Three world-changing alumni of the College of Natural Sciences have been selected for induction into the college’s 2017 Hall of Honor. Two distinguished alumni, Gail Dianne Lewis and Alan Stern, have been excelling in their chosen fields for decades. Meanwhile, emerging leader Franziska Roesner has only just begun to make her mark. All are building a better world.
The Hall of Honor was established in January 1991 by Dean Robert E. Boyer who wanted to recognize outstanding individuals who had distinguished themselves professionally and through demonstrated support and interest in the College of Natural Sciences. Meet this year’s inductees:
The Cancer Fighter
Gail Lewis has spent more than 30 years as a scientist developing anti-cancer treatments. Her lab at Genentech focuses on one particular family of cell receptors implicated in many types of cancer, making them a valuable target for treatment.
In the past few years, Lewis’ work has led to the approval of several new drugs that are effective against HER2-amplified breast cancer, a particularly aggressive form of the disease. She is now working on a treatment that has shown great promise in models of lung, head and neck, pancreatic, and colorectal cancer. Learn more about Gail>>
The Planetary Scientist
Dr. Alan Stern is well known as the leader of 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. The moment the world gazed in awe at the first close-up images of our icy neighbor marked the culmination of a decades-long push, led by Stern, to get a probe to Pluto. The mission, which almost didn’t happen, was so successful that there is now talk of a follow-up visit to Pluto.
Pluto pioneer is only one of many hats worn by this enterprising alumnus. Learn more about Alan>>
The Cyber Security Champion
Dr. Franziska Roesner has proven to be a formidable force and leader in the world of computer security and privacy in a short span of years. From internet-connected toys to the security needs of journalists, she and her team tackle the challenges faced by users of the web.
She’s also an important source for technology and science reporters working to understand cybersecurity issues better. She weighs in regularly on a range of topics such as emerging augmented reality and other devices in the Internet of Things.
The College of Natural Sciences’ 2017 Hall of Honor Awards will be held on Thursday, September 21 on the UT Austin campus. Learn more here.
If you are a member of the Texas Science community (alumni, faculty, staff, etc.), you also can nominate individuals for next year’s Hall of Honor.