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Susan Gasser

Friedrich Miescher Institute

Jury: Life Sciences

Prof. Susan M. Gasser completed her BA at the University of Chicago with an Honors thesis in Biophysics, and completed her PhD at the University of Basel in Biochemistry in 1982. She studied chromatin and chromosome organization in budding yeast, combining genetics, microscopy and biochemical approaches at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in Lausanne and as professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Geneva. From 2004 – 2019, she was the Director of the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, where she led and continues to lead a research group. She also holds a Professorship in Molecular Biology at the University of Basel. Susan Gasser studies the functional impact of the spatial packaging of chromatin, both in the interphase nucleus and with respect to heterochromatin regulation. Her group is interested in how this contributes to and maintains heritable patterns of gene expression. The Gasser laboratory has optimized live imaging techniques to pioneer the analysis of chromatin dynamics with time-lapse fluorescence imaging, particularly during DNA repair. She was elected to the Académie de France, EMBO, AAAS and the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences, and received  the INSERM International Prize in 2011, the FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award in 2012, the Weizmann Institute Women in Science award in 2013, and two honorary doctorates.

The Falling Walls Breakthroughs of the Year will highlight breakthrough thinking from around the world in 10 categories, ranging from Life Sciences to Science Engagement. Counting more than 100 jurors, each breakthrough will be determined by a distinguished world-class Jury under the leadership of renowned experts in their respective fields.

We are delighted that Helga Nowotny, fmr. President of the European Research Council, will serve as the Chair of the Juries, presiding over the selection process at large.

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