Two named to National Academy of Sciences

April 25, 2006 5:22 p.m.

Two members of the Princeton faculty were elected to the National Academy of Sciences during the academy's annual meeting April 25 in Washington, D.C. The scholars were among 72 elected in recognition of their outstanding achievements in research.

Bonnie Bassler, professor of molecular biology, researches a phenomenon called "quorum sensing," a method that bacteria use for sensing how many other bacteria are in their vicinity. A better understanding of quorum sensing could help with the fight against diseases such as cholera, whose bacteria often grow virulent only when they have established a significant presence in their host. Bassler was awarded a 2002 MacArthur Fellowship and last year was chosen to be a young investigator by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Lyman Page Jr., the Henry DeWolf Smyth Professor of Physics, measures variations in the cosmic microwave background -- the thermal afterglow of the big bang -- in order to understand how the universe evolved. Page is one of the original co-investigators of the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) satellite, a spacecraft that recently provided evidence for what happened in the universe’s first trillionth of a second.