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News Release

April 29, 2010


Dan Stober, Stanford News Service: (650) 721-6965,

Five faculty elected to National Academy of Sciences

Five Stanford professors have been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare.

Recognized for their distinguished and original contributions to scientific research were Persis Drell, Jerome Friedman, Steven Kivelson, Roeland Nusse and Lee Ross.

They were joined by 67 other new members and 18 foreign associates. They were elected at the academy's 147th annual meeting on April 27.

There are now 2,097 active members in the academy. Since 1863, the academy has advised the federal government in the areas of its expertise. Election to the academy is one of the highest honors an American scientist or engineer can receive.

Persis Drell is the director of the U.S. Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and professor of particle physics and astrophysics at Stanford. Drell's scientific career has included work on fundamental properties of particle physics, such as the nonconservation of parity in weak interactions, and particle astrophysics with the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope, on which she is a collaborator. Drell became the fourth director of SLAC in 2007, having spent the years since 2002 in various senior scientific management roles there. Prior to SLAC, she was the deputy director of the Cornell Laboratory for Nuclear Studies and a professor of physics at Cornell University. Drell is also a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Drell earned her doctorate from the University of California-Berkeley in 1983 and her bachelor's degree with honors in math and physics from Wellesley College in 1977.

Jerome Friedman has been a statistics professor at Stanford since 1982. He is a leading researcher in statistics and data mining and has published on a wide range of data-mining topics, including nearest neighbor classification, logistical regressions and high-dimensional data analysis. His primary research interest is in the area of machine learning. Friedman received his bachelor's degree in physics and doctorate in high-energy particle physics from the University of California-Berkeley. He led the computation research group at SLAC from 1972 to 2003, and he served as the chairman of the Department of Statistics from 1988 to 1991. In 2004 he won the Emanuel and Carol Parzen Award for Statistical Innovation, and he was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005.

Steven Kivelson is a member of the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science, or SIMES, a joint institute of SLAC and Stanford, and a professor of physics at Stanford. Kivelson is a condensed matter theorist working on understanding the connections between the microscopic properties of electrons and molecules with the macroscopic and collective properties of materials. These include topics such as high-temperature superconductivity, quantum magnetism, quantum Hall effects and electronic liquid crystalline phases of matter. He received his doctorate from Harvard University in 1979 and was previously a professor of physics and astronomy at UCLA. Kivelson also has held appointments and fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania, UC-Santa Barbara, State University of New York-Stony Brook, Brookhaven National Laboratory and Rutgers University.

Roeland Nusse is a professor and chair of the Department of Developmental Biology. He studies the activity of a class of proteins that determine cell fate during embryogenesis. His lab developed a way to purify the active proteins and then established that they are modified by fatty acids. They also have used the purified proteins to manipulate the behavior of stem cells in culture, in particular neural stem cells. Nusse was named a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization in 1988, a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences in 1997 and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is 2001. Nusse earned a bachelor's degree in biology in 1975 from the University of Amsterdam and a doctorate in molecular biology from the Netherlands Cancer Institute in 1980.

Lee D. Ross is the Stanford Federal Credit Union Professor in the Department Psychology. Ross has been at Stanford since 1969 and teaches courses in the application of social psychology to bargaining, negotiation, conflict resolution and broader public policy issues. He is a co-founder of the Stanford Center on International Conflict and Negotiation and is the coauthor of the books Human Inference and The Person and Situation, as well as nearly 100 journal articles and book chapters. In 1994 Ross was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; in 2003 he was named the American Psychological Society William James Fellow. In 2008 he received the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology. Ross' research focuses on biases in human inference, judgment and decision making, especially on the cognitive, perceptual and motivational biases that lead people to misinterpret each other’s behavior and that create particular barriers to dispute resolution and the implementation of peace agreements. Ross earned his doctorate in social psychology from Columbia University in 1969.


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