News Release
Nancy Speck

Eugene Mele and Nancy Speck of the University of Pennsylvaniahave been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) “in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.”

Mele and Speck are among 100 new members, along with 25 new foreign associates. Researchers are elected by their peers for membership in the NAS based on contributions made to the field, and election to the NAS is considered one of the highest honors a scientist can receive. 

Mele is the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Physics in the School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Physics & Astronomy. His research is focused on the study of quantum electronic phenomena in condensed matter. By studying how microscopic structures of carbon-derived nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotubes, can elicit a wide range of electronic phenomena such as insulating and superconducting, Mele’s research has the potential to provide insights on how these molecular properties could be modified to better control a wide range of electronic phenomena in these novel materials. Mele also shares the prestigious 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

Speck is chair of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology in thePerelman School of Medicine and is a widely recognized international leader in the field of hematology. She is also co-leader of the Hematologic Malignancies Program at the Abramson Cancer Center and is an investigator in the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute. Her lab purified, cloned, and characterized the proteins RUNX1 and CBFβ, mutations in which are frequently found in leukemia. In her 30-plus-year career, Speck has made important contributions in understanding the role of RUNX1 and CBFβ in normal blood cells, as well as how this knowledge can be translated into ways to fight the disease.

The complete list of new NAS members is available on the Academy’s website.


Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, excellence in patient care, and community service. The organization consists of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and Penn’s Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine, founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school.

The Perelman School of Medicine is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $550 million awarded in the 2022 fiscal year. Home to a proud history of “firsts” in medicine, Penn Medicine teams have pioneered discoveries and innovations that have shaped modern medicine, including recent breakthroughs such as CAR T cell therapy for cancer and the mRNA technology used in COVID-19 vaccines.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities stretch from the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania to the New Jersey shore. These include the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Chester County Hospital, Lancaster General Health, Penn Medicine Princeton Health, and Pennsylvania Hospital—the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional facilities and enterprises include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Medicine at Home, Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.

Penn Medicine is an $11.1 billion enterprise powered by more than 49,000 talented faculty and staff.

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