Fuchs, Professor Rebecca C. Lancefield at Rockefeller University, in her office.

Rockefeller University biologist Elaine Fuchs was awarded the 2023 Benjamin Franklin Medal in the Life Sciences, one of the oldest and most venerable honors in the United States. First presented by the Franklin Institute in 1824, the Benjamin Franklin Medals annually recognize nine individuals for outstanding achievement in science, engineering, and business leadership. Fuchs will receive his award at a ceremony to be held at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia on April 27.

Director of the Robin Chemers Neustein Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development, Fuchs uses mammalian skin as a model to shed light on the nature and behavior of tissue stem cells. His decades of groundbreaking research into the genetics of skin diseases and the mechanisms of the skin itself have yielded profound insights.

Fuchs was the first to define the structure, function and variety of cell types coexisting in the skin stem cell niche, an area beneath the epithelium where adult stem cells are found. His lab has found intriguing links between stem cells and chronic inflammatory disorders, showing that these cells can respond to injury by acquiring long-term epigenetic marks that provide cellular memory of the inflammation experience. These findings have profound implications for the understanding of inflammatory diseases, wound repair and cancers.

In winning a Benjamin Franklin Medal, Fuchs joins an elite group that includes fellow Rockefellers Cori Bargmann (2015) and Fernando Nottebohm (2006), as well as Nikola Tesla, Pierre and Marie Curie, Max Planck, Orville Wright, Albert Einstein, Edwin Hubble, Stephen Hawking, Martin Rees, Jane Goodall and Frances Arnold.

Among his many other accolades are the L’Oréal-UNESCO Award, National Medal of Science, Albany Medical Center Award, EB Wilson Award, Vanderbilt Award, Canada Gairdner International Award, and the Bert and Natalie Vallée Prize in Science. biomedical. Science.

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