Studying these cells could lead to new treatments for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disease to diabetes.
Two MIT professors have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors that can be accorded a US scientist or engineer.
Howard Brenner, the Willard Henry Dow Professor of Chemical Engineering, and Professor of Physics Rainer Weiss are among the 60 new members elected May 2 "in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research." The total number of active members in the NAS is now 1,843.
Professor Brenner is one of the world's foremost theoreticians in the transport properties of flowing suspensions and multiphase systems. His current interests include macrotransport processes, chaos theory, aerosol transport and deposition phenomena, particulate removal from surfaces, and groundwater contamination by the adsorption of toxic agents onto suspended colloidal particles.
The common theme in these research areas lies in the mathematical modeling of these phenomena through geometric and physicochemical idealization of the complex transport processes involved.
Professor Brenner received the BChE (1950) from Pratt Institute, and the MChE (1954) and EngScD (1957) from New York University. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Professor Weiss' research interests include experimental atomic physics, atomic clocks, cosmic background measurements and astrophysics. He is integration scientist for the new Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), a joint project of MIT, Caltech and other institutions. LIGO will help scientists "see" the universe in a fundamentally new way, detecting gravitational waves rather than light, radio waves or X-rays.
Earlier this year, Professor Weiss received a Guggenheim Fellowship to study gravitational waves. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He received the BS (1955) and PhD (1962) from MIT.
The NAS is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to furthering science and its use for the general welfare.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 10, 2000.