May 2012

March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology goes to Rockefeller’s Fuchs

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Elaine Fuchs of The Rockefeller University has been named a co-winner of the 2012 March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology. Fuchs, who will share the prize with longtime colleague Howard Green of Harvard Medical School, was recognized for having contributed significantly to our understanding of skin biology and for advances in treatments for both skin cancer and burn victims.

Fuchs’ work has revealed the genetic basis of blistering skin diseases and how skin stem cells develop into tissues and organs and how activation mutations can lead to cancer. She is also known as a pioneer in reverse genetics.

“Their work has saved the lives of thousands of burn patients, and we hope their work with skin stem cells will lead to new ways to prevent and treat birth defects,” Joseph Leigh Simpson, senior vice president for research and global programs at the March of Dimes, said in a statement. The March of Dimes Prize was created in 1996 in honor of Jonas Salk. “Elaine’s work has had a significant impact on the lives of those suffering from skin injuries and disorders, and it has the potential to ultimately lead to new regenerative therapies. It is deeply gratifying to see her work recognized with this award,” Marc Tessier-Lavigne, president of The Rockefeller University, said in a statement.

Fuchs received the $250,000 prize at the Pediatric Academic Societies’ annual meeting in Boston in April.

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