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NEWS AND EVENTS

Oliver H. Smith Memorial Lecture

Please join us for our 28th annual Oliver H. Smith Memorial Lecture honoring the memory of Dr. Oliver H. Smith, a faculty member in the department from 1963-1985. The seminar series was established by Oliver’s family who has continued to support this and other important departmental programs. Previous Smith Lectures have included three Nobel Laureates: Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn (1993), Dr. Richard Roberts (2001), and Dr. Thomas Steitz (2002).

Smith Lecture

 

Bonnie L. Bassler, Ph.D. obtained her B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Johns Hopkins University. Following postdoctoral research in Genetics at the Agouron Institute, she joined the faculty at Princeton University in 1994. She is currently a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator and the Squibb Professor and Chair of Molecular Biology at Princeton University.


Dr. Bassler is recognized internationally for her research on the molecular mechanisms underlying quorum sensing: the widespread process of cell-cell communication in bacteria, which allows them to regulate gene expression in a collective manner. Using the luminous bacterium Vibrio harveyi and a related pathogen, V. cholerae, research in her laboratory has shown that both species produce multiple signal molecules known as autoinducers, each with an associated sensory detection protein: AI-1 for intra-species communication, CAI-1 for inter-genera communication, and AI-2 for inter-species communication in the environment. Detection of autoinducers results in luminescence in V. harveyi and virulence in V. cholerae and other species. Her laboratory has discovered that the quorum sensing signal relay depends on a phosphorylation/dephosphorylation cascade with multiple regulatory sRNAs at the center of the signaling circuit. Bassler’s group is currently focused on discovering molecules structurally related to autoinducers for development into novel antimicrobials to control virulence. In addition, Dr. Bassler is a passionate advocate for diversity in the sciences and she is actively involved in and committed to educating lay people in science.


Among her many awards, Dr. Bassler has received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, a Theobald Smith Society Waksman Award, the ASM Eli Lilly Investigator Award, Princeton University’s President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Wiley Prize in Biomedical Science, the National Academies’ Richard Lounsbery Award, and the UNESCO-L’Oreal Woman in Science for North America. She is a member of the National Academy, American Academy of Arts & Sciences, American Academy of Microbiology, the Royal Society, the American Philosophical Society, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Bassler, a former President of the ASM, is Chair of the American Academy of Microbiology Board of Governors, and on the National Science Board. She is Chief Editor of Annual Reviews of Genetics, and is currently on the editorial boards of mBio, Cell, PNAS, and Journal of Bacteriology. Dr. Bassler served on the National Academies Board on Life Sciences, the HHMI Science Education Committee, and Discovery Communications’ Science Channel Scientific Advisory Board. She serves on panels for the National Academies of Sciences, NIH, NSF, ASM, American Academy of Microbiology, Keck Foundation, Burroughs Wellcome Trust, Jane Coffin Childs Fund, PEW Charitable Trust, Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, and the MIT Whitehead Institute.

 


PREVIOUS SMITH LECTURERS

1986-87 DR. CHARLES YANOFSKY
STANFORD UNIVERSITY

1987-88 DR. LUCY SHAPIRO
COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND
SURGEONS OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

1988-89 DR. SAMUEL KAPLAN
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT
URBANA-CHAMPAIGN

1989-90 DR. WILLIAM S. REZNIKOFF
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON

1990-91 DR. RALPH S. WOLFE
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS

1991-92 DR. MARTHA M. HOWE
UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE

1992-93 DR. ELIZABETH BLACKBURN
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-
SAN FRANCISCO

1993-94 DR. DOUGLAS E. BERG
WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

1994-95 DR. JOHN A. DEMOSS
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS
MEDICAL SCHOOL AT HOUSTON

1995-96 DR. NORMAN R. PACE
INDIANA UNIVERSITY

1996-97 DR. SHARON R. LONG
STANFORD UNIVERSITY

1997-98 DR. BARBARA HOHN
FRIEDRICH MIESCHER INSTITUTE

1998-99 DR. GRAHAM C. WALKER
MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

1999-00 DR. STUART B. LEVY
TUFTS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

2000-01 DR. RICHARD J. ROBERTS
NEW ENGLAND BIOLABS

2001-02 DR. THOMAS A. STEITZ
YALE UNIVERSITY

2002-03 DR. CHRISTIAN R.H. RAETZ
DUKE UNIVERSITY

2003-04 DR. EUGENE NESTER
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON

2004-05 DR. CHING KUNG
UNIVERSITY OF WISONSIN-MADISON

2005-06 DR. ABIGAIL A. SALYERS
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS-CHAMPAIGN-URBANA

2006-07 DR. RITA R. COLWELL
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND

2007-08 DR. J. WILLIAM COSTERTON
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY

2008-09 DR. THOMAS J. SILHAVY
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY

2009-10 DR. JAMES M. TIEDJE
MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

2010-11 DR. JOSEPH F. LUTKENHAUS
UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS MEDICAL CENTER

2011-12 DR. KENNETH NEALSON
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

 

2013-14 DR. ROBERTO KOLTER

HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL

 



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