Professor Sabeeha Merchant has been elected a member of the Leopoldina for her scientific achievements and personal standing.
A distinguished professor of biochemistry in the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Professor Merchant is internationally renowned for developing the concepts of metal sparing and recycling in biology through her analysis of nutritional copper and iron signaling in Chlamydomonas, a tiny but complex green alga. Working with more than 100 scientists worldwide, she was the lead author of a “dictionary” of its approximately 15,000 genes, published in the journal Science October 12, 2007.
Founded in 1652, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina is one of the oldest academies of science in the world. The independent Leopoldina represents the German scientific community and conducts research, supports scientists, promotes scientific debate, and recognizes researchers’ outstanding achievements. With some 1500 members, the academy brings together top scientists from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and around the world. Its members have included Johann Wolfgang v. Goethe, Charles Darwin, and approximately 168 Nobel Laureates, among them Marie Curie, Ernest Rutherford, Max Planck, and Albert Einstein.
Merchant earned her B.S. and Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin and, afterwards, conducted postdoctoral research at Harvard University. She joined the UCLA faculty in 1987. Merchant has served as Editor-in-Chief of The Plant Cell, the highest-ranking primary research journal in plant biology, since 2015. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is an external member of the German Max Planck Institute – Molecular Plant Physiology.
Her many other honors include a Searle Scholars Award, a National Institutes of Health Research Career Development Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the NAS Gilbert Morgan Smith Medal, the ASPB Charles F. Kettering Award, the Humboldt Forschungspreis (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation), and the Darbaker Prize from the Botanical Society of America.
To learn more about Merchant’s research visit her website.