Mina Bissell, a distinguished scientist at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), has been selected to receive two prestigious awards for her pioneering contributions to breast cancer biology and medicine. Her research challenged existing dogma by showing that malignant cells behave much differently in a culture than they do in a body. Bissell’s “Dynamic Reciprocity” model asserts that the support molecules within tissues communicate directly with local cells, thus altering gene expression. Her model has amassed impressive supporting evidence in the 40 years since it was first proposed, and has led to an ever-growing number of advances in the understanding and treatment of cancer.
In recognition of her lifetime achievements, including her extraordinary insights into how a cell’s local environment impacts gene expression and tumor formation, the American Philosophical Society (APS) has chosen Bissell as the recipient of the Jonathan E. Rhoads Gold Medal for Distinguished Service to Medicine. Additionally, she was selected by the Weizmann Institute of Science as one of two recipients of the 2019 Weizmann Women & Science Award in recognition of her trailblazing career as a woman in STEM.
Learn more on the Berkeley Lab News Center.