News at Princeton

Friday, Sept. 30, 2016
 

Faculty News

FACULTY AWARD: Bassler to receive Pearl Meister Greengard Prize for women scientists

Bonnie Bassler, Princeton University's Squibb Professor in Molecular Biology and department chair, will receive the The Rockefeller University's Pearl Meister Greengard Prize, which honors extraordinary women scientists. Bassler was recognized for discoveries related to a molecular mechanism known as quorum sensing that allows bacteria to communicate with each other and synchronize activity. Bassler’s lab is working to develop anti-quorum-sensing molecules that would target virulent bacteria. Established in 2004, the prize carries a $100,000 award and recipients are selected by a committee of nine scientists, including four Nobel Prize laureates. Bassler will accept the prize during a Nov. 16 ceremony at Rockefeller University.

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FACULTY NEWS BRIEF: Nordenson and Oppenheimer serve as structural engineers on new National Museum of African American History and Culture

The structural engineering for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, situated on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was done by two engineers teaching at Princeton University's School of Architecture. Professor of Architecture Guy Nordenson — of Guy Nordenson and Associates — served as structural engineer for the building's superstructure, and Visiting Lecturer in Architecture Nat Oppenheimer — of Robert Silman Associates New York — served as structural engineer for the building's substructure. The architect, David Adjaye, also taught at the School of Architecture for several years. The museum will open to the public on Saturday, Sept. 24.

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FACULTY AWARD: Five Princeton professors among inaugural HHMI-Simons Faculty Scholars

Five Princeton University faculty members have been selected as inaugural faculty scholars by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Simons Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Selected as HHMI-Simons Faculty Scholars were Clifford Brangwynne, an assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering; Martin Jonikas, an assistant professor of molecular biology; and Coleen Murphy, professor of molecular biology and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics. Mala Murthy, an associate professor of molecular biology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, and Celeste Nelson, professor of chemical and biological engineering, were named HHMI Faculty Scholars. They are among 84 early-career scientists from 43 American institutions to receive the five-year grants, which total about $83 million.

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FACULTY AWARD: Carey, Gunn receive NSF award to bring STEM to prisons

Two Princeton University faculty members have received a two-year National Science Foundation INCLUDES award to create a statewide educational pilot program called "STEPs to STEM" that would bring science education into New Jersey state prisons. Jannette Carey, an associate professor of chemistry, and James Gunn, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Astronomy, Emeritus, proposed to create a statewide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) track within community-college programs established in state prisons through the New Jersey Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons Consortium (NJ-STEP).

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FACULTY HONOR: Mónica Ponce de León elected member of the National Academy

Mónica Ponce de León, dean of the School of Architecture and professor of architecture, has been selected as a member of the National Academy (formerly the Academy of Design), founded in 1825. Members are elected by their peers in recognition of their exceptional contributions to American art and architecture — representing a commitment to preserving the cultural heritage of the United States and pushing creative boundaries. The new members will be inducted in October.

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FACULTY AWARD: Torquato receives National American Chemical Society award

Salvatore Torquato, a Princeton University professor of chemistry and the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM), has received the Joel Henry Hildebrand Award in Theoretical and Experimental Chemistry of Liquids from the American Chemical Society. The award recognizes distinguished contributions to understanding the chemistry and physics of liquids.

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FACULTY AWARD: Bassler receives Max Planck Research Award

Bonnie Bassler, Princeton University's Squibb Professor of Molecular Biology and department chair, is one of two recipients of the 2016 Max Planck Research Award. Bassler was recognized for her "major role in the discovery that Earth’s most ancient unicellular organisms communicate with one another via chemical signalling molecules," a process known as quorum sensing. Presented by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Max Planck Society, the award honors scientists for their pioneering research into the sensory perception of organisms. Awardees receive 750,000 euros to fund future projects with colleagues in Germany and abroad.

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FACULTY AWARD: Diller to receive ACADIA Lifetime Achievement Award

Elizabeth Diller, a professor of architecture, has been selected to receive the 2016 ACADIA (Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture) Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is given to exceptional architects and researchers who, over the course of an entire career, have made significant and innovative contributions to the fields of architecture and computational design. Diller is a founding partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, an interdisciplinary design studio that achieved international prominence for its designs of the High Line and the redesign of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts campus in New York City. The award will be presented on October 28 at ACADIA's annual conference at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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FACULTY AWARD: Ploss receives early-career award for infectious-disease research

Alexander Ploss, a Princeton University assistant professor of molecular biology, has received an Investigators in Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. Ploss will use the five-year, $500,000 award for his topic, "breaking species barriers of human hepatotropic pathogens."

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FACULTY AWARD: Chirik receives Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award

Paul Chirik, Princeton University's Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Chemistry, was among five recipients nationwide of the 2016 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards presented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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