The FASEB Excellence in Science Award is awarded annually to a woman whose research has made an exceptional contribution to the field of biological sciences. In 2011, this award will go to developmental biologist Gail Martin, of the University of California, San Francisco.
Martin’s current work focuses mainly on the role of FGF signalling in organ development, but in 1981 she was the first to isolate embryonic stem cells from mouse blastocysts grown in vitro, and in fact coined the term “embryonic stem cell”.
The Society for Developmental Biology (SDB) has written a profile of Gail Martin that is currently in press at Developmental Biology. Martin was president of the SDB in 2006-2007, and in her interview she addresses her passion for mentoring students and postdocs, and her interest in sharing unpublished results. She will receive her award at the 2011 SDB meeting, to be held in Chicago in July.