The 2022 Eminent Scholar recognized by Texas A&M University’s Aggie Women Network is Dorothy Shippen, Ph.D., University Distinguished Professor and Regents Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics in the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
The award honors extraordinary women faculty who serve as role models for all Aggie students and recognizes outstanding research, scholarship and service.
A leader in telomere research
Shippen pioneered the use of the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana as a model for understanding the structure and function of telomeres, the DNA and protein structures found at both ends of each chromosome. Telomeres are crucial for genome integrity.
Research at the Shippen lab has been continuously funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and others. She has published over 90 research articles and is frequently invited to lecture on her research around the country.
In addition to other projects, she is working to maximize student diversity in biomedical sciences as a co-principal investigator of an NIH training grant on the issue.
“Dr. Dorothy Shippen is internationally known for her pioneering, creative and exceptional research in the field of plant telomere biology, in addition to her superb mentoring,” said Joshua Wand, Ph.D., University Distinguished Professor and head, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. “She has established an outstanding research program through her selfless drive to provide others with the tools they need to replicate her success.”
Award-winning researcher and mentor
Among Shippen’s numerous awards and honors for research and mentoring is the Rose Award from the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for outstanding contributions to biochemical and molecular biological research and commitment to training younger scientists. She also received the Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award for Graduate Mentoring.
Shippen earned her doctorate in biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, San Francisco.
“Dorothy is a true captain who never compromises on excellence but who leaves no one behind,” wrote Claudia Castillo-Gonzales, Ph.D., an associate research scientist in Shippen’s lab. “Dorothy believes in people, and her success exalts her students, colleagues and collaborators.”
Read more about the award at Texas A&M Today.