Two Yale professors were elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in May. Jorge Galán, Ph.D., D.V.M., the Lucille P. Markey Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis, professor of cell biology, and chair of the Section of Microbial Pathogenesis, and John Carlson, Ph.D., the Higgins Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, were among 84 new members and 21 foreign associates elected this year.
Galán is renowned for his research on the cell biology, biochemistry, immunobiology, and structural biology of the bacterial pathogens Salmonella and Campylobacter, which together cause most of the world’s foodborne illness. His lab discovered novel molecular mechanisms that lead to infection and illness and represent potential targets for a new class of antimicrobials. Galán was recruited to Yale in 1998 to launch the section, and has since expanded it into a team of eight scientists who bring a variety of research methods to bear on infectious diseases ranging from tuberculosis and Legionnaires’ disease to tropical parasitic diseases.
Carlson’s work has advanced the fight against infectious diseases like malaria that are spread by insects. Carlson is one of the world’s experts in insect olfaction. His group discovered a family of 60 genes that encode odorant receptors in Drosophila. In one experiment, Carlson’s lab activated mosquito olfaction genes in a fruit fly, enabling researchers to identify chemicals in human sweat that attract mosquitoes.