5 Stanford professors elected to National Academy of Sciences

Five Stanford University faculty members have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

Steven M. Block, Karen S. Cook, Michael D. Fayer, David Laitin and W.E. Moerner are among 72 new members and 18 foreign associates recognized for their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research with membership to the academy.

Established by a congressional act in 1863, NAS is a private organization of scientists and engineers whose 2,025 active members are dedicated to furthering science and using it for the general welfare. Upon request, the academy advises the federal government on matters of science and technology.

Election to NAS is one of the highest honors that can be accorded a U.S. scientist or engineer. This year's election brings the total number of Stanford scholars serving on the academy to 140.

Profiles of Stanford's new NAS members follow:

STEVEN M. BLOCK, who holds the Stanford W. Ascherman Professorship of Sciences, is a professor of applied physics and of biological sciences. His research involves the use of "optical tweezers" to study the action of individual biomolecules at the atomic level. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in physics at Oxford University in 1974 and 1978. He earned a master's degree in biology at the University of Colorado in 1982 and a doctorate in biology at the California Institute of Technology in 1983. From 1987 to 1993, he was a staff scientist at the Rowland Institute for Science in Cambridge, Mass., and a lecturer at Harvard University. He was a professor of molecular biology at Princeton University from 1994 until 1999, when he joined the Stanford faculty. Block was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000 and to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2006. In 1994, he received the Young Investigator Award from the Biophysical Society and served as president of the society from 2005 to 2006. He also

Contact: Mark Shwartz
Stanford University

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