Hertz Fellows Ed Boyden and Russel Caflisch, and Hertz Foundation Director Roger Falcone have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors in the American scientific community. Drs. Boyden, Caflisch, and Falcone are among the 100 members and 25 foreign associates elected in 2019, bringing the total number of active members to 2,347 and the total number of foreign associates to 487.
Boyden, the Y. Eva Tan Professor in Neurotechnology at MIT, studied electrical engineering at Stanford for his Hertz Fellowship from 1999-2004. He uses a range of approaches, including synthetic biology, nanotechnology, chemistry, electrical engineering, and optics to develop tools capable of revealing fundamental mechanisms underlying complex brain processes. In a project that began during his Hertz Fellowship at Stanford, he pioneered the development of optogenetics, a powerful method that enables neuronal activity to be controlled with light. He also led the team that invented expansion microscopy, in which a specimen is embedded in a gel that swells as it absorbs water, thereby expanding nanoscale features to a size where they can be seen using conventional microscopes.
Caflisch, the director of New York University’s Courant Institute for Mathematical Sciences, studied math at NYU for his Hertz Fellowship from 1975-1978. His research interests include partial differential equations, plasma physics, fluid dynamics, computational finance, and more. Before joining NYU, he was professor of mathematics and director of the NSF-funded Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics.
Falcone is a professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, director of the Advanced Light Source x-ray synchrotron at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a director of the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation. He uses X-rays to study how materials behave under extreme temperatures and pressures. He is an affiliated member of Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group and Applied Science and Technology Program. In 2018, he served as president of the American Physical Society.