NAS election
Yishi Jin (L) and James Kadonaga. Photo credit: UC San Diego

Two researchers from UC San Diego’s School of Biological Sciences were elected to the National Academy of Sciences Monday, joining an elite group of scientists and engineers.

Neurobiologist Yishi Jin and molecular biologist James T. Kadonaga were named part of the 2022 NAS election that resulted in 120 new members and 30 international members, “in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research,” according to a statement from the academy.

“I’m thrilled that two outstanding professors from UC San Diego’s School of Biological Sciences have been recognized for their impactful contributions to science by being inducted into the National Academy of Sciences,” School of Biological Sciences Dean Kit Pogliano said in a statement. “Professors Jin and Kadonaga epitomize the scientific excellence that has propelled our university and biological sciences into the top-tiers of research and education.”

The two will be formally inducted into the academy next year during its annual meeting.

Jin is a distinguished professor in the department of neurobiology and department of cellular and molecular medicine. She holds the Junior Seau Foundation Endowed Chair in Traumatic Brain Injury. According to information provided by NAS, her research “probes the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the development and function of the nervous system.”

Recently, she and her colleagues uncovered a genetic pathway for injured nerve regeneration, a finding they said offers hope for protecting brain matter and nerve connections following traumatic injuries, stroke and spinal damage.

Kadonaga is a distinguished professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and is the Amylin Endowed Chair in Lifesciences Education and Research.

According to NAS, his laboratory “explores the mechanisms underlying the expression and regulation of our genes, a vital process at the root of many human diseases. His research includes the study of gene transcription and chromatin dynamics, which remain largely undiscovered areas of biology.”

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by electing members, and provides science, engineering and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.

City News Service contributed to this article.