The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) elected three Columbia professors into its ranks. Election to the NAS is based on "distinguished and continuing achievements in original research" and is considered one of the highest honors a scientist or engineer can receive.
Each year the Academy elects no more than 84 new members, who must be U.S. citizens, and 21 foreign associates. NAS has about 2,250 members and 452 foreign associates; approximately 200 have received Nobel prizes.
The 2015 Columbia members are:
Riccardo Dalla-Favera, the Joanne and Percy Uris Professor of Clinical Medicine and professor of pathology & cell biology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dalla-Favera is a member of the departments of Genetics & Development and Microbiology & Immunology and director of the Institute of Cancer Genetics. His research focus is the molecular genetics of cancer.
Ralph L. Holloway, professor of Anthropology, is an affiliate faculty member of the department of Ecology, Evolution, & Environmental Biology (E3B). His research focuses on the structure of ape brains and fossils to better understand the evolution of the human brain and behavior.
Rodney Rothstein is a professor of genetics & development at the College of Physicians and Surgeons and has a joint appointment in the Department of Systems Biology. He has pioneered the use of recombination to alter genomes and has used these methods to isolate novel genes involved in the maintenance of genome stability.
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit honorific society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furthering science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Established in 1863, it has served to “investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art” whenever called upon to do so by any department of the government.