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Carole LaBonne Named to FASEB Board of Directors

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August 22, 2009 | by Megan Fellman
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Carole LaBonne, the Soretta and Henry Shapiro Research Professor in Molecular Biology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University, has been named to the board of directors of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB).

The FASEB, the largest U.S. coalition of biomedical research associations, advances biological science through collaborative advocacy for research policies that promote scientific progress and education and lead to improvements in human health. Currently, the FASEB is involved with the proposed increases to the National Institutes of Health budget before Congress.

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 and her research group study links between the neural crest 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, a Web site where scientists provide expertise and evaluate 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 serves as an ad hoc reviewer for leading journals in her field and on grant review panels for the National Institutes of Health. She has won numerous awards, including the prestigious General Motors Cancer Research Scholar Award and the March of Dimes Basil O'Connor Award. LaBonne joined Northwestern in 2001 after postdoctoral fellowships at the California Institute of Technology.

(Lauren Hock, a senior in the School of Education and Social Policy, contributed to this story.)