UGA’s Extraordinary Researchers
One of the University of Georgia’s most distinguished faculty members has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, a recognition that is widely regarded as one of the highest honors a scientist can receive.
Regents’ Professor Michael R. Strand, who holds an appointment in the entomology department of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and an affiliated appointment in the genetics department of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, is UGA's eighth member of the National Academies, which include the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Medicine. These storied organizations, which began with a Congressional charter signed by Abraham Lincoln, are entrusted with the responsibility of providing science, engineering and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.
Dr. Strand’s research focuses on the molecular and biochemical underpinnings of the interactions among insects, parasites and microorganisms. The implications of his work are vast and range from the management of agriculturally significant pests to the control of mosquitoes that transmit diseases such as malaria and Zika virus.
The quality of his research is evidenced by the high level of funding it has received—nearly $28 million from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation—and the frequency with which his findings are cited by his peers. He is in the top 1 percent of entomologists by journal citations and among the top 5 percent in the fields of biology and biochemistry.
Dr. Strand’s election to the National Academy of Sciences comes at a time when the University’s research activity is rising dramatically, with a 21 percent increase in research grant expenditures over the past two years alone. To help continue this positive trend, 12 outstanding faculty proposals with the potential to attract external research funding recently received funding through the interdisciplinary seed grant program announced by President Morehead in his State of the University Address.
Through the Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grant Program, our scientists will be enhancing coastal resiliency in the face of extreme weather, mapping the global risk of emerging infectious diseases, forecasting the threat of cyberattacks, and using robotic systems to accelerate the application of genetic information to improve crop production, among many other projects.
The selected proposals and Dr. Strand’s election to the National Academy of Sciences exemplify the far-reaching impacts of the University’s research enterprise. Our faculty members are extraordinary, and they are committed to enhancing the health, security and prosperity of our state and nation through their research.