NYU faculty join Oprah Winfrey and Sanjay Gupta as members of the Class of 2021

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The American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) has elected eight New York University faculty as fellows: José AlvarezDafna Bar-Sagi, Katherine Fleming, Jennifer Homans, Perri Klass, Nader Masmoudi, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Deborah Willis.

Among the other 244 AAAS members elected this year are Oprah Winfrey, Sanjay Gupta, and Kara Swisher.

“We are honoring the excellence of these individuals, celebrating what they have achieved so far, and imagining what they will continue to accomplish,” said David Oxtoby, president of the American Academy. “The past year has been replete with evidence of how things can get worse; this is an opportunity to illuminate the importance of art, ideas, knowledge, and leadership that can make a better world.”

NYU's newly-elected AAAS members are:

José E. Alvarez, whose scholarly interests include general international law, international organizations, and international investment law, has authored six books and over 140 other publications.  His books include International Organizations as Law-Makers, The Public International Law Regime Governing International Investment, and The Impact of International Organizations on International Law.

Dafna Bar-Sagi, the Saul J. Farber Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, as well as the executive vice president, vice dean for science, and chief scientific officer at NYU Langone Health. Dr. Bar-Sagi is a world renowned cancer biologist whose research has had a major impact on the understanding of mechanisms that control tumor initiation and progression. The focus of her work is the Ras oncogene and its role in the regulation of cell proliferation and survival, tumor immunity, cellular metabolism, and cell-to-cell signaling.

Katherine E. Fleming, a historian of the religious cultures of modern Greece and the Mediterranean, and the author of Greece: A Jewish History and of The Muslim Bonaparte: Diplomacy and Orientalism in Ali Pasha's Greece, among other publications. She has been the provost of NYU since the summer of 2016.

Jennifer Homans, a former dancer, a writer, and the founder and director of the Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University. She has authored Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet; has edited When the Facts Change, a collection of essays by Tony Judt; and is now completing a biography of George Balanchine. She is also the dance critic for The New Yorker.

Perri Klass, a professor of journalism and pediatrics.  She writes a New York Times column about children's issues, "The Checkup," and her articles and essays have appeared in publications from The Washington Post to the New England Journal of Medicine.  She is the author of A Good Time to Be Born: How Science and Public Health Gave Children a Future, and her other books include three books of medical journalism, four novels, and two short story collections. As a pediatrician, she is national medical director of Reach Out and Read, promoting early literacy through pediatric primary care, and the coauthor of Quirky Kids. She is co-director of NYU Florence.

Nader Masmoudi, a faculty member at the Courant Institute and an affiliate at NYUAD, where he is the PI of the Research Center on Stability, Instability, and Turbulence. His area of research—partial differential equations with an emphasis on models coming from fluid mechanics—has made important contributions to the study of asymptotic stability of several important flows. He also introduced new techniques in the mathematical analysis of the Prandtl boundary layer system, which has many applications to physics and engineering, and is the author of more than 160 research papers.

Suzan-Lori Parks, an acclaimed playwright who was named among Time's “100 Innovators for the Next Wave,” is the first African-American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize in Drama, and has been a recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Award and the Gish Prize for Excellence in the Arts. Her plays include Topdog/Underdog (2002 Pulitzer Prize);  an adaptation of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (2012 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical), and Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) (Horton Foote Prize and Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama).

Deborah Willis, a University Professor at NYU and chair of the Department of Photography and Imaging at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, has authored Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present, Out [o] Fashion Photography: Embracing Beauty, Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers-1840 to the Present, and The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship, among other works.

AAAS members have included: Benjamin Franklin (1781), Alexander Hamilton (1791), Ralph Waldo Emerson (1864), Maria Mitchell (1848), Charles Darwin (1874), Albert Einstein (1924), Robert Frost (1931), Margaret Mead (1948), Milton Friedman (1959), Martin Luther King, Jr. (1966), Antonin Scalia (2003), Michael Bloomberg (2007), John Lithgow (2010), and Judy Woodruff (2012).

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