Newswise — Internationally renowned researcher Danny Reinberg, PhD, the Terry and Mel Karmazin Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at NYU Langone Medical Center, has joined the prestigious ranks of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest honors bestowed on an individual in recognition of continuing and distinguished achievements in original research.

The NAS announced the election of Dr. Reinberg – also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator -- and 83 other new members from the United States and 21 foreign associates from 15 countries across the globe. The NAS is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. Scientists are elected by their peers to membership in the NAS for outstanding contributions to research. Nearly 500 members of the NAS have won Nobel Prizes, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, founded in 1914, is today one of the premier international journals publishing the results of original research.

“We are, indeed, so proud of Dr. Reinberg and applaud his election to the National Academy of Sciences, most especially because it acknowledges his achievements in advancing research in his respective field,” said Dafna Bar-Sagi, PhD, senior vice president and vice dean for Science and chief scientific officer at NYU School of Medicine. “Few scientists achieve this level of success. For Dr. Reinberg, it is due to his commitment and devotion to the goals of his research and the important advances he has contributed to the greater understanding of the biochemistry of gene regulation.”

Dr. Reinberg, who also is a member of the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone, investigates the regulation of gene expression in higher eukaryotes, with particular attention to the role of chromatin structure and processes that regulate it, which are fundamental for the epigenetic inheritance of transcriptional states. In recent years, Dr. Reinberg and his colleagues have focused on chromatin-modifying complexes and the means by which they are recruited to target sites on the genome, thus establishing distinct cell identities. Other recent work has unveiled a key and complex role of non-coding RNAs in these processes. In addition, Dr. Reinberg oversees separate but related research projects aimed at establishing ants, a principal social insect, as a model system for epigenetic research.

Dr. Reinberg joined the faculty of NYU Langone in 2006 as a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, following a distinguished career at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Dr. Reinberg earned his PhD in Molecular Biology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and completed post-doctoral training at The University of California-Berkeley, Albert Einstein and The Rockefeller University. “I am humbled and honored by this recognition of my work,” Dr. Reinberg said. “I share it with my institution and, most especially, with the dedicated and talented researchers with whom I work.”

To date, 11 NYU Langone faculty are members of the National Academy of Sciences. In addition to Dr. Reinberg, fellow members include:

• Jef Boeke, PhD, Professor and Director of the Institute for Systems Genetics

• Joseph Ledoux, PhD, professor in the departments of Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

• Ruth S. Nussenzweig, MD, PhD, the C.V. Starr Professor of Medical and Molecular Parasitology

• Richard P. Novick, MD, the Recanati Family Professor of Science and professor of Microbiology and Medicine at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine

• Ruth Lehmann, PhD, the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Professor of Cell Biology, director of the Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Center for Biology and Medicine at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, director of the Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Center for Stem Biology, and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

• Dan R. Littman, MD, PhD, the Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Professor of Molecular Immunology and professor of Pathology and Microbiology

• Rodolfo Llinas, MD, PhD, the Thomas and Suzanne Murphy Professor of Neuroscience

• David D. Sabatini, MD, PhD, the Frederick L. Ehrman Professor of Cell Biology

• Richard W. Tsien, DPhil, the Druckenmiller Professor of Neuroscience, director of the NYU Neuroscience Institute and chair of the Department of Physiology and Neuroscience; and

• J. Anthony Movshon, PhD, adjunct professor of physiology and neuroscience