News Release

Two U of M faculty elected to the National Academy of Sciences

A microscope

Two University of Minnesota Twin Cities researchers have been elected as members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. 

Established in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln, the NAS is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. Membership is widely considered one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive. Current membership totals approximately 2,400 members and 500 foreign associates.

The two faculty who are among the 120 members and 26 international new members this year include:


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Marc Jenkins, Ph.D., is the director of the Center for Immunology and Regents' and Distinguished McKnight Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Jenkins is the first University of Minnesota Medical School faculty member to be elected in more than 50 years. Known as one of the world’s most distinguished immunologists, Jenkins investigates how CD4+ T and B cells respond to antigens. His groundbreaking research has advanced the field of immunology, leading to the development of more effective vaccines and better treatments for autoimmune diseases and improved success in transplantation and cancer immunotherapy. He has recently been recognized for his role in the Medical School’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic through the development of antibody testing now in clinical use. Earlier this year, Jenkins received the American Association of Immunologists' Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of a remarkable career of scientific achievement and contributions to AAI and the field of immunology. Learn more on his faculty page.


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Marc M. Hirschmann, Ph.D., is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the College of Science and Engineering’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. He also holds the Robert C. and Carol G. Gunn Professorship. As a renowned experimental petrologist, Hirschmann reproduces the temperatures and pressures of rocks in Earth’s interior, studying the processes of melting and chemical mass transfer. In recent years, this work has included investigations of the elements in magmas and rocks that are essential to Earth’s habitability and climate. A second focus has been the study of the early formation and evolution of rocky planetary bodies, including Earth, Mars and the Moon. Hirschmann was also recently elected to the Academy of Arts and Sciences for his contributions to earth sciences. Learn more on his faculty page.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and—with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine—provides science, engineering, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.


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