Two Faculty Members Win NAS Awards

DeRisi and Doupe Among 15 Recognized for Contributions to the Sciences

By Leland Kim


Two UCSF faculty members have been honored by the National Academy of Sciences for their “extraordinary scientific achievements."

Joseph DeRisi, PhD, who won the Carty Award, and Allison Doupe, MD, PhD, who won the Pradel Research Award, join 13 others in the fields of physical, biological and social sciences.

DeRisi, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator, and professor and vice chair at the UCSF Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, is recognized for developing new genomic technologies and using these technologies to make discoveries in virology that of fundamental and practical importance.

Joseph DeRisi, PhD

Allison Doupe, MD, PhD

“I am thrilled and honored to have been recognized by this prestigious NAS award. I have a lot of thanks to give to my lab and my many friends and colleagues here in the UCSF community, including my department, and HHMI,” he said. “Without the wonderful support of the amazing collaborative colleagues we have here, I know that we would not have been able to achieve 1/10th of the research. This is a great award, and I recognize that the environment here at UCSF was absolutely key."

Doupe, professor and vice chair of basic science research at the UCSF Department of Psychiatry, is recognized for her groundbreaking work using songbirds to reveal important features of how neural circuits process information and are shaped by experience. 

"I am very flattered and honored to get this award. It reflects especially on my wonderful lab members over the years, who were instrumental to this work, as well as my supportive colleagues at UCSF, who have helped in countless ways," she said. "It’s great as well to have our small animal model system of songbirds recognized for how it can provide general insights into brain function and dysfunction, using the power of naturally evolved behaviors."

DeRisi’s award, which comes with a $25,000 prize, is given for noteworthy and distinguished accomplishment in any field of science and is presented this year in the field of genome biology.

Doupe’s award is presented with $50,000 to support her research.

All the recipients will be recognized in a ceremony during the National Academy of Sciences’ 151st annual meeting on Sunday, April 27.