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Three Weinberg College faculty elected to National Academy of Sciences

Dedre Gentner, Thomas McDade and Michael R. Wasielewski recognized for achievements in original research

Three faculty members of Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern — psychologist Dedre Gentner, biological anthropologist Thomas McDade and chemist Michael R. Wasielewski — have been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences. Membership in the academy is one of the highest honors given to a scientist in the United States.

Gentner, McDade and Wasielewski are among 120 new members and 30 international members selected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. They will be inducted at the academy’s annual meeting next year.

Additionally, six Northwestern faculty, including McDade, were elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on April 22.

Dedre Gentner

Dedre Gentner
Dedre Gentner

Gentner is the Alice Gabrielle Twight Professor in the department of psychology at Weinberg College and a professor in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern.

Her research focuses on analogical learning and thinking and on language and cognition, language acquisition and cross-linguistic studies. Gentner is associate director of the Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center and a faculty affiliate of the Qualitative Reasoning Group at Northwestern. She also served as director of the Cognitive Science Program at Northwestern from 1990 to 2007. 

Selected honors include induction as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychology Association and the Cognitive Science Society. Gentner is the 2016 winner of the Rumelhart Prize for Contributions to the Theoretical Foundations of Human Cognition. 

Thomas McDade

Thomas McDade
Thomas McDade

McDade is the Carlos Montezuma Professor of Anthropology at Weinberg and a fellow of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern. 

His research focuses on how social, economic and cultural contexts shape human biology and health, with an emphasis on life course approaches to stress and the human immune system. Current research includes the Screening for Coronavirus Antibodies in Neighborhoods (SCAN) with colleagues at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine to investigate the behavioral and contextual factors that promote, and prevent, the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the community.

McDade is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was honored with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2002. He was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Michael R. Wasielewski 

Michael R. Wasielewski
Michael R. Wasielewski

Wasielewski is the Clare Hamilton Hall Professor of Chemistry at Weinberg, executive director of the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN) and director of the Center for Molecular Quantum Transduction, a US-DOE Energy Frontier Research Center. He previously served as chair of the department of chemistry.

His research centers on light-driven processes in molecules and materials, artificial photosynthesis, molecular electronics, quantum information science, ultrafast optical spectroscopy and time-resolved electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Wasielewski is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Royal Society of Chemistry. Among his awards are the Josef Michl American Chemical Society Award in Photochemistry, the Royal Society of Chemistry Environment Award and the American Chemical Society’s James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry.

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