Tilghman honored with international science prize

Princeton President Shirley M. Tilghman, a world-renowned scholar and leader in the field of molecular biology, has been honored with the Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research.

The annual prize was established in 2005 by the Friends of Canadian Institutes of Health Research in collaboration with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. It recognizes exceptional innovation by a visionary health leader of international stature. Tilghman will receive the prize and deliver a public lecture on Wednesday, Sept. 29, in Ottawa, Ontario.

Tilghman, a native of Canada, received her Honors B.Sc. in chemistry from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, in 1968 and obtained her Ph.D. in biochemistry from Temple University in Philadelphia. During postdoctoral studies at the National Institutes of Health, she made a number of groundbreaking discoveries while participating in cloning the first mammalian gene.

Before being named Princeton's president in 2001, Tilghman served as a faculty member at the University for 15 years. She came to Princeton in 1986 as the Howard A. Prior Professor of the Life Sciences and two years later joined the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as an investigator. In 1998, she became the founding director of Princeton's multidisciplinary Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics.

Tilghman chaired Princeton's Council on Science and Technology, which encourages the teaching of science and technology to students outside the sciences, and she initiated the Princeton Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship.

A member of the National Research Council's committee that set the blueprint for the U.S. effort in the Human Genome Project, Tilghman also was one of the founding members of the National Advisory Council of the Human Genome Project Initiative for the National Institutes of Health.

Tilghman's Sept. 29 talk is one of the lectures supported annually by the Friesen prize that features renowned speakers on topics related to the advancement of health research and its evolving contributions to society. A $35,000 award accompanies the prize.