Nancy Carrasco, M.D., professor of cellular and molecular physiology, has been named to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) as a foreign associate. She is among 84 new members and 21 foreign associates selected for membership this year in recognition of their achievements in original scientific research. The new cohort includes three other Yale faculty members.

Carrasco’s work explores the mechanisms of transport across the cell membrane. Her research on the Na+/I- symporter (NIS), the key plasma membrane protein that mediates active iodide transport in the thyroid, lactating breast, and other tissues, ranges from biochemical, biophysical, and physiological investigations to translational studies, including development of new cancer treatments. Her research group was the first to discover the mechanism for cellular uptake of iodide, after cloning NIS.

A native of Mexico, Carrasco received her M.D. and an M.S. in biochemistry from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology. She joined the School of Medicine’s faculty in 2011 following an appointment at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.

“My election stands as a counterargument to some of the claims we hear every now and then regarding the contribution that immigrants—those from Mexico, like myself—are making in the U.S. and around the world. I think that one of the most beautiful things about science is that it’s an international pursuit,” she said.

The NAS is a private, non-profit institution established under President Abraham Lincoln at the height of the Civil War to serve as an advisory group. With the National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Medicine, and National Research Council, today it provides science, technology, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.

Carrasco and the other newly elected members will be formally inducted at the NAS annual meeting next year, bringing the total number of active members to 2,250 and the total number of foreign associates to 452.