In July, President Obama named Valerie Horsley, Ph.D., the Maxine F. Singer ’57 Assistant Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology one of 96 recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). In August, she was given a 2013 Rosalind Franklin Young Investigator Award, which is funded by the Gruber Foundation and administered by the Genetics Society of America and the American Society of Human Genetics.

Horsley studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control stem cell activity and function within epithelia—the tissues that line our internal organs and outer surfaces. Her lab uses the mouse as a genetic model system to study how adult stem cells within epithelial tissues maintain tissue homeostasis and contribute to wound healing, and their role in cancers.

The PECASE is the highest award bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. The Franklin Award, named in honor of one of the founders of modern genetics, is given every three years to two young women geneticists. Designed to support career development, the awards include a grant of $75,000 over three years.