Sponsor: Arthur C. Cope Fund
Citation: For transforming our understanding of the chemistry and biology of microbes and their communities and for elucidating their remarkable mechanism for chemical production.
Current position: Morris Kahn Associate Professor of Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Harvard University
Education: B.A., chemistry, Williams College; M.Phil., chemistry, University of Cambridge; Ph.D., chemistry, Harvard University
Balskus on what she hopes to accomplish in the next decade: “I would like to have uncovered a true therapeutic target from the human gut microbiota and demonstrated the potential for treating human disease by using small molecules to manipulate gut microbial metabolic activities.”
What her colleagues say: “Simply put, professor Balskus is a phenom. She has a penetrating and creative mind, and she is pointing it at fascinating problems, already unlocking mysteries associated with the biosynthetic machinery as it functions in some of the most complicated environments extant.”—Scott J. Miller, Yale University
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