Mark is Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology in Vermont. https://www.med.uvm.edu/pharmacology/nelsonlab
Mark’s research investigates the control of smooth muscle and endothelial cell function by ion channels and calcium signalling. During his career, he has made many fundamental discoveries. First of these was the discovery that ryanodine receptors form a signalling microdomain with BKCa channels in vascular smooth muscle cells, this close alignment allowing Ca2+-sparks to activate BKCa channels providing hyperpolarising current to dampen muscle excitability. This signalling circuit works basally to keep blood pressure low. See Nelson et al (1995), Science 270, 633-637.
The National Academy of Sciences was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognises achievement in science by election to membership, and – with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine – provides science, engineering, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organisations. Election to membership of the National Academy is extremely competitive and very prestigious.