John G. Hildebrand, the University of Arizona neurobiologist known for his seminal work on the neurobiology and development of insect olfactory systems and their effects on insect behavior, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences on May 1, 2007.
Election to membership in the academy is considered one of the highest honors a U.S. scientist or engineer can achieve.
Hildebrand's work integrates several fields of biology, including anatomy, physiology, behavior, developmental biology, biochemistry and neurobiology.
"I was thrilled to hear that John has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences," said Leslie Tolbert, UA's vice president of research, graduate studies and economic development and a UA Regents' Professor of neurobiology.
"He is a world leader in chemosensory neuroscience and neuroethology and richly deserves this honor. Johns exciting work lures undergrads, graduate students, postdocs and foreign scientists to his lab in droves, and he is a natural-born leader outside of the lab as well."
Hildebrand is among 72 new members and 18 foreign associates from 12 countries recognized for distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Those elected this year bring the total number of active members to 2,025.
Hildebrand is the 29th member of the NAS in Arizona and the 18th currently at the UA. He is the only newly elected member from Arizona.
Hildebrand, a UA Regents' Professor of neurobiology, pioneered the use of the hawkmoth Manduca sexta, the tobacco hornworm moth, as a model organism for studying the organization of insects' sense of smell. Adult moths have a wingspan of about four inches and relatively large brains, making them much easier to study than smaller insects.
By increasing understanding of how insects behave and function, his work can also help combat insects that are vectors of disease or predators on crops.