Brigid L. M. Hogan, PhD, FRS, Aviv Regev, PhD, and Karen A. Schindler, PhD, are the winners of the 2020 FASEB Excellence in Science Awards. The awards recognize women whose outstanding career achievements in biological science have contributed significantly to the understanding of a particular discipline through scientific achievements, the training of students and postdoctoral fellows, and contributions to the broader scientific community. Recipients receive unrestricted research grants and present special award lectures at annual meetings of FASEB member societies of their choosing.
“With the addition of two new Excellence in Science Awards, FASEB reaffirms its commitment to support and recognize women whose research is pushing the boundaries of science to benefit our world,” said FASEB President Hannah V. Carey, PhD. “Our new Early and Mid-Career Awards recognize achievements in scientific research and mentorship attained during periods that can be particularly crucial in the career trajectory of women scientists.”
Excellence in Science Award – Lifetime Achievement: Brigid L. M. Hogan, PhD, FRS
Dr. Hogan is Professor in the Department of Cell Biology at Duke University Medical Center, and a member of the Society for Developmental Biology. Recognized as a pioneer in the field of developmental biology, she was one of the first scientists to isolate members of the Hox gene complex in mammals and highlight the role of these genes in controlling anterior-posterior patterning in embryos across evolution. She developed techniques that expanded the study of molecular genetics and embryology in mouse models and has applied these approaches to address a wide range of basic questions at the forefront of developmental biology and, more recently, to address problems in airway disease and regeneration.
She facilitated the training of a generation of scientists in these novel techniques through the Molecular Embryology of the Mouse course hosted by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for the past 35 years; through the accompanying course manual, “Manipulating the Mouse Embryo”; and in her own laboratory. The importance of this course to biomedical research cannot be overstated. Numerous studies that involve mouse genetics – cancer, neurobiology, or disease modeling – starts with manipulating the mouse embryo.
Dr. Hogan is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, and European Molecular Biology Organization, and an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Royal Society of London. In 2015, she was awarded the Society for Developmental Biology’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Excellence in Science Award – Mid-Career Investigator: Aviv Regev, PhD
Dr. Regev is Chair of the Faculty at the Broad Institute of Massachusetts of Technology (MIT) and Harvard, Professor of Biology at MIT, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. She is a member of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and American Society for Human Genetics.
Her research helped establish the foundation for single-cell biology and single-cell technologies.
In a 2013 Nature article, she published a roadmap for single-cell genomics as a new area of science, using an analysis of the transcriptome of 18 mouse dendritic cells to highlight strategies to optimize single-cell experiments and perform computational analyses to address core biological questions. Since then, Dr. Regev has pioneered the development of experimental and computational methods to further the capabilities of single-cell analyses, combining scalability and new biological insights, and laying the roadmap for a human cell atlas.
In 2019 she was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. She is also the recipient of the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, a Sloan fellowship, the Eleanor and Miles Shore Fellowship for Scholars in Medicine, the International Society for Computational Biology’s Overton and Innovator Awards, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s Stadtman Scholar Award, and the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research.
Excellence in Science Award – Early-Career Investigator: Karen A. Schindler, PhD
Dr. Schindler is Associate Professor in the Department of Genetics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and a member of the Society for the Study of Reproduction. Her research program is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms causing aneuploidy in the female germline using two lines of inquiry: foundational studies exploring protein kinase signaling in murine oocytes and translational studies to identify gene variants leading to aneuploidy in human oocytes.
Her scientific achievements are reflected in both publications and ability to procure extramural research support. She received a K99/R00 grant early in her career, funding that led to her first R01 award. Dr. Schindler’s funding success has also translated to her students, with six undergraduates receiving internal research funding, a graduate student receiving an F31 fellowship, and a postdoctoral scholar receiving a New Jersey Cancer Commission fellowship.
The Society for the Study of Reproduction presented Dr. Schindler with its 2018 New Investigator Award.
At Rutgers, she took the initiative to establish a monthly “germ cell interest group” that provides a forum for faculty and trainees to engage in a collaborative research dialogue. She is similarly active with the Rutgers Office for the Promotion of Women in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics, establishing the “Faculty Leading Change” program, monthly meetings of women faculty to address areas needing additional resources.