Tuesday, March 27, 2012

L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Award for Women in Science - 2012

Professor Bonnie BASSLER has won the North American Award
Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, USA
For understanding the chemical communication between bacteria and opening new doors for treating infections.
Bonnie Bassler has devoted herself to studying the revolutionary notion that bacteria are not simply individual organisms working on their own for better (helping us digest food, for example) or for worse (causing disease). In fact, as she discovered, they are ineffective on their own and must work as coordinated ‘armies’ to be able to be successful at both keeping us healthy and making us sick. It would be impossible for groups of bacteria to act in unison, however, if they did not communicate with each other. Bassler has shown that bacteria ‘talk’ using chemicals as their words. These startling discoveries may someday lead to the development of new antibiotics that interfere with bacterial conversations as well as many other applications, such as infection-resistant surgical implants.
Congratulations to Professor Bassler!

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