemistry, member faculty at the Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute and chair of the Department of Chemistry, “for developing new spectroscopy tools for measuring energy flow in molecules and materials with high spatial and temporal resolution.”
  • Victoria Suzanne Meadows, professor of astronomy, “for founding the Virtual Planetary Laboratory and leading the decades-long development of the interdisciplinary modeling framework and community needed to establish the science of exoplanet astrobiology” and “for training the next generation of interdisciplinary scientists who will search for life beyond Earth.”
  • Kristi Morgansen, professor and chair of aeronautics and astronautics, “for leadership and significant advances in nonlinear methods for integrated sensing and control in engineered, bioinspired and biological flight systems” and “for leadership in cross-disciplinary aerospace workforce development.”
  • Alshakim Nelson, associate professor of chemistry and member faculty with the Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute, “for exceptional contributions to the development of synthetic polymers and nanomaterials for self-assembly and advanced manufacturing with application in sustainability, medicine and microelectronics.”
  • Dr. Tueng Shen, Associate Dean of Medical Technology Innovation in the College of Engineering and the School of Medicine, the Graham and Brenda Siddall Endowed Chair in Cornea Research, and medical director of the UW Eye Institute, “for developing and providing first class clinical treatment of severe corneal blindness to hundreds of people, for establishing the world premier artificial cornea program in Washington, and for leading collaborative research to translate innovative engineering technologies into creative clinical solution.”
  • Dr. Wesley Van Voorhis, professor of medicine and director of the Center for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases, “for global recognition as an authority on drug and vaccine development for viral and parasitic diseases through work as an infectious disease physician and immunologist.”
  • Dr. Monica Vavilala, professor of pediatrics and of anesthesiology and pain medicine, and director of the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, “for outstanding leadership in pediatric anesthesiology and in the care of children with traumatic brain injury” and “for internationally recognized expertise in traumatic brain injury and direction of the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center for the last decade as an exceptional mentor and visionary leader.”

UW members who will join the Washington State Academy of Sciences by virtue of their election to one of the National Academies are:

  • Patrick Heagerty, professor of biostatistics, “for the development of novel statistical models for longitudinal data to better diagnose disease, track its trajectory, and predict its outcomes” and “for revolutionizing how dynamic predictors are judged by their discrimination and calibration and has significantly advanced methods for randomized controlled trials.” Heagerty was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2021.
  • Anna Karlin, the Bill and Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science and Engineering, “for foundational contributions to the mathematics of computer systems and of the internet, as well as to the design and probabilistic analysis of algorithms, especially on-line algorithms, and algorithmic mechanism design and game theory.” Karlin was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2021.
  • Randall LeVeque, professor emeritus of applied mathematics and data science fellow at the eScience Institute, “for inventing key algorithms for hyperbolic conservation laws and transforming them into powerful numerical technologies” and “for creating the Clawpack package, which underpins a wide range of application codes in everyday use, such as for hazard assessment due to tsunamis and other geophysical phenomena.” LeVeque was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2021.
  • Julie Theriot, the Benjamin D. Hall Endowed Chair in Basic Life Sciences and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, “for advancing our physical understanding of cell motility and growth in animals and bacteria” and “for discovering how the pathogen Listeria uses actin polymerization to move inside human cells, how crawling animal cells coordinate actomyosin dynamics and the mechanical basis of size control and daughter cell separation in bacteria.” Theriot was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2021.
  • Rachel Wong, professor and chair of biological structure, “for elucidating cellular transformations through which neurons pattern their dendrites, and the interplay of activity-dependent and -independent mechanisms leading to assembly of stereotyped circuits” and “for revelations regarding the fundamental principles of neuronal development through the application of an elegant combination of in vivo imaging, physiology, ultrastructure and genetics to the vertebrate retina.” Wong was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2021.

New members to the Washington State Academy of Sciences are scheduled to be inducted at a meeting in September.