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The annual MCB awards were presented on September 11 and 12 to eight MCB researchers who have demonstrated excellence in various fields.

Bjorkman-Strominger-Wiley Prize for Collaboration

(l to r) Alex Schier (MCB Chair), Nathan Lord, and Johan Paulsson

The winners of this year’s award are Thomas Norman, Nathan Lord, Johan Paulsson and Rich Losick for their research on decision making in bacteria. According to MCB Chair Alex Schier, “the two graduate students and their mentors combined theory and experiment to reveal an elegant regulatory switch. Importantly, their findings are relevant from single cells to cows.”

Doty-Losick Prize for Exceptional Service

Rachelle Gaudet (l) and Catherine Dulac

The winners of this year’s award are Catherine Dulac and Rachelle Gaudet for their exceptional contributions to undergraduate and graduate education. According to MCB Chair Alex Schier, “Catherine and Rachelle have shown total devotion to our students and fostered an outstanding educational environment. Catherine has spearheaded the Molecules, Cells and Organisms Graduate Program, and Rachelle has led the undergraduate concentrations in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Chemical Physical Biology. They take a personal interest in each and every student and maintain an inclusive and diverse environment.”

Ernest Peralta Fund Award

Jenelle Wallace

This year’s Peralta Fund Award was presented to third year graduate student Jenelle Wallace from the Murthy and Stevens laboratories for her qualifying exam proposal “Synaptic refinement in adult-born granule cells of the olfactory bulb during circuit integration.” Jenelle’s ambitious proposal (which merged important questions and concepts from both labs), her talent for scientific reasoning, and her ability to integrate multiple fields of study during her defense greatly impressed the faculty committee.

Meselson Prize for the Most Beautiful Experiment

James Lee (l) and Craig Hunter, the award presenter

James Lee (Dan Kahne’s lab) won this year’s Meselson Prize for his work investigating transmembrane protein folding. James showed that he can use a mutant to slow the folding process and thereby trap an intermediate structure in the folding pathway and study its interactions with other proteins in the insertion pathway. These achievements will eventually enable the elucidation of a step-wise protein folding pathway for this transmembrane protein.