Board of Governors
Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor in Mammalian Cell Biology and Development, The Rockefeller University
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Elaine Fuchs is the Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor in Mammalian Cell Biology and Development at The Rockefeller University. She is also an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (appointed in 1988). Fuchs has published over 260 scientific papers and contributed to more than 25 books. She is internationally known for her research in skin biology and associated human genetic disorders, which include skin cancers and life-threatening genetic syndromes such as blistering skin disorders. Fuchs' current research focuses on the molecular mechanisms that underlie how multipotent stem cells respond to external cues, change their program of gene expression, exit their niche and adopt specific fates to make the epidermis, hair follicles, sebaceous glands and sweat glands of the skin in normal homeostasis and in wound repair. She is also interested in how these pathways in normal stem cell biology go awry in skin cancers and in aging.
Fuchs is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She holds honorary doctorates from Mt. Sinai/New York University School of Medicine and the University of Illinois, and has given Convocation Addresses at the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois.
Fuchs is currently President of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, the Biology Visiting Committee of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Regenerative Medicine Advisory Board of Johnson and Johnson, the L'Oreal UNESCO jury and the Scientific Review Board of Jane Coffin Childs Cancer Foundation. She is an editor of the Journal of Cell Biology, and serves on the Editorial Boards of Cell, Cell Stem Cell, Developmental Cell and Genes and Development. Fuchs has served on the Scientific Advisory Committee for the National Institutes of Health Director, and is a past President of the American Society of Cell Biology and the Harvey Society.
Fuchs received her BS in Chemistry from the University of Illinois in 1972, and her PhD in Biochemistry from Princeton University in 1977. After her postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she joined the faculty at the University of Chicago in 1980. In 2002, she relocated to The Rockefeller University. Fuchs' awards and honors include the Presidential Young Investigator Award, Searle Scholar Award, Richard Lounsbery Award from the National Academy of Sciences, Novartis-Drew Award for Biomedical Research, Dickson Prize in Medicine, FASEB Award for Scientific Excellence, Beering Award, National Medal of Science from the President of the United States, L'Oreal-UNESCO Award and Charlotte Friend Memorial Award from the American Association for Cancer Research. This year, she received the Madison Medal, Passano Award and most recently, Albany Prize, which is the largest award in Medicine and Science awarded in the United States.