Congratulations to the 2024 IZFS Award Winners!

George Streisinger Award

Judith Eisen, PhD
University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA

Judith Eisen is a Professor of Biology and member of the Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Oregon. She received her PhD from Brandeis University where she explored neural circuit modulation in the crustacean stomatogastric ganglion central pattern generator. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oregon, she helped discover the first individually identified spinal motoneurons in a vertebrate and described their development in living embryos. Since starting her own laboratory, Eisen has investigated mechanisms underlying specification and development of central and peripheral neurons and glia and how these cells establish the circuitry underlying homeostasis and behavior. A current focus of this research is to understand not only the genetic and cellular mechanisms of neurodevelopment, but also how these mechanisms are modulated by host perception of molecules produced by host-resident microbes. This work combines a genetic approach in zebrafish with manipulations of zebrafish-associated microbes to learn how the host nervous system influences the intestinal microbiota and intestinal health, how host-associated microbes modulate brain gene expression, cellular differentiation, neural circuit formation and emergent behavior, and how the host immune system participates in interactions between the nervous system and microbiota.

Chi-Bin Chien Award

D'Juan Farmer, PhD
University of California at Los Angeles, USA

Dr. D’Juan Farmer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology at UCLA, with a joint appointment in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He received his baccalaureate degree at UCLA and majored in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology and minored in Biomedical Research. Following a post-baccalaureate at the NIH, D’Juan received his PhD at the University of California, San Francisco, where he investigated the roles of microRNAs during organogenesis in the laboratory of Michael McManus. In 2017, he joined the laboratory of Gage Crump at the University of Southern California and investigated the development of cranial sutures using mouse and zebrafish models. His laboratory now focuses on investigating the inter-cellular and intra-cellular mechanisms of skeletal progenitor specification and function in cranial sutures.

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