Three UCSF School of Medicine Faculty Elected to the National Academy of Sciences

April 28, 2021 | By UCSF School of Medicine

UCSF recently announced the exciting election of three faculty members to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest honors accorded to American scientists.
Dr. Arturo Alvarez-BuyllaArturo Alvarez-Buylla, PhD, a UCSF faculty member since 2000, is the Heather and Melanie Muss Endowed Chair and Professor of Neurological Surgery. His lab studies the mechanisms behind the production, proliferation, migration, and integration of new neurons in the neonatal and adult brain. The lab identified the adult neural stem cells in rodents and has shown that these progenitors produce different types of neurons, depending on their location, dispelling major claims in the stem cell field. His lab also identified novel forms of migration of young neurons and recently uncovered massive numbers of neurons migrating to specific locations in the postnatal frontal lobe of children, defining a new stage in infant brain development.
Dr. Holly IngrahamHolly Ingraham, PhD, a UCSF faculty member since 1991, is the Hertzstein Endowed Professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology. She is committed to understanding how hormones influence the nervous system to control physiological responses in females. Researchers in her lab recently discovered how different sets of estrogen-responsive neurons in the brains of female mice can control either bone density or spontaneous physical activity, factors that are highly relevant to bone loss and metabolic decline commonly experienced by post-menopausal women. In another area of her research, Dr. Ingraham’s lab illuminated how specialized cells in the intestinal lining alert the nervous system to signs of trouble in the gut.

Dr. Geeta NarlikarGeeta Narlikar, PhD, a UCSF faculty member since 2003, is a professor of biochemistry and biophysics, the co-director of the Tetrad Graduate Program, and the Lewis and Ruth Cozen Chair I. Dr. Narlikar studies how the folding and compartmentalization of our genome is controlled to generate the many cell types that make up our body. Her laboratory has made pioneering discoveries about the mechanisms of macromolecules that regulate genome organization. For example, they found that the smallest unit of genome folding, a nucleosome, acts akin to a dynamic receptor rather than a static packaging unit. This type of finding is changing textbook descriptions of genome packaging and suggesting new avenues to tackle diseases caused by defects in genome organization. 
We are proud of our faculty who volunteer their time as NAS members to promote scientific knowledge and respond to the challenges facing the nation and the world.
Please join us in congratulating Arturo Alvarez-Buylla, Holly Ingraham, and Geeta Narlikar for this well-deserved honor.