First woman scientist from Spain in the National Academy of Sciences
Margarita Salas is the first woman scientist from Spain to become a member of the National Academy of Sciences. She joins other 17 foreign scientists and 72 American new selected members of the Academy.
Members and foreign associates are elected annually in recognition of their distinguished achievements in original research; election is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded a scientist or engineer.
The Academy membership is composed of approximately 2,000 members and 350 foreign associates, of whom more than 200 have won Nobel Prizes.
Dr. Salas, a researcher for the Spanish Council of Scientific Research or CSIC, joins the three only Spaniards to have been selected to date, Mr. Antonio García Bellido, the paleontologist Juan Luis Arsuaga and the economist Andreu Mas-Colell.
She is currently working at the Severo Ochoa Center for Molecular Biology. Her main line of research is the study of the bacteriophage Phi29 virus. It’s a virus which infects the Bacillus subtilis, a non-pathogenic bacterium which is widely used in biotechnology.