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Prof. Dr.

Susan Lindquist

Year of election: 2004
Section: Genetics/Molecular Biology and Cell Biology
City: Cambridge, MA
Country: USA

Research

She is widely known for her groundbreaking work on how changes in protein conformation affect processes such as stress tolerance, neurodegenerative disease and heredity. Her work on proteins – the “building blocks” and “workhorses” of life – has given us compelling new insights into genetics, evolution and disease.

Lindquist ignites collaborations of physicists, chemists and engineers using model organisms as diverse as yeast, fruit flies, plants and mice. Her research has provided critical support to a new genetic theory wherein biological changes are passed from generation to generation through assemblies of misshapen proteins rather than through changes in DNA. This discovery is helping provide a framework for understanding biological mysteries including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and mad cow disease.

Lindquist's research has also provided new insight into evolution by proving that some organisms may harbor instructions for sudden, complex changes that can be revealed by environmental stress and bred to produce new forms.

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Academia Net

Profiles of Leading Women Scientists on AcademiaNet – an initiative of the Robert Bosch Stiftung.