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Mercouri Kanatzidis and Aaron Naber elected to National Academy of Sciences

Professors recognized for distinguished achievements in original research
national academy of sciences
Mercouri Kanatzidis and Aaron Naber are among 120 new members and 24 international members elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Chemist Mercouri Kanatzidis and mathematician Aaron Naber, faculty members in Northwestern University’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, 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. Kanatzidis and Naber are among 120 new members and 24 international members elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

New members will be inducted at the academy’s annual meeting next year.

Mercouri Kanatzidis

Kanatzidis is the Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry in Weinberg College and a senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory.

An inorganic chemist, he has been active in the field of materials design and discovery for more than 30 years. Kanatzidis has made ground-breaking advances in synthesis and made discoveries of materials that have been instrumental in advancing alternative energy technologies. His work has focused on improving thermoelectric materials for waste heat recovery, which can help to reduce energy waste and lower carbon emissions.

Kanatzidis pioneered and reported the first solar cell utilizing a solid film of an iodide perovskite, which helped ignite a global surge in research endeavors. This and other seminal contributions catalyzed extensive research efforts, resulting in solar cells now attaining remarkable conversion efficiencies surpassing 33%.

Kanatzidis is a highly cited researcher in chemistry, physics and materials science, with more than 1,550 published manuscripts and more than 45 patents to his name. He also has mentored over 95 Ph.D. students and nearly 130 postdoctoral fellows, helping to shape the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Aaron Naber

Naber is the Kenneth F. Burgess Professor of Mathematics in Weinberg.

He is a geometric analyst working on the regularity, singularity and topology of geometrically motivated equations. Naber’s well-known works, together with collaborators, include the proof of the codimension four conjecture for Einstein manifolds, a disproof of the Milnor conjecture and a proof of the energy identity conjecture. Together with collaborators, he has built a structure theory for the singular sets of various nonlinear equations, including nonlinear harmonic maps and spaces with lower Ricci curvature bounds.

Naber won the Fermat Prize in mathematics earlier this year, and in 2023 he was named a Simons Investigator in Mathematics. He was awarded the 2018 New Horizons Prize in Mathematics by the Breakthrough Foundation and named a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society in 2017. Naber was named an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow in 2014 and gave an invited talk at the International Congress of Mathematicians.

Before joining Northwestern as an associate professor in 2013, Naber held the positions of Moore Instructor and assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.