Rockefeller’s Elaine Fuchs Recognized for “Stellar Record” of Research Accomplishments in Skin Diseases and Cancer Stem Cells, and of Mentoring Other Women in Science

Elaine Fuchs, Ph.D., Head of the Robin Chemers Neustein Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development at The Rockefeller University has won the 2016 Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Science for her innovative use of reverse genetics to understand skin diseases and cancer stem cells. The prize honors women scientists with a “stellar record” of research accomplishments who have also made significant contributions to mentoring other women in science. Dr. Fuchs will receive the prize on March 30, 2017. Dr. Fuchs is the second Rockefeller recipient to receive the Vanderbilt Prize. In 2012, it was awarded to Dr. Titia de Lange for her research on telomeres, the protective ends of chromosomes. Dr. Fuchs is highly regarded for her studies using reverse genetics to understand the biological basis of normal and abnormal skin development and function. Among her important research discoveries are the identification and characterization of skin stem cells and the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying their ability to produce the epidermis, hair follicles, and sweat and oil glands. She has also defined how the normal biology of skin stem cells is deregulated in skin cancers and other hyperproliferative disorders of the skin. Her work has implications for skin-related diseases, particularly cancers, genetic diseases and proinflammatory disorders. Dr. Fuchs majored in chemistry at the University of Illinois, and earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry from Princeton University. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was recruited by the University of Chicago as the first woman faculty member in biochemistry. Dr. Fuchs joined Rockefeller University in 2002. Dr.
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