The winner of the 2014 EMD Millipore Alice C. Evans Award is Bonnie Bassler, Ph.D., Princeton University, New Jersey. Given in honor of Alice C. Evans, the first woman to be elected as President of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), this award is given to an individual who has contributed to the advancement of women in microbiology. Susan Gottesman, National Cancer Institute, NIH, says, “Bassler has been a strong advocate of young scientists, and particularly women, throughout her career, and because she is such an active participant in the business of science, and so persuasive, her efforts have made a real difference.”
Currently, Bassler is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and the Squibb Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University. The research in her laboratory focuses on quorum sensing, the molecular mechanisms that bacteria use for intercellular communication. For this work and her dedication to teaching, she has been given numerous honors including a nomination by President Barack Obama for membership on the National Science Board. In addition, Bassler is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM) and the current Chair of the AAM Board of Governors. “In national leadership for ASM, AAM, and the National Research Council,” says Jo Handelsman, Yale University, “Bassler has advocated for tough and often unpopular causes, including highlighting achievements of women and extending science education beyond the walls of universities and colleges.” Through her leadership, Bassler has inspired young women to pursue careers in science.