Five UChicago faculty elected to National Academy of Sciences in 2024

Five University of Chicago scholars have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, joining other scientists and researchers chosen in “recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.”

Profs. Nicolas Dauphas, David DeMille, Bonnie Fleming, Michael Greenstone, and Nipam Patel are among the 120 new members elected this year. The scholars are honored for their groundbreaking work in a variety of fields, from particle physics to geophysical sciences to energy policy research.

Nicolas Dauphas is a Professor of Geophysical Sciences and in the College and the Enrico Fermi Institute.

A leading isotope geochemist, Dauphas draws upon the analytical and modeling methods of his training as an engineer to develop novel strategies for solving important scientific questions using naturally occurring isotope variations.

He founded and directs UChicago’s Origins Laboratory to examine questions pertaining to the early evolution of the Earth and what meteorites reveal about the formation of planets, asteroids and comets. These questions include investigations into how the elements formed and were scattered across the universe, how planetary bodies form, and how the surface and the environment of the Earth evolved over time.

Dauphas has received a Packard Fellowship, the American Geophysical Union’s Macelwane Medal, the European Association for Geochemistry’s Houtermans Medal, and the Meteoritical Society’s Nier Prize. He is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the Meteoritical Society, and the Geochemical Society. He currently serves on the Board of Reviewing Editors for Science, and is a member of the Mars Sample Return Campaign Science Group.

David DeMille is a Professor in the Department of Physics and the James Franck Institute at UChicago and holds a joint appointment in the Physics Division at Argonne National Laboratory.

DeMille’s research seeks to investigate the fundamental properties of the universe by making extremely precise measurements of quantum systems. He is known for novel approaches that use the properties of molecules to amplify signals from exotic particles and forces in the laboratory. His current research interests include investigating violations of discrete symmetries, including time-reversal violation, and developing new ways to produce and trap ultracold gasses of polar molecules.

He co-authored the physics textbook “Atomic Physics: an exploration through problems and solutions” (Oxford Univ. Press, 2004).

His previous honors include the American Physical Society’s Norman F. Ramsey Prize (joint with John Doyle and Gerald Gabriselse) and Francis M. Pipkin Award, a Sloan Foundation Fellowship, and a Packard Foundation Fellowship.

Bonnie Fleming is an internationally recognized particle physicist with outstanding expertise and a world leader in neutrino physics. She serves as the Deputy Director for Science and Technology and Chief Research Officer at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, where she leads all areas of science and technology at Fermilab, and holds a joint appointment with the University of Chicago in the Enrico Fermi Institute within the Department of Physics.

From 2004 to 2022, Fleming led a research group studying neutrinos as a professor at Yale University while also performing research at Fermilab. She was the founding spokesperson for the two neutrino experiments, ArgoNeuT and MicroBooNE, focusing on studying neutrinos and developing the next generation of accelerator neutrino detectors using liquid argon, and was an early member of the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). She is known for pioneering a class of detectors called Liquid Argon Time Projection Chambers, which provided a giant leap forward in how scientists may study the varying states of neutrinos and how the subatomic particles might interact with matter. These detectors are the core to Fermilab’s neutrino experiments, including the future international DUNE.

Fleming currently serves as a member of the National Academies Decadal Survey in particle physics.

Michael Greenstone is the Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago. In addition, he serves as faculty director of the interdisciplinary Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago and founding director of the University’s new energy and climate institute. He was previously the director of the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics.

Greenstone’s research, which has influenced policy in the United States and globally, is focused on the global energy challenge that requires all societies to balance the needs for inexpensive and reliable energy, public health and minimizing the damages from climate change.

As a co-director of the Climate Impact Lab, he is producing empirically grounded estimates of the local and global impacts of climate change. He created the Air Quality Life Index® that converts air pollution concentrations into their impact on life expectancy and co-founded Climate Vault, a 501(c)(3) that uses markets to allow institutions and people to reduce their carbon footprint and foster innovation in carbon dioxide removal.

During the Obama Administration, he served as the Chief Economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, where he proposed and then co-led the development of the United States Government’s social cost of carbon.

He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the Econometric Society, a Carnegie Fellow, and a former editor of the Journal of Political Economy.

Nipam Patel is director of the Marine Biological Laboratory and a professor at the University of Chicago.

He is a leading scholar in modern evolutionary and developmental biology with specific focus on the evolution of body patterning and segmentation, regeneration of the germline, and structural coloration. His scientific expertise encompasses the development of novel, genetic model organisms for biological study, which can reveal much about human biology; and the application of advanced imaging technologies to probe the fundamental dynamics of living systems.

Patel is also an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has been awarded numerous honors, including the Schubert Endowed Chair and the William V. Power Endowed Chair at UC Berkeley, and the McKnight Scholars Neuroscience Fellowship Award.

The author of more than 130 scientific publications, Patel was an editor of the journal Development from 2009-2018 and serves on the editorial board of several other journals in the biological sciences. He has served on numerous advisory boards, including board of directors of the Society for Developmental Biology.