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Carole LaBonne Named Shapiro Research Professor In Molecular Biology

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September 9, 2008 | by Megan Fellman
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Carole LaBonne, associate professor of biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University, has been named the Soretta and Henry Shapiro Research Professor in Molecular Biology.

LaBonne is a developmental biologist who studies how complex body plans develop from a single cell, the fertilized egg. She has become a world leader in studies of the neural crest, a group of migratory invasive stem cells established early in vertebrate development that eventually form the peripheral nervous system and contribute to many other tissues. Formation of these cells was a key step in the evolution of the vertebrates, including humans. Funded by the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society, LaBonne's laboratory studies links between these cells and multiple cancers, including melanoma.

LaBonne has been co-leader of the Tumor Invasion, Metastasis and Angiogenesis Program at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University since 2005. She is a member of the Faculty of 1000, providing expertise and evaluation of current scientific research papers in the areas of morphogenesis and cell biology. She serves on the national board of directors for the Society for Developmental Biology and is a member of the International Society for Stem Cell Research. At Northwestern she has been active in issues relating to graduate education and diversity and has been a strong proponent of the need for on-campus day care.

LaBonne has published more than 20 manuscripts, serves as an ad hoc reviewer for leading journals in her field and has served on grant review panels for the National Institutes of Health. She has won a number of awards, including the prestigious General Motors Cancer Research Scholar Award and the March of Dimes Basil O'Connor Award. She came to Northwestern in 2001 after postdoctoral fellowships at the California Institute of Technology.
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