Bassler receives Schering Prize for discovering bacterial communication

Schering Stiftung announced Monday, Sept. 3, that they were awarding the 2018 Ernst Schering Prize to molecular biologist Bonnie Bassler for her pioneering work on bacterial quorum sensing.

Bonnie Bassler

Bonnie Bassler

Bassler, Princeton’s Squibb Professor in Molecular Biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, has paved the way for a vital new research field in microbiology: intercellular bacterial communication, known as quorum sensing. She discovered the universal use of chemical signaling between bacteria, revolutionizing the view of the microscopic organisms.

The Ernst Schering Prize, one of the most prestigious German science awards, is awarded annually to a scientist “whose pioneering basic research has yielded new, inspiring models or led to fundamental shifts in biomedical knowledge.”

Bassler was nominated for the prize by colleague Ned Wingreen, the Howard A. Prior Professor in the Life Sciences and a professor of molecular biology and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics: “Bonnie Bassler’s groundbreaking basic research on bacterial communication spans biology, chemistry and medicine — establishing a paradigm for brilliantly integrated science. She has been a leader throughout her career in establishing a dialogue between scientists and the greater society, and she does all this with a contagious enthusiasm for the rigorous practice and communication of science that spreads to all those around her. As one who has benefited from the energy and inspiration that radiates from her, I am personally thrilled and gratified that Bonnie Bassler is the newest recipient of the Ernst Schering Prize.”

The award ceremony will be held Sept. 26 in Berlin.