Washington Update

FASEB Names 2024 Excellence in Science Award Recipients

By: Jennifer Zeitzer
Wednesday, April 24, 2024
In early April, FASEB announced the recipients of its 2024 Excellence in Science Awards. Now in its 35th year, FASEB’s Excellence in Science Awards highlight outstanding achievements by women in the biological sciences. The awards are bestowed to women scientists demonstrating not only excellence and innovation in their research fields, but exemplary leadership and mentorship as well. Recognition of the many ways women have contributed to scientific advances is part of FASEB’s ongoing policy efforts to elevate considerations and needs of the human aspects of a healthy, sustained scientific workforce.

“The 2024 FASEB Excellence in Science Award recipients reflect achievements as leaders in the biomedical research community,” says Mary-Ann Bjornsti, PhD, FASEB President and former Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).  “Each awardee has demonstrated excellence and innovation in their research field and exemplified a steadfast commitment to future researchers through their mentoring activities.” 

Each recipient is awarded a $5,000 prize and presents a lecture at the annual meeting of a FASEB member society of their choice. The 2024 honorees are as follows:

Lifetime Achievement Award: Holly A. Ingraham, PhD, University of California, San Francisco who was recognized for pioneering work revealing crucial hormone-responsive nodes in the brain and gut that maintain metabolic, skeletal, and cognitive health in females. Her recent landmark studies are motivating others to address the basic science underlying many female-bias diseases that affect the quality of life for millions of women. The award also recognizes Ingraham as a devoted educator and mentor who helped shape the careers of countless graduate students and postdoctoral researchers through her guidance and support, many of whom secure fellowship funding, publish impactful and original studies, and obtain positions in academia, industry, and nonprofit organizations. Ingraham has also tirelessly advocated for women and has long worked to combat gender disparities in science and medicine. She was instrumental in changing the climate for women faculty at UCSF by increasing the number of women hired beginning in 2018 through data-driven conversations with leadership. She is a member of the American Physiological Society, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, and Endocrine Society.

Mid-Career Investigator Award: Pilar Alcaide, PhD, Tufts University School of Medicine was recognized for her stellar track record as an eminent scientist who focuses on cardiovascular research and immunology. Her impactful work in the growing field of cardio-immunology has been published in prestigious journals such as Circulation and the Journal of Experimental Medicine and has resulted in continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health and private foundations. In addition to her notable research, Alcaide is committed to mentoring and training the next generation of scientists and has forged a reputation as a role model for women in science, serving on many review panels and committees nationally. She has inspired an ever-growing number of trainees nationally through a variety of roles in the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences of the American Heart Association, developing numerous sessions for early-career scientists. Alcaide is currently the vice president of the American Society for Investigative Pathology (ASIP) and will serve as ASIP president in 2025–2026.

Early-Career Investigator Award: Mariana Xavier Byndloss, DVM, PhD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Freeman Hrabowski Scholar at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, is a creative young scientist whose work links microbiology, immunology, metabolic diseases, and cancer. Since joining the faculty at Vanderbilt in 2018, her research has uncovered groundbreaking discoveries in intestinal infection and inflammation biology. She has authored more than 70 scientific publications, including some in high-impact journals such as Nature and Science. In addition to being recognized for her scientific achievements, Byndloss was honored for her commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusivity (DEI) activities within and outside Vanderbilt. Her DEI activities include serving as an active preceptor in the Vanderbilt Experimental Research Training Inclusion Community Engagement Skills Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program, as well as co-chair and founding member of the Vanderbilt Institute for Infection, Immunology, and Inflammation DEI Committee, among others. She is a role-model and sought-after mentor in many DEI programs in which she serves, all of which foster research experiences and career development of students, fellows, and faculty from historically excluded groups. Byndloss is a member of the American Association of Immunologists.