N. Louise Glass speaking at a JGI users meeting. (Credit: Roy Kaltschmidt/Berkeley Lab)

N. Louise Glass, a senior faculty scientist in the Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology Division and professor in UC Berkeley’s Department of Plant & Microbial Biology, has been elected into the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) alongside 119 other distinguished new members and 30 international members.

Glass is a renowned fungal researcher focused on exploring the molecular mechanisms that fungal cells use to perform a wide variety of processes – such as cell to cell communication and plant cell wall deconstruction by fungi – and investigating how these processes affect ecosystems. She is a principal investigator for Microbial Community Analysis & Functional Evaluation in Soils (m-CAFEs) Scientific Focus Area, a multi-institutional project managed by Berkeley Lab aimed at understanding and controlling the interactions between plant roots and neighboring microbes to gain insights into carbon cycling, carbon sequestration, and plant productivity in natural and agricultural ecosystems.

Glass first joined Berkeley Lab in 2016, as Division Director of the Environmental Genomics & Systems Biology Division within the Lab’s Biosciences Area. Glass previously served as associate chair and chair of the Plant and Microbiology Department at UC Berkeley. She is a fellow of the American Society for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Microbiology, the Mycological Society of America, and was a recipient of an Alexander von Humboldt Research Award.

The NAS was founded in 1863 to provide the country with a non-partisan council of scientific and technological leaders who could lend expertise and advice to the government. Every year, a new class of 120-150 members are elected by existing members in recognition of distinguished achievement in their respective fields. There is now a total of 2,461 active American members and 511 international members, and the number of NAS members with ties to Berkeley Lab has risen to 87.

According to the NAS, their 2021 membership class includes a record number of woman scientists.

“The historic number of women elected this year reflects the critical contributions that they are making in many fields of science, as well as a concerted effort by our Academy to recognize those contributions and the essential value of increasing diversity in our ranks,” said NAS President Marcia McNutt.  “I am pleased to welcome all of our new members, and I look forward to engaging with them in the work of the National Academies.”


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Founded in 1931 on the belief that the biggest scientific challenges are best addressed by teams, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and its scientists have been recognized with 14 Nobel Prizes. Today, Berkeley Lab researchers develop sustainable energy and environmental solutions, create useful new materials, advance the frontiers of computing, and probe the mysteries of life, matter, and the universe. Scientists from around the world rely on the Lab’s facilities for their own discovery science. Berkeley Lab is a multiprogram national laboratory, managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

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