Public Release: 

FASEB 2012 Excellence in Science Award recipient announced

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Bethesda, MD - The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) is pleased to announce that Susan R. Wessler, PhD, will be the recipient of the FASEB 2012 Excellence in Science Award.

The award recognizes women whose outstanding career achievements in biological science have contributed significantly to further our understanding of a particular discipline by excellence in research. This prestigious award, sponsored in total by FASEB, carries with it an unrestricted research grant of $10K. Dr. Wessler will receive her award and present an award lecture in 2012 at the Model Organisms to Human Biology Conference sponsored by the Genetics Society of America.

Dr. Wessler's scientific research has been widely recognized. She has been a leader in the field of plant transposable element where her laboratory has focused on their contribution to gene and genome evolution. In recent years she has pioneered the combined use of computational and experimental analysis to identify active transposons in whole genome sequences. As the result of her research contributions, Dr. Wessler was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Wessler's teaching and mentoring accomplishments are stellar. For her Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor award she replicated her laboratory as a classroom, permitting undergraduates to do real experiments at a sophisticated methodological level, instead of the "canned" experiments the majority of undergraduates experience in our universities. She is also one of the co-authors of a major genetics textbook. Dr. Wessler has been the director of three Training Grants for students in Plant Biology and Genetics. She has trained a large number of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, who have gone on to very productive careers in academic or industrial science.

Dr. Wessler has also shown a high level of service contributions. She has been active as a member of the Editorial Board of a number of journals, including Genetics, Plant Physiology, The Plant Cell and PNAS. At the present time she is on the Reviewing Board of Science, serves as an Associate Editor of PNAS and is a Director of the Genetics Society of America. She has just been elected Home Secretary of the Academy of Sciences, the first woman in that position.

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Written by:
Neena B. Schwartz, Ph.D.
William Deering Professor of Biology Emerita
Department of Neurobiology and Physiology
Northwestern University College of Arts and Science
Evanston IL

FASEB is composed of 24 societies with more than 100,000 members, making it the largest coalition of biomedical research associations in the United States. FASEB enhances the ability of scientists and engineers to improve--through their research--the health, well-being and productivity of all people. Our mission is to advance health and welfare by promoting progress and education in biological and biomedical sciences through service to our member societies and collaborative advocacy.

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