Merck Millipore has announced that Bonnie Bassler, Ph.D., Squibb Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, has won the 2014 Merck Millipore Alice C. Evans Award for Leadership in Clinical Microbiology.
The award was established by the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) Committee on the Status of Women in Microbiology and given in honor of Alice C. Evans, the first woman elected ASM President in 1928. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions toward the advancement of women in microbiology.
Dr. Bassler is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and is best known for her work on quorum sensing, the molecular mechanisms that bacteria use for intercellular communication. For this work and her dedication to teaching, she has been given numerous honors, including a nomination by President Barack Obama for membership on the National Science Board. In addition, Bassler is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM) and the current Chair of the AAM Board of Governors.
"I am honored, surprised and delighted to receive the Alice C. Evans Award and to be counted among many of my science heroes," said Dr. Bassler. "This award validates the work of many labs to decipher how bacteria communicate using the process called 'quorum sensing.' As a postdoc, I first understood the thrill of scientific research. I owe this to my great postdoc mentor, Michael Silverman, a gentle man who cared about creativity, tenacity and a readiness to be surprised by nature - gender was irrelevant. Twenty years ago, Princeton's Department of Molecular Biology hired me, and now I am department chair. Here I have learned leadership from senior colleagues committed to promoting the careers of young female and male faculty alike. Sadly, my postdoc and faculty experiences are not the norm. Progress has been made, but women scientists continue to struggle against gender bias and discrimination, both in academia and industry. The importance of prizes like this one - awarded exclusively for helping women to participate in science - is the evidence. I am truly grateful to receive this honor. Nonetheless, I urge us all to work to make such awards curious relics of history."
"Merck Millipore is proud to sponsor the prestigious Alice C. Evans award," said Teresa Frisone, South Area Sales Director BioMonitoring, Merck Millipore. "We would like to congratulate Dr. Bassler and acknowledge how her tremendous work and leadership have inspired young women to pursue careers in science; she is a most deserving recipient of the 2014 award."
The award was presented on May 18 to Dr. Bassler by Dr. Jeffrey Miller, ASM President at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.