Valerie Horsley, Assistant Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, received the Pew Scholar Award, a prestigious and competitive grant that recognizes exceptional junior level faculty. Horsley explained that she was “very excited and highly honored” to receive this award – a net sum of $240,000 over a four year period – that will allow her and fellow recipients to explore preliminary yet innovative aspects of their research.
For about two years as a young member of the biology faculty, Horsley has established her own laboratory, researching stem cell activity in the development and maintenance of epithelial tissues. By using a combination of cell culture and mouse epithelial tissues as in vitro and in vivo models, respectively, the Horsley Lab continues to advance research in this field. She believes that the Pew Scholar Award will allow her lab to “develop a system to study cellular processes in the skin in real-time.” Furthermore, aside from using novel imaging techniques, Horsley proposes to study cellular interactions in the skin and their importance in skin regeneration.
The Pew Scholar Award not only supports the recipients’ research but also creates an opportunity for scientific dialogue. Horsley explains that one of the benefits of this award is the “yearly meetings where all of the scholars get together and interact,” providing great opportunities to network and collaborate with other leading scientists.