UCSF Scientists Honored by National Academy of Sciences

By Elizabeth Fernandez, UCSF News Office | May 4, 2011

Alexander D. Johnson, PhD, and Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD, have been elected as members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for their excellence in original scientific research. It is one of the highest honors bestowed on a scientist or engineer in the United States.

They join 70 other scientists who will be inducted in April, the academy announced today.

UCSF now has 40 current faculty members in the distinguished group. Altogether, University of California campuses have 368 current members.

Johnson, professor and vice chair of the department of microbiology and immunology, has made key contributions to understanding how cells turn their genes on and off, how these mechanisms evolved, and how they contribute to the diversity of life. Additionally, he studies the mechanisms through which the human pathogen, Candida albicans, infects its host and causes disease. Johnson is co-author of the textbook "Molecular Biology of the Cell."

He earned a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Vanderbilt University, a master's and doctoral degree from Harvard; he conducted his postdoctoral studies at UCSF. Johnson has received numerous awards and fellowships and was elected to the American Academy of Microbiology in 1998 and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007.

"I am thrilled by this honor and delighted to acknowledge the UCSF graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who worked with me and made this research possible," Johnson said.


Read more at Elizabeth Fernandez, UCSF News Office