Stem cell researcher receives top Presidential Award

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Valerie Horsley, the Maxine F. Singer Assistant Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Yale, has been awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for her work on the generation of skin cells.

The award, funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. It recognizes Horsley’s work on the “extrinsic regulation of epidermal homeostasis.” Horsley’s work on the generation of skin cells has already earned her many honors. She studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control stem cell activity and function within epithelia — the tissues that line our internal organs and outer surfaces.

Horsley’s lab uses the mouse as a genetic model system to study how adult stem cells within epithelial tissues maintain tissue homeostasis, can contribute to wound healing, and can be a factor in cancer formation.

The Presidential awards were established in 1996 and are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.

Horsley received her undergraduate degree from Furman University and was awarded her Ph.D. from Emory University.

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