Award-Winning Faculty:

Leona Samson, Desiree Plata, John Essigmann & Timothy Swager

Many of our SRP faculty members have received high honors and awards over the last year, including Leona Samson, Desiree Plata, John Essigmann and Timothy Swager. Read more about each of their incredible accomplishments!

Leona D. Samson has been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS)! This is an enormous honor reserved for leaders in their fields. Her work is truly groundbreaking, and has made a lasting impact within the field of DNA damage and repair, and much more. To learn more about Leona’s remarkable achievements, please see our blog.

Desiree Plata received one of the institute’s highest honors: the Edgerton Prize. This prize honors Doc Edgerton, who was one of the most innovative teachers and researchers to serve at MIT, and he is a person who is celebrated for his generous service to the institute and beyond. Desiree’s important work in finding solutions to prevent environmental contamination, her exceptional teaching, and her service to MIT and beyond have been recognized. To learn more about Dr. Plata’s accomplishments, see our blog.

John Essigmann has received the American Chemical Society Founders Award in Chemical Toxicology. In particular, he was recognized for his pioneering and in-depth analysis of the ways that cells respond to DNA damage, especially with regard to the errors that arise when cells attempt to copy damaged DNA. Using sophisticated chemistry, John and his team created over 100 different ’site-specific lesions’ (meaning, synthetic DNA harboring damage) and then tested them for their ability to promote mutations. This foundational work has move the field forward significantly, and so the ACS has honored him with this prestigious award. To learn more about Prof. Essigmann’s achievements, please see our blog.

Timothy Swager was named as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. This is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors! The National Academy of Inventors recognizes inventors who have demonstrated a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society. You can learn more about Tim’s achievements by reading the MIT News and our blog.