Elaine Fuchs to receive 2010 L'Oréal-UNESCO prize for women scientists

October 14, 2009

Elaine Fuchs, Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor and head of the Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development at Rockefeller University, will be the recipient of a 2010 L'Oréal-UNESCO Award in the Life Sciences, which recognizes exceptional women scientists. Fuchs is one of five scientists who will be honored with the award this year.

Fuchs, who also is an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), is being recognized for her contributions to our knowledge of skin biology and skin stem cells. Her contributions to skin biology and its associated human diseases have provided insights into our understanding of how stem cells of all types are able to rejuvenate tissues throughout life and also repair them after injury.

Fuchs received her B.S. in chemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 1972 and her Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1977 from Princeton University. She was a postdoc at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1977 to 1980. Fuchs was the Amgen Professor of Basic Sciences at The University of Chicago before coming to Rockefeller in 2002. She was named the Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor the same year. She has been an HHMI investigator since 1988.

Fuchs has received a number of honors and awards, including the recently announced 2008 National Medal of Science, the Bering Award and the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Award for Scientific Excellence in 2006, the Dickson Prize in Medicine in 2004, the Novartis/Drew Award in Biomedical Research in 2003, the Cartwright Award from Columbia University in 2002 and the Women in Cell Biology Senior Women's Career Achievement Award in 1997. In 1994 Fuchs was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2005 and the NAS in 1995. In 1985, the White House named Fuchs one of the Nation's Outstanding Scientists. She also holds honorary doctorates from the University of Illinois and the Mount Sinai and New York University Schools of Medicine.

The L'Oréal-UNESCO award, founded 12 years ago, recognizes women scientists who have made important contributions to science and who have been a source of support, motivation and inspiration for women in science. The award is presented by the L'Oréal Corporate Foundation, based in France, and the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which promotes cooperation, ethics and peace in science.

The award ceremony will take place on March 4, 2010 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. Each laureate will receive $100,000 in recognition of her contribution to the advancement of science.

Rockefeller University

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