2016 - All Press Releases

Nature recognizes renowned Californian scientist

London, 28 November 2016

Susan L. Forsburg, Gabilan Distinguished Professor in Science and Engineering and Professor of Biological Sciences at The University of Southern California (USC), today received the mid-career 2016 Nature Award for Mentoring in Science and a $10,000 prize. Nature hosts these annual awards to champion the importance of mentoring and inspiring a generation of young scientists.

Sir Philip Campbell PhD, Editor-in-Chief, Nature, who presented Professor Forsburg the award said: "One of Susan Forsburg's nominators said that 'Susan wants to see bright young researchers succeed, and will do everything in her power to help them thrive". It's a great pleasure for us at Nature to honor not only a lifetime of attention to her lab members, but also her great championing of mentoring to whoever will listen."

At USC Dornsife's College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Professor Forsburg's lab investigates mechanisms that maintain genome stability during replication stress, using fission yeast as a model system. Her team pioneered the use of single-cell analysis and live cell imaging to examine the response to replication stress in living cells in real time. This research has been recognized by multiple journals, including Nature Cell Biology.

Throughout her career, Professor Forsburg has turned to mentoring to foster scientific achievements in both undergraduate and graduate students. "Successful mentoring is based on relationships and listening," said Forsburg. "It is not about dictating a response of a mentee, or imposing my expectations, but helping them to realistically evaluate possibilities for themselves."

Sally G. Pasion, Associate Professor of Biology at the San Francisco State University, said: "As a research mentor, she was available for discussion, feedback, input, ideas, support, but also gave me space for independence, elbowroom to grow and make my own mistakes, and opportunities to try new approaches/techniques. She worked side by side with me during my first year in the lab, teaching me to understand the physiology of fission yeast cells, and quizzing me with genetics questions…. Today, in my own laboratory, I use on my own students the same techniques she used to teach me yeast genetics."

For more than ten years, Nature has been recognizing outstanding scientific mentors in different regions around the world with the Nature Awards for Mentoring in Science. This year's awards for mentoring are focused on the US states of Washington, Oregon and California. The lifetime achievement recipient of the Nature Award for Mentoring will be announced on 1 December. Each winner receives a prize of US $10,000.



For more information contact:

Rachel Scheer
Head of Communications, USA, Springer Nature
T: +1 212-451-8569
E: r.scheer@us.nature.com

Mark Staniland
Senior Communications Manager, Nature Research, UK
T: +44 (0)207 014 6630
E: mark.staniland@nature.com

Michelle Boston
Senior Communications Specialist, USC
T: +1-213-821-9311
E: msboston@dornsife.usc.edu

Notes to editors:

About Nature Research

Nature Research is a portfolio of high quality products and services across the life, physical, chemical and applied sciences, including journals, online databases and researcher services, which are dedicated to serving the scientific community. Nature (founded in 1869) is the leading weekly, international scientific journal and sits at the heart of the brand. Nature Research also publishes a range of Nature branded research and reviews subscription journals, alongside leading open access multidisciplinary journal Nature Communications and other open access journals, including mega journal Scientific Reports and a range of partner journals known collectively as the Nature Partner Journals. Online, nature.com provides over 8 million visitors per month with access to Nature Research publications and services, including news and comment from Nature, and the leading scientific jobs board Naturejobs. Nature Research also offers a range of researcher services, including online and in-person training and expert language and editing services.

Nature Research is part of Springer Nature, a leading global research, educational and professional publisher. Springer Nature is the world's largest academic book publisher, publisher of the world's most influential journals and a pioneer in the field of open research. The company numbers almost 13,000 staff in over 50 countries. Springer Nature was formed in 2015 through the merger of Nature Publishing Group, Palgrave Macmillan, Macmillan Education and Springer Science+Business Media. For more information, please visit nature.com and springernature.com and follow @nresearchnews and @SpringerNature.

About USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

The USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences is the heart of the university. The largest, oldest and most diverse of USC’s 19 schools, USC Dornsife is composed of more than 30 academic departments and dozens of research centers and institutes. USC Dornsife is home to approximately 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and more than 750 faculty members with expertise across the humanities, social sciences and sciences.