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NAS Awards: Looking Forward

The National Academy of Sciences’ Awards Program is dedicated to honoring extraordinary scientific achievements in a wide range of fields and has honored over 950 distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research. 

Previous NAS award recipients continue to achieve outstanding advancements in their fields. 120 have received a National Medal of Science, 80 have received a Nobel Prize, and 51 have a Lasker Award. Click on a recipient’s name to hear what they are working on now, how the award affected their careers, or the impact of their current work.

David M. Karl, 2013 Alexander Agassiz Medal
Honored for his leadership in establishing multi-disciplinary ocean-observing systems, for detection of decadal regime shifts in pelagic ecosystems, and for paradigm-shifting insights on biogeochemical cycles in the ocean.
Learn more about David M. Karl and the Alexander Agassiz Medal» 

Alex L. Kolodkin, 2016 Pradel Research Award
Honored for his pioneering work on neuronal development research relating to the establishment of neuronal connectivity. He is known for his work on neuronal guidance cues and their receptors, the discovery of semaphorins, and unveiling guidance cue roles in neural circuit assembly and function in insects and mammals.
Learn more about Alex L. Kolodkin and the Pradel Award» 

Lori Holt, 2013 Troland Research Award
Honored for studies advancing our understanding of the sensory and cognitive processes that are fundamental to the perception of speech.
Learn more about Lori Holt and the Troland Award» 

Jay Shendure, 2019 Richard Lounsbery Award
Honored for his pioneering work and leadership in the second wave of genomics that is transforming genetics and medicine. Through his development of exome sequencing and other novel technologies, he has defined new paradigms for implicating Mendelian disease genes, interpreting genetic variation, and single cell profiling of developmental lineages and gene regulation in whole organisms.
Learn more about Jay Shendure and the Lounsbery Award» 

David Reitze, 2017 NAS Award for Scientific Discovery (astronomy, physics, materials science)
Honored with Gabriela González  and Peter R. Saulson for outstanding leadership of the large international LIGO Scientific Collaboration, bringing together all of the necessary elements (the instruments, data analysis, general relativity and astrophysics) for the first direct detection of gravitational waves.
Learn more about them and the Award for Scientific Discovery»

Marlene Cohen, 2018 Troland Research Award
Honored for experimental and theoretical work characterizing the population-level neural mechanisms by which spatial attention enhances the cortical representation of a visual object and facilitates transmission of information about that object.
Learn more about Marlene Cohen and the Troland Award» 

Sian Beilock, 2017 Troland Research Award
Honored for her fundamental contributions to our understanding of human skill learning and performance breakdowns in high-pressure and anxiety-provoking situations.
Learn more about Sian Beilock and the Troland Award» 

Howard Chang, 2018 NAS Award in Molecular Biology
Honored for insightful discoveries of long noncoding RNAs and technologies unveiling the noncoding genome.
Learn more about Howard Chang and the Molecular Biology Award» 

Huda Zoghbi, 2016 Jessie Stevenson Kovalenko Medal
Honored for her pioneering contributions to the fields of neurodegenerative proteinopathies, autism spectrum disorders, epigenetics, and developmental biology by coupling clinical observation and gene discovery with focused, in-depth mechanistic study.
Learn more about Huda Y. Zoghbi and the Kovalenko Medal» 

Richard B. Alley, 2014 Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship
Honored for his contributions to understanding the Earth’s past climate through high precision dating of ice cores and for his elucidation of the physical and chemical processes that govern the accumulation of ice and its movement in glaciers and ice streams.
Learn more about Richard Alley and the Day Prize»

Sabeeha Merchant, 2006 Gilbert Morgan Smith Medal
Honored for her pioneering discoveries in the assembly of metalloenzymes and the regulated biogenesis of major complexes of the photosynthetic apparatus in green algae.
Learn more about Sabeeha Merchant and the Smith Medal» 

Rodolphe Barrangou, 2018 NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences
Honored for his discovery of the genetic mechanisms and proteins driving CRISPR systems and their applications in food and agriculture, including virus resistance in the yogurt starter culture Streptococcus thermophilus and with the potential for translational genome editing in other microbes, crop plants and livestock.
Learn more about Rodolphe Barrangou and the Food and Ag Prize» 

Joseph L. DeRisi, 2014 John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science (genome biology)
Honored for pioneering efforts to develop new genomic technologies and using the technologies to make discoveries in virology that are of fundamental and practical importance.
Learn more about Joseph L. DeRisi and the Carty Award» 

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