Bonnie Bassler


Bonnie Bassler

Molecular Biology
B.S., University of California at Davis
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University

Bonnie Bassler is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and the Squibb Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton University. She received a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of California at Davis, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Johns Hopkins University. She performed postdoctoral work in Genetics at the Agouron Institute. She joined the Princeton faculty in 1994.

The research in her laboratory focuses on the molecular mechanisms that bacteria use for intercellular communication. This process is called quorum sensing. Bassler's research is paving the way to the development of novel therapies for combating bacteria by disrupting quorum-sensing-mediated communication.

At Princeton, she teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses. She directed the Molecular Biology Graduate Program from 2002-2008 and currently chairs Princeton University's Council on Science and Technology which has revamped the science curriculum for humanists.

Bassler is a passionate advocate for diversity in the sciences and she is actively involved in and committed to educating lay people in science.

She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2002 Bassler was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. She was elected to the American Academy of Microbiology in 2002 and made a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2004. She was given the 2003 Theobald Smith Society Waksman Award. She was the 2006 recipient of the American Society for Microbiology's Eli Lilly Investigator Award for fundamental contributions to microbiological research.

In 2008, Bassler was given Princeton University's President's Award for Distinguished Teaching. She was the 2009 recipient of the Wiley Prize in Biomedical Science for her paradigm-changing scientific research. Bassler was the 2011 recipient of the National Academies' Richard Lounsbery Award. She was the President of the American Society for Microbiology in 2010-2011. She is currently the Chair of the American Academy of Microbiology Board of Governors.

She was an editor for a decade for Molecular Microbiology, and is currently an editor of mBio, and Chief Editor of Annual Reviews of Genetics. She is an associate editor for Cell, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Bacteriology, and other journals.

Among other duties, she serves on the National Academies Board on Life Sciences, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science Education Committee, and Discovery Communications' Science Channel Scientific Advisory Board.

Bassler serves on oversight, grant, fellowship, and award panels for the National Academies of Sciences, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, American Society for Microbiology, American Academy of Microbiology, Keck Foundation, Burroughs Wellcome Trust, Jane Coffin Childs Fund, PEW Charitable Trust, and the MIT Whitehead Institute.

She was nominated to the National Science Board in 2011.

October 2011