Karen E. Nelson Elected to the National Academy of Sciences

The National Academy of Sciences recently announced the selection of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates. There are now 2,290 living members of the nation’s most prestigious society of scientific scholars.

The National Academy of Sciences does not publish data on the race or ethnicity of its members. But according to a JBHE analysis of the group of 84 new members, it appears that only one of the new members is Black.

Karen E. Nelson is a professor of human genomic medicine and president of the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland. She joined the institute in 1996 and was named director of the Maryland campus in 2009. Dr. Nelson has authored or co-authored over 170 peer-reviewed publications, edited three books, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the journal Microbial Ecology.

Dr. Nelson is a native of Jamaica. She is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

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