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Announcing FASEB Excellence in Science Awards

Wednesday, April 5, 2023
FASEB today announced the recipients of its 2023 Excellence in Science Awards:
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Elaine S. Jaffe, MD, National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute
  • Mid-career Investigator Award: Paola Arlotta, PhD, Harvard University
  • Early-career Investigator Award: Diana Libuda, PhD, University of Oregon Institute of Molecular Biology
For more than 30 years, FASEB’s Excellence in Science Awards have highlighted outstanding achievements by women in biological science. The awards are bestowed to female scientists demonstrating not only excellence and innovation in their research fields, but exemplary leadership and mentorship as well. In 2020, the program expanded to include awards recognizing contributions of early- and mid-career researchers, in addition to the lifetime achievement award.

“It is a privilege to honor the 2023 Excellence in Science Award recipients who exemplify the highest standards in the scientific community. We are extraordinarily proud of their accomplishments and congratulate them on this well-deserved recognition of their achievements,” says Kevin C. Kregel, PhD, Executive Vice President and Provost at the University of Iowa and FASEB President.

Each recipient will present a lecture at the annual meeting of a FASEB member society of their choice. Awards will be presented in conjunction with the lecture. 

Lifetime Achievement Award: Elaine S. Jaffe, MD
The FASEB Excellence in Science Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes Elaine Jaffe’s pioneering work in the fields of hematology and hematopathology. Her work over the past 50 years has changed the way in which the diagnosis of lymphoma is made worldwide. As Distinguished Investigator at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), she is the final arbiter for challenging diagnostic problems submitted to her from around the world, personally reviewing more than 2,000 cases annually.

The award also recognizes Jaffe as a devoted educator and mentor. She has been recognized numerous times for her excellent teaching in the clinical setting and the laboratory. She has spoken at almost every major meeting in pathology, hematology, and oncology. She consistently publishes with trainees as the first author of her manuscripts. Jaffe provides guidance to these trainees on how to perform clinical research and how high a bar is required to publish meaningful results. In 2001, she won NCI’s Outstanding Mentor Award and in 2008 she received the Chugai Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Scholarship from the American Society for Investigative Pathology, a FASEB member society of which she is a member. 

“Dr. Jaffe has had an illustrious career in which she has made multiple contributions to our understanding of lymphomas; redefined their classification in a way that can provide a useful guide for further research and for therapy; and has mentored and promoted the careers of numerous young hematopathologists,” says one of her nominators for the award, Robert Yarchoan, MD, at the National Institutes of Health. 

Mid-career Investigator Award: Paola Arlotta, PhD
Paolo Arlotta, Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University, is the recipient of the Mid-career Investigator Award. Arlotta has an impeccable track record of discovery in the complexities of the human brain, as well as mentorship and public engagement. “She is a caring, dedicated mentor who has never failed to put the growth and success of her trainees before her own achievements,” says Valentina Greco, PhD, Carolyn Walch Slayman Professor at Yale University, who nominated her for the award. 

The award recognizes Arlotta’s stellar track record as an eminent scientist who focuses on understanding the molecular laws that govern the birth, differentiation, and assembly of the human brain’s cerebral cortex.

In addition to her professorship at Harvard University, she is also a principal faculty member at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, where she is co-leader of the neuroscience program; an institute member at the Broad Institute; and an associate member of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute.

Early-career Investigator Award: Diana Libuda, PhD 
Diana Libuda, Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Oregon Institute of Molecular Biology, is a creative young scientist who is making important contributions to the understanding of how DNA repair and recombination mechanisms ensure fidelity of genome inheritance during reproduction. The Early-career Investigator Award recognizes her innovative discoveries that have become an important focus in the meiosis field and genetics research, as well as her commitment to teaching and mentoring the next generation of scientists.