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Vanderbilt Prize winner Amon to speak at Jan. 31 lecture

Jan. 24, 2019, 10:30 AM


by Bill Snyder

Angelika Amon, PhD, recipient of the 2018 Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Science, will deliver her Vanderbilt Prize lecture at 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, in 208 Light Hall.

Angelika Amon, PhD

Amon, whose groundbreaking investigations of chromosome segregation during cell division have advanced understanding of how cancer may develop, is the Kathleen and Curtis Marble Professor in Cancer Research and professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

A Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, she will discuss the “effects of aneuploidy on cell physiology and its role in tumorigenesis.” Her lecture is sponsored by the Offices of the Executive Vice President for Research and the Dean of Basic Sciences.

Amon is the 13th recipient of the Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Science. Established in 2006 by Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, the prize honors women scientists with a stellar record of research accomplishments who have made significant contributions to mentoring other women in science.

Prize winners receive an honorarium, present a special seminar as part of the Flexner Discovery Lecture series and mentor a Vanderbilt Prize Student Scholar, a woman who is pursuing graduate studies in the biomedical sciences in the School of Medicine.

Alissa Guarnaccia

The 2018 Vanderbilt Prize Student Scholar, who will be mentored by Amon, is Alissa Guarnaccia, a PhD candidate in the laboratory of William Tansey, PhD, professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and Ingram Professor of Cancer Research.

A member of Vanderbilt’s Interdisciplinary Graduate Program, class of 2014-2015, Guarnaccia received a Ruth L. National Research Service Award from the National Cancer Institute to investigate the chromatin interactions of the MYC oncogene with the WDR5 protein in cancer.

Guarnaccia, who will be introduced during the Vanderbilt Prize Lecture, was described by Tansey in his nomination letter as “a truly outstanding student with a bright future ahead of her … I believe she will thrive even more with mentoring from Angelika Amon.”

Amon, the author or co-author of more than 170 scientific publications, has won numerous awards for her research, including the 2014 Genetics Society of America Medal and a 2019 “Breakthrough Prize” in Life Sciences.

She also is a founding board member of the Rosalind Franklin Society, which recognizes, encourages and supports women in science.

For a complete list of Vanderbilt Prize winners, go to the VUMC Office of Research website at and click on the pull-down menu on the “Research” tab.

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