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National Academies name two Emory faculty as ‘New Voices’ leaders
Eri Saikawa and Jamaji Nwanaji-Enwerem

Eri Saikawa (left), from Emory College, and Jamaji Nwanaji-Enwerem, from Emory School of Medicine and Rollins School of Public Health, are among 21 outstanding researchers named to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s New Voices program.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s New Voices in Sciences, Engineering and Medicine program named two Emory University faculty to its 2024 cohort of emerging leaders. 

Jamaji Nwanaji-Enwerem, from Emory School of Medicine and Rollins School of Public Health, and Eri Saikawa, from Emory College’s Department of Environmental Sciences, are among 21 outstanding early- and mid-career scientists, engineers and medical professionals in this year’s group of New Voices.

“I’m proud to see two of Emory’s rising stars receive this major recognition from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine through the New Voices Program,” says Emory President Gregory L. Fenves. 

“With innovative scholarship that addresses the impact of climate change, one of the most pressing challenges of our time, Dr. Saikawa and Dr. Nwanaji-Enwerem join the nation’s top researchers in shaping the work of the National Academies to serve society.” 

New Voices aims to expand the diversity of experts engaged in the work of the National Academies while supporting leaders who are addressing national and global challenges. During their two-year term of service, the new members will engage in the advisory and convening work of the National Academies, develop their own interdisciplinary projects and add to building a robust network of emerging STEM leaders across the United States and around the world. 

  • Jamaji Nwanaji-Enwerem is an emergency medicine chief resident physician and an adjunct assistant professor of environmental health. His research leverages molecular biomarkers to better understand how environmental exposures impact human aging and health, particularly for the underserved. His work further emphasizes the need for public policy solutions aimed at fostering greater health equity and environmental justice. 
  • Eri Saikawa is a Winship Distinguished Research Professor of environmental sciences. She serves as director of graduate studies and of Emory Climate Talks. Her lab’s discovery of high lead levels in the soil of some Westside Atlanta residences led to federal cleanup efforts. Her research focuses on quantifying the sources and the magnitude of emissions linked to air pollution and climate change, and their societal impacts.

With the addition of the new members, the New Voices network now has 60 members across three cohorts. Members include Joel Baumgart, currently Emory’s associate vice provost for faculty success and recognition, who was named to the first New Voices cohort (2018-20).

“From the announcement of the very first New Voices cohort, I have been thrilled with the caliber, diversity and dedicated work ethic of these emerging young leaders,” says Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences. “They represent proudly the best and brightest of young American researchers.”

New Voices members have served on more than 21 National Academies committees and represented U.S. early-career STEM voices at more than 27 major international and domestic events. 

In May, New Voices will host the 2024 International Conference of Young Scientists, the annual meeting of the Global Young Academy, held in Washington, D.C. 

The National Academies are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, engineering and medicine. They operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences signed by President Lincoln.

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