Novick, Spitzer and Knowlton elected to NAS
Peter Novick, PhD, was elected yesterday to the National Academy of Sciences, created in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln to provide the federal government with advice on matters related to science, engineering and medicine.
Novick, who came to UC San Diego School of Medicine in 2008 as the George E. Palade Endowed Chair of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, is noted for his groundbreaking work in the field of cell biology. Specifically, Novick has combined research in genetics and cell biology in yeast to investigate the mechanisms that regulate membrane trafficking along the secretory pathway – a series of steps used to move proteins out of a cell.
Membrane traffic is required for many essential functions, and its regulation is directly relevant to a broad range of human diseases including cancer, diabetes and neural degeneration.
Prior to coming to UC San Diego, Novick was a professor in the Department of Cell Biology at the Yale University School of Medicine for more than 20 years. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Joining Novick this year as new NAS members are Nicholas Spitzer, distinguished professor and vice chair of the neurobiology section in the Division of Biological Sciences at UC San Diego, and Nancy Knowlton, adjunct professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.
Spitzer studies neural plasticity, the ability of the brain to adapt to environmental changes. He is co-director of the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind at UCSD and involved in the new BRAIN Initiative.
Knowlton is founding director of the Scripps Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, launched in 2001 to study maritime issues such as pollution, overfishing and climate change. Knowlton is also Sant Chair of Marine Science at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.