Princeton’s Bonnie Bassler Is Sharing the 2023 Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research

Bonnie Bassler, the Squibb Professor in Molecular Biology at Princeton University in New Jersey, is sharing the 2023 Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research. The Princess of Asturias Awards are the highest form of recognition bestowed by the Spanish Crown and are considered among the most important prizes conferred by nations in the European Union. She is sharing the award with Jeffrey Gordon of Washington University in St. Louis and Everett Peter Greenberg of the University of Washington.

Each Princess of Asturias Award laureate receives a Joan Miró sculpture representing and symbolizing the award, a diploma, an insignia, and a cash prize of 50,000 euros (about $53,500). The award will be presented in October by Princess Leonor and King Felipe VI of Spain.

Professor Bassler is being honored for her research on quorum sensing. Dr. Bassler showed that each bacterial species has its own molecule — its own language — that it secretes and that only those of its own species recognize, so they know when there are a quorum of kin around them. Professor Bassler’s work has increased the understanding of microbes and illuminated innovative approaches to promoting health and preventing disease.

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, where she majored in biochemistry and holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

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