Distinguished Alumni


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Gail Dianne Lewis – Cancer Fighter, Scientist and Advocate

Gail Lewis received her bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from the College of Natural Sciences in 1978 and her master’s degree in Pharmacology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 1984. Since 1985, Ms. Lewis has worked as a scientist for Genentech, Inc., an industry-leading biotechnology company that specializes in the creation of medicines used to treat patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions. There, she currently serves as Senior Scientist of Molecular Oncology.

Ms. Lewis’ research laboratory at Genentech, Inc. studies receptor tyrosine kinases as targets for development of anti-cancer therapeutics, with emphasis on the HER/erbB family. Her early research efforts focused on the role of HER2 in HER2-amplified breast cancer, and the biological effects of antibodies directed against HER2. Studies by her lab demonstrated antibody-induced inhibition of breast cancer cell growth as a direct function of HER2 expression level. Her work led to the approval of several new drugs for breast cancer patients: Trastuzumab (HERCEPTIN®), Pertuzumab (PERJETA®), and Trastuzumab emtansine (KADCYLA®, T-DM1), all FDA-approved in the last five years. In addition, she is investigating an antibody that simultaneously targets EGFR and HER3 and is highly efficacious in cell culture and xenograft models of lung, head and neck, pancreatic, and colorectal cancer. Her role as laboratory director of a translational research lab has led to many publications in peer-reviewed journals and invitations to speak and present at international conferences.


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Alan Stern – Space Executive and Planetary Scientist

Dr. Alan Stern is a planetary scientist, space program executive, aerospace consultant, and author. He leads NASA’s New Horizons mission, which successfully explored the Pluto system and is now exploring the Kuiper Belt — the farthest worlds ever explored by a space mission. In both 2007 and 2016, he was named to the TIME 100, a list of the world’s most influential people. In 2007, he was appointed NASA’s chief of all science missions. Since 2009, he has been an Associate Vice President and Special Assistant to the President at the Southwest Research Institute. Dr. Stern currently serves as the chief scientist of both World View, a near-space ballooning company, and the Florida Space Institute. In 2016, he was elected to be the board chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. His career has taken him to numerous astronomical observatories, to the South Pole, and to the upper atmosphere aboard various high performance NASA aircraft. He has been involved as a researcher in 24 suborbital, orbital, and planetary space missions, including nine for which he was the mission principle investigator; and he has led the development of eight scientific instruments for NASA space missions.

Before receiving his doctorate from the University of Colorado in 1989, Dr. Stern completed twin master's degrees in aerospace engineering and atmospheric sciences (1980 and 1981) and two undergraduate degrees in physics and astronomy (1978 and 1981) from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Stern has published over 270 technical papers and is the author of two books, The U.S. Space Program After Challenger (Franklin-Watts, 1987), and Pluto and Charon: Ice Worlds on the Ragged Edge of the Solar System (Wiley 1997, 2005).


Emerging Leader Award


franzi bwFranziska Roesner – Educator and Cybersecurity Champion

Dr. Franziska (Franzi) Roesner graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 2008 with bachelor’s degrees in Plan II and Turing Scholars Computer Science Honors. Dr. Roesner then went on to have a decorated graduate career as a student at the University of Washington, receiving a prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, a Microsoft Research Ph.D. Fellowship, the William Chan Memorial Dissertation Award, and the 2012 IEEE Security and Privacy's Best Practical Paper Award. Upon receiving her Ph.D. in 2014, she was hired by the University of Washington’s Computer Science and Engineering Department as faculty, making her the first person to join the faculty directly after graduation.

Dr. Roesner currently serves as Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Engineering, as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Electrical Engineering Department, and as co-director of the Security and Privacy Research Lab at the University of Washington. Her research focuses primarily on computer security and privacy, particularly in improving computer security and privacy for end users of existing and emerging technologies, including the web, smartphones, and emerging augmented reality and internet of things platforms. Her many published works on these subjects have gained her national attention, including in a featured cover article in the Communications of the ACM magazine. Her defense for web tracking was incorporated into the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s "Privacy Badger" tool, and Dr. Roesner serves as a member of the DARPA ISAT advisory group and as program co-chair of USENIX Enigma 2017. 

While the 2017 Hall of Honor Award nominations are closed, we accept nominations year-round. For descriptions of each award and information on how to nominate an individual for next year, click here.