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Two Stanford professors elected to National Academy of Sciences

The faculty members have been elected to receive one of the highest honors for an American scientist in recognition of their achievements in original research.

Two Stanford faculty members were named last week as new members of the National Academy of Sciences. The academy is an honorific society that recognizes distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

The academy's honorees have included such renowned scientists and inventors as Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Thomas Edison, Orville Wright and Alexander Graham Bell. Nearly 200 living members of the academy have won Nobel Prizes.

The Stanford scholars were among the 84 new members and 21 foreign associates from 15 countries elected this year, bringing the total number of active members to 2,214 and the total number of foreign associates to 444.

The new members will be inducted next April during the academy's 152nd annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Following are the newly elected Stanford members:

Angela DruryEmmanuel Candes

Emmanuel Candès is the Barnum-Simons Chair in Mathematics and Statistics and, by courtesy, a professor of electrical engineering. Candès, who earned his PhD at Stanford, is interested in finding new ways of representing information and of extracting information from complex data. He helped launch the field known as compressed sensing. The mathematical technique can reconstruct signals from incomplete data sets, and can be used to significantly speed up MRI scanning times, resurrect old musical recordings, find enemy radio signals and sharpen fuzzy photographs. With collaborators, he has also worked on a mathematical technique called matrix completion theory, which allows scientists to infer large data matrices accurately from a tiny set of data observations. This theory may be useful in computer vision – a field of computer science that seeks to duplicate human vision abilities in machines.


Courtesy Stanford School of MedicineJoseph Puglisi

Joseph Puglisi is a professor of structural biology and chair of the Department of Structural Biology at Stanford University School of Medicine. He investigates the role of RNA in cellular processes and disease, with the goal of understanding RNA function in terms of molecular structure and dynamics using a variety of biophysical and biological tools. His group is currently focused on how and under what constraints proteins are produced via complex molecular machines' "reading" of RNA-encoded recipes, as well as on the role of RNA in viral infections and how understanding that role may lead to novel therapeutic strategies. Puglisi is also a member of Stanford Bio-X.