Princeton University’s Bonnie Bassler to Be Honored With the $500,000 Gruber Genetics Prize for 2020

Bonnie L. Bassler, the Squibb Professor in Molecular Biology and chair of the department of molecular biology at Princeton University in New Jersey, will receive the 2020 Gruber Genetics Prize. The prize, which includes a $500,000 award, is presented to a leading scientist in recognition of contributions to genetics research. The prize will be presented to Professor Bassler on April 23 at the Allied Genetics Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.

Professor Bassler is being honored for her pioneering work on how bacteria communicate with each other. In learning about the process of intercellular bacterial communication, known as quorum sensing, Dr. Bassler has expanded the understanding of microbes and illuminated innovative approaches to promoting health and preventing disease.

Helen Hobbs, professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and chair of the Selection Advisory Board to the prize, stated that “Dr. Bassler’s work has transformed how we view the microbial world. She has revealed the many different ways that bacteria communicate with each other, thus allowing them to behave as a collective group. Those discoveries have contributed to a paradigm shift in how we view the microbial world.”

Dr. Bassler is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of California, Davis and holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

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