Natasha Raikhel, a professor at the University of California, Riverside, has been elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a UCR spokesman said today.
Raikhel, a plant cell biology professor, was elected for her excellence in original scientific research. She is one of the most cited researchers in plant science, UCR spokesman Iqbal Pittalwala said.
Raikhel is the fifth current UCR faculty member elected to the NAS, and was picked along with more than 80 other scientists, and 21 foreign associates from 15 countries.
Raikhel holds the Ernst and Helen Leibacher Endowed Chair in Plant Molecular, Cell Biology and Genetics at UCR and directs the university’s Center for Plant Cell Biology.
She pioneered a research method known as chemical genomics, which uses chemicals to change the way proteins work. Her awards include a Guggenheim fellowship, the Women in Cell Biology Senior Award from the American Society for Cell Biology, the Stephen Hales Prize from the American Society of Plant Biologists, and a senior fellowship from the Japan Society for Promotion of Science.
Raikhel came to UCR in 2001 from Michigan State University. “Dr. Raikhel’s election to the NAS is a well-deserved tribute to her achievements and those of the Institute for Integrative Genome Biology, which she founded,” said Marylynn Yates, dean of UCR’s College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. “We are very fortunate to have someone with her vision and passion for science as a member of our faculty.”
The NAS is a private, nonprofit honor society of science and engineering scholars that provides expert advice to the government.