2021 Chi-Bin Chien Award Winner, Rashmi Priya, PhD of the Francis Crick Institute
After finishing her Masters from India, Dr. Rashmi Priya joined Alpha Yap’s lab in 2011 at IMB, UQ, Australia. Her work focused on the systems cell biology regulating epithelial tissue integrity. For her post-doctoral training, Dr. Priya joined Dr. Didier Stainier’s lab in 2016 at Max-Planck HLR, Germany, to study zebrafish heart development. She used her interdisciplinary background to provide novel insights into cardiac trabeculation – a less-understood morphogenetic event crucial for heart function. She was awarded fellowships from EMBO and Humboldt foundation and a DFG grant to support her research. In February 2021, Dr. Priya started her own lab at the Francis Crick Institute, London. Her lab will continue to take advantage of the developing zebrafish heart and will adopt unique approaches from quantitative cell biology, developmental genetics and biophysics. The overarching goal of Dr. Priya’s lab is to address how complex organ architecture emerges from simple governing rules of mechanochemical interactions.
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2021 George Streisinger Award Winner, Nancy Hopkins, PhD of the MIT
Nancy Hopkins is the Amgen, Inc. Professor of Biology emerita at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A molecular biologist and geneticist, she obtained a PhD at Harvard with Mark Ptashne, showing that lambda repressor protein binds to specific sequences on DNA to control gene expression. As a postdoctoral fellow she studied transformation by DNA tumor viruses with Robert Pollack and James D Watson at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Hopkins joined the MIT faculty in 1973 where her lab used genetics to study mechanisms of leukemogenesis by mouse RNA tumor viruses. Later she turned to the genetics of early vertebrate development using the zebrafish. Her lab developed a method of insertional mutagenesis for the fish that led to the identification and cloning of 25%of the genes essential for early zebrafish development and also led the lab to develop the fish as a genetic model for cancer. In 1995 Hopkins chaired an MIT committee that later issued the 1999 Report on the Status of Women Faculty in Science at MIT. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Academy of Medicine, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.