Environmental Protection

NAS Honors Individuals for Contributions to Science

The NAS honors 18 individuals with awards in recognition of their outstanding scientific achievements in a wide range of fields spanning the physical, biological, and social sciences.

The NAS honors 18 individuals with awards in recognition of their outstanding scientific achievements in a wide range of fields spanning the physical, biological, and social sciences.

Here are a few of the recipients for 2013:

Theodore Betley, Thomas D. Cabot Associate Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University, is the recipient of the 2013 NAS Award for Initiatives in Research, given this year in the field of catalysis. Betley is being honored for his development and mechanistic elucidation of remarkable iron catalysts for carbon-hydrogen bond functionalization, which may lead to improvements in the ability to convert cheap and abundant chemical feedstocks into high-value chemicals with low energy expenditure. Supported by Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, the award comes with a $15,000 prize and recognizes innovative young scientists and encourages research likely to lead toward new capabilities for human benefit.

Sue Biggins, full member at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, is the recipient of the NAS Award in Molecular Biology. Biggins is recognized for her isolation and in vitro characterization of a functional kinetochore complex, and for the use of that system to explore kinetochore function. Sponsored by Pfizer Inc., the award consists of a $25,000 prize to recognize a recent notable discovery by a young scientist.

William J. Borucki, space scientist at the NASA Ames Research Laboratory and Science Principal Investigator for the Kepler Mission, is the recipient of the Henry Draper Medal. Borucki is honored for his founding concept and visionary leadership of Kepler, which is using transit photometry to determine the frequency and kinds of planets around other stars. Kepler has uncovered myriad new worlds, with properties that are unforeseen and highly surprising. The Henry Draper Medal is awarded approximately every four years for an outstanding recently published contribution to astrophysical research and carries with it an award of $15,000.

Kenneth Catania, Stevenson Professor of Biological Sciences at Vanderbilt University, is the recipient of the Pradel Research Award. Catania is a pioneering neuroethologist who has carried out highly imaginative investigations of the neural basis of sensory behavior in model organisms. His comparative studies of mammals that possess specialized sensory capacities have led to discoveries of fundamental principles of behavior, sensory processing, and brain organization, and have resulted in new insights about the evolution of the nervous system. The Pradel Research Award is presented with $50,000 to support the recipient's research.

To view the entire list of honorees, please click here.

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