Hatfull holds sample bottles while speaking to a camera crew
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Graham Hatfull is among the latest National Academy of Sciences electees

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The University of Pittsburgh’s Graham Hatfull was elected to the elite membership of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in recognition of “distinguished and continuing achievements” in research on April 30.

The Eberly Family Professor of Biotechnology in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and faculty member of the international Howard Hughes Medical Institute joins a group of 120 electees from the U.S., bringing the NAS total to 2,617 active members. 

“I was stunned at the news,” Hatfull said. “It is an amazing honor to be recognized as a member of the National Academy of Sciences. It is humbling, but wonderfully recognizes the contributions of all of the researchers in my lab over many years.”

His research focuses on lung diseases and the potential role of mycobacteriophages that kill bacteria and halt deadly infections otherwise resistant or unresponsive to antibiotics. Hatfull’s lab contains the largest refrigerated catalogue of these phages in the United States, if not the world.

[Read more: Hatfull’s lab shows phage attacks in new light]

“We could not be more proud of Graham for this well-deserved recognition,” said Adam Leibovich, Bettye J. and Ralph E. Bailey Dean of the Dietrich School and College of General Studies. “This innovative work is literally saving lives. What makes his contributions even more extraordinary is that he has engaged undergraduate and graduate students as collaborators, not just at Pitt but around the world, effectively mentoring the next generation of ground-breaking researchers.

“Additionally, he led the way in turning the biological laboratory class into a true research experience for all of our students. The entire Dietrich School is enriched by his scholarship and leadership,” Leibovich said.

In 2022, Hatfull’s lab co-authored three research papers about phages’ success with patients. This work has been highlighted the past year alone in news reports by CNN International and USA Today. Hatfull also received a lifetime achievement award from the European Society of Mycobacteriology last summer.