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Mina Bissell    

Iranian-American Biologist; Known for her Research on Breast Cancer

She has been recognized for her lifetime contributions to the fields of breast cancer research, the enhanced role of extracellular matrix (ECM) and the nucleus environment to gene expression in normal and malignant tissues.

These works have ushered and have changed some central paradigms that have strengthened the importance of context in the development of cancer.

Dr. Mina Bissell is a pioneer in the area of the role of extracellular matrix (ECM) andmicroenvironmentinregulation of tissue-specific function with special emphasis in breast cancer, where she has changed some established paradigms.

She earned an A.B. with honors in chemistry from Harvard/Radcliffe College and a Ph.D. in bacterial genetics from Harvard University.

She joined the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1972, became Director of Cell & Molecular Biology in 1988, and was appointed Director of all of Life Sciences in 1992.

Upon stepping down as the Life Sciences Division Director, she was named Distinguished Scientist. She is also the OBER/DOE Distinguished Scientist Fellow in Life Sciences.

Dr. Bissell has authored more than 315 publications, is a member of seven international scientific boards, and is on the editorial board of a dozen scientific journals, including Science magazine. She has given more than 90 ‘named and distinguished’ lectures.

Her awards include the Lawrence Award and medal, the Mellon Award from the University of Pittsburgh, the Eli Lilly/Clowes Award from AACR, the first “Innovator Award” of the US DOD for breast cancer research, the Brinker Award from Komen Foundation, the Discovery Health Channel Medical Honor and medal, the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center Ted Couch Lectureship and Award, the Pezcoller Foundation–AACR International Award for Cancer Research, the 2007 Inserm International Annual Award, and the 2008 Excellence in Science Award from FASEB.

She was awarded the 2008 Mina J. Bissell Award by the University of Porto and the 2008 American Cancer Society's Medal of Honor for Basic Research Award. In 2009 she was awarded the Rothschild-Mayent Fellowship by Institut Curie. In 2010 she was awarded the American-Italian Cancer Foundation's The Alexander Bodini Foundation Prize for Scientific Excellence in Medicine.

Dr. Bissell was elected as a Fellow of the AAAS, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, The Royal Society of Chemistry, and the National Academy of Sciences.

She has served as President of the American Society of Cell Biology and the International Society of Differentiation.

he has received honorary doctorates from Pierre & Marie Curie University in Paris and the University of Copenhagen.


Reproducibility: The risks of the replication drive
The push to replicate findings could shelve promising research and unfairly damage the reputations of careful, meticulous scientists, says Mina Bissell.

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