Mina Bissell

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Mina J. Bissell, Ph.D., is an Iranian American biologist and a world-recognized leader in the area of the role of extracellular matrix (ECM) and microenvironment in regulation of tissue-specific function, with special emphasis on breast cancer.

She was born in Tehran, Iran and brought up in a well-educated and well-to-do family. By the time she graduated from high school, Bissell was the top graduate in her year in Iran. A family friend, through the American Friends of Iran, encouraged Bissell to come to the United States. She enrolled at Bryn Mawr, then transferred to Radcliffe, where she earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry. She obtained a PhD in bacteriology from Harvard Medical School and was awarded an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley.

She joined Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory as a staff biochemist in 1972 and subsequently became a Senior Scientist, Director of Cell & Molecular Biology, Director of the Life Sciences Division, and Distinguished Scientist. In 1996, she received the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award and medal, the highest scientific honor bestowed by the United States Department of Energy. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, Bissell was recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Mellon Award from the University of Pittsburgh, the Eli Lilly/Clowes Award of the American Association for...
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