Professor Sylvia Ceyer, head of the MIT Department of Chemistry and the J. C. Sheehan Professor of Chemistry, has been elected to the governing council of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for a three-year term commencing July 1. Elected to NAS in 1997, Ceyer has previously served as the chair of the Physical and Mathematical Sciences Class of NAS (2009-2012) and the chair of the Chemistry Section of NAS (2002-2005). Her service on other NAS committees includes the Nominating Committee, Award Committee, Presidential Search Committee, Class Membership Committees, Frontiers of Science Symposium Committees, as well as numerous National Research Council committees and panels. She is currently the chair of the Ford Foundation Fellowships Review Panel on Physical Sciences and Mathematics organized by the National Research Council.
The 17-member NAS council includes five officers (president, vice president, home secretary, foreign secretary, and treasurer) and 12 councilors elected from among the Academy membership. Joining Ceyer as new members will be: Jeffrey M. Friedman, investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Marilyn M. Simpson Professor in the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics at Rockefeller University; Susan Hanson, distinguished university professor emerita in the Clark University School of Geography; and Peter S. Kim, member of the Stanford Chemistry, Engineering & Medicine for Human Health (ChEM-H) group and the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor of Biochemistry at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The new councilors succeed R. James Cook, Richard Lifton, Rowena Matthews, and Maria Zuber, the E. A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics and vice president for research at MIT. Susan R. Wessler, distinguished professor of genetics in the department of botany and plant sciences at the University of California at Riverside, has been re-elected as home secretary.
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, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council — provides science, technology, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.