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Elaine Fuchs wins Canada Gairdner International Award 2020

A leading scientist in skin biology, Elaine Fuchs also chairs the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) of IMBA. She is honored with the award for her research on tissue stem cells and their role in homeostasis, wound repair, inflammation and cancer.

The SAB of IMBA was installed to ensure a process of review and feedback and consists of internationally recognized scientists. The Board meets yearly at IMBA, and is headed by Elaine Fuchs.

Early in her career, Fuchs identified keratins as key structural proteins in the skin and showed how mutations in keratins can cause a number of diseases in humans.
In her more recent work, Fuchs elucidated the molecular mechanisms that ensure a balance between stem cell maintenance and differentiation into hair follicles. She was able to identify the exact positive and negative signaling pathways involved, and at which timepoints they have to be turned on or off in distinct cells, in order to allow the differentiation of adult skin stem cells into hair follicles. Her lab also recently showed how stem cells can influence tissue regeneration. 

Fuchs is Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor and head of the Robin Chemers Neustein Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development at the Rockefeller University, New York.
She has received a number of prestigious awards, including the L’Oréal-UNESCO Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Skin Association, and the National Medal of Science.

About the Canada Gairdner International Award
The award is a recognition to exceptional biomedical scientists, who made significant contributions to medicine. Seven prizes in total are given out annually by the Gairdner Foundation. Since its founding in 1957, 395 awards have been handed out – 92 awardees have since won the Nobel Prize.

About IMBA
IMBA - Institute of Molecular Biotechnology - is one of the leading biomedical research institutes in Europe focusing on cutting-edge stem cell technologies, functional genomics, and RNA biology. IMBA is located at the Vienna BioCenter, the vibrant cluster of universities, research institutes and biotech companies in Austria. IMBA is a subsidiary of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the leading national sponsor of non-university academic research. The stem cell and organoid research at IMBA is being funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and the City of Vienna.

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