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Merck Millipore Congratulates Recipient of 2013 Alice C. Evans Award

Joan Steitz, Ph.D.
Merck Millipore, the Life Science division of Merck, today announced that Joan Steitz, Ph.D., Professor, Yale University, has won the 2013 Merck Millipore Alice C. Evans Award for Leadership in Clinical Microbiology. The award was established by the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) Committee on the Status of Women in Microbiology and given in honor of Alice C. Evans, the first woman elected ASM President, in 1928. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions toward the advancement of women in microbiology.

'Merck Millipore is proud to sponsor the prestigious Alice C. Evans award,' said Dr. Roland Heinrich, Head of BioMonitoring at Merck Millipore. 'We would like to congratulate Dr. Steitz and recognize her passionate efforts to support women in the scientific community; she is a most deserving recipient of the 2013 award.'
The award was presented May 19 to Dr. Steitz by Dr. Jeffrey Miller, ASM President at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

'I am greatly honored to receive this award. There are so many deserving women in the field of microbiology who have worked hard to increase the representation of women in science,' said Dr. Steitz. 'When I started my career, I almost didn't continue because I had never seen a female lab director or professor. In the end, my fascination with RNA triumphed, and I am grateful that I have been able to work on problems that interest me. In the last decade, starting with my participation in a report issued by the National Academy of Sciences, I have contributed to the dialogue on causes and solutions for the underrepresentation of women in science. Progress is clear and women in science have come a long way, but we have further to go. Awareness of human responses like implicit bias is the first step; I believe that we need to understand the problem before we can solve it.'

One of the leading scientists in her field, Dr. Steitz is best known for her pioneering work in RNA. Along with her colleagues, Dr. Steitz discovered and defined the function of small ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) in pre-messenger RNA-the earliest product of DNA transcription-and was the first to learn that these cellular complexes (snRNPs) play a key role in processing messenger RNA by excising noncoding regions and splicing together the resulting segments. Throughout her career, Dr. Steitz has been vocal about her support of women in science, demonstrated most recently by her involvement with the Committee on Maximizing the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering, which produced in 2006, 'Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering,' a major report about the status of women in science from the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Steitz earned her Ph.D. from Harvard in 1967. After completing postdoctoral work in Cambridge, England, she joined the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale as an assistant professor and later became a full professor, as well as chair of the department.

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Source : Merck Millipore View Company Information

Posted on June 4, 2013