Former LSU Grad Student Elected into National Academy of Sciences

David Sibley, who received his PhD in 1985 from LSU’s Department of Zoology and Physiology, was elected this spring into the National Academy of Sciences. He is currently a professor of molecular microbiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a private nonprofit organization of our country' leading researchers. The NAS recognizes and promotes outstanding science through election to membership, publications in the PNAS, and to awards and special activities. Currently there are about 2,000 members and 200 Nobel winners that belong.

David Sibley’s post-graduate years at LSU in what was then the Department of Zoology and Physiology had a major impact on his science career. He received one of the Board of Regents’ first graduate fellowships which allowed him to earn his PhD quickly. He also published his first paper academic paper at this time in the journal Nature.

While at LSU Sibley worked on Toxoplasma in the lab of Dr. Earl Weidner. According to Weidner, “Sibley worked around the clock, but he was particularly nocturnal. If there were any fellow grad students around with a particular skill that Sibley didn’t have, they soon found themselves in a collaboration.”

After receiving his PhD at LSU, Sibley did his post-doc work with Toxoplasma in the immunology group at Stanford University. Weidner said, “One might say Sibley got baptized at LSU and confirmed at Stanford and became a full-fledged worker in the field at Washington University in St. Louis. It was so good to watch the maturation of a great scientist.”