Photo Credit: Alena Soboleva
This lecture has been postponed until further notice.
Bonnie L. Bassler, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and the Squibb Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University, will present the 2019/2020 Robert W. Stone Memorial Lecture at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, March 16, in 112 Borland Building, on the Penn State University Park campus. The free, public lecture, titled “Quorum-sensing Communication: From Viruses to Bacteria to Eukaryotes,” is sponsored by the Penn State Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Research in the Bassler laboratory focuses on the molecular mechanisms that bacteria use for intercellular communication, a process called quorum sensing. Her research is paving the way for the development of novel antibiotic therapies that disrupt quorum-sensing-mediated communication.
Bassler is also a passionate advocate for diversity in the sciences and she is actively involved in, and committed to, educating lay people in science. At Princeton, she teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses. She directed the Molecular Biology Graduate Program between 2002 and 2008 and she chaired Princeton University’s Council on Science and Technology for six years, during which time she rejuvenated the science curriculum for humanists.
Bassler has received numerous awards and honors for her research and teaching. She was honored with a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and elected to the American Academy of Microbiology in 2002. She was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2004 and she received the American Society for Microbiology’s Eli Lilly Investigator Award for fundamental contributions to microbiological research in 2006. Bassler received Princeton University’s President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2008. She received the Wiley Prize in Biomedical Science for her paradigm-changing scientific research in 2009 and the National Academies’ Richard Lounsbery Award in 2011. In 2012, she was named the UNESCO-L’Oreal Woman in Science for North America and was elected to the Royal Society and to the American Philosophical Society. She was made a member of EMBO in 2013. Bassler received the Shaw Prize in Life Sciences and Medicine and the Ricketts Award in 2015. In 2016, she received the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize, the FASEB Excellence in Science Award, the Max Planck Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and was elected a fellow of ASCB. She was awarded the Dickson Prize in Medicine and the Ernst Schering Prize in 2018. In 2020, she will receive the Feodor Lynen Award.
Bassler has performed a remarkable amount of national and international service. She was the president of the American Society for Microbiology from 2010 to 2011, she chaired the American Academy of Microbiology Board of Governors from 2011 to 2014, and she was nominated by President Barack Obama to be a member of the National Science Board, where
she served for six years. The National Science Board most notably oversees the NSF and prioritizes the nation’s research and educational activities in science, math, and engineering.
Bassler is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She received a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the University of California at Davis, and a doctoral degree in biochemistry from the Johns Hopkins University. She completed postdoctoral work in genetics at the Agouron Institute and joined the faculty at Princeton in 1994.
Each year the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology identifies a preeminent microbiologist to present her or his work, enrich the microbiological research community at Penn State, and to honor Robert W. Stone. Professor Stone was head for 23 years of the former Department of Microbiology, which merged with the biophysics and biochemistry departments in 1979 to form the present department.