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Top Scientific Honor

Monica Olvera de la Cruz elected to National Academy of Sciences

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May 1, 2012 | by Megan Fellman
Monica Olvera de la Cruz
Monica Olvera de la Cruz

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University professor Monica Olvera de la Cruz, a theoretician who has developed models to determine the dynamics of macromolecules, has been elected a member of the prestigious U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

Membership in the NAS is one of the highest honors given to a scientist in the United States. Olvera de la Cruz is among 84 new members and 21 foreign associates from 15 countries recognized for their distinguished and continuing achievements in original scientific research.

Olvera de la Cruz will be inducted into the academy next April during its 150th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

She is a Lawyer Taylor Professor, professor of materials science and engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and professor of chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Olvera de la Cruz also is director of the University’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, one of the oldest interdisciplinary research centers in the nation.

Olvera de la Cruz has developed theoretical models to determine the thermodynamics, statistics and dynamics of macromolecules in complex environments, including multi-component solutions of heterogeneous synthetic and biological molecules.

She is the chair of the National Academy of Sciences’ NRC Condensed Matter and Materials Research Committee and a member of the NRC Board of Physics and Astronomy. She received the NAS’ 2007 Cozzarelli Prize and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Physical Society and the U.S. Department of Defense’s National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship program.

Olvera de la Cruz is on the advisory board of many national research centers and is a member of the editorial board of numerous scholarly journals.

There now are 2,152 active National Academy of Sciences members and 430 foreign associates. More than 180 living academy members have won Nobel Prizes. Among the renowned NAS members are Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Thomas Edison, Orville Wright and Alexander Graham Bell.

The academy was established in 1863 by a congressional act of incorporation signed by Abraham Lincoln that calls on the academy to act as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology.