Hageman Distinguished Lecturer in Agricultural Biochemistry
Dr. Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz
Member, National Academy of Sciences
April 26-27, 2017
Public Lecture: "Emerging fluorescence technology to study cell architecture and dynamics"
Research Colloquium: "Imaging cell survival under starvation: role of lipid droplets, mitochondria and autophagy"
About the Speaker
Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, is currently a Group Leader in Neurobiology at the Janelia Farm campus of Howard Hughes Medical Institute. From 1986 until 2016 she was at the NIH, most recently as Section Chief on Organelle Biology in the Laboratory of Cell Biology, NICHD. She has focused on dynamic aspects of cell biology, including endocytic vesicles, mitotic nuclear envelope, ER, Golgi and lysosomes, using fluorescence techniques to visualize the rapid movement, assembly and disassembly of these organelles by applying tools such as FRAP (Fluorescence Recovery after Photobleaching). Her more recent work yields spacial resolution beyond the diffraction limit of visible light, using PALM (Photo-Activated Localization Microscopy).
Dr. Lippincott-Schwartz was born in Manhattan KS. Her father, Ellis R. Lippincott, a physical chemist whose name is well known to spectroscopists, was a faculty member in chemistry at that time. Soon they moved to College Park, Maryland, and then to a horse farm in northern Virginia. Dr. Lippincott-Schwartz attended Swarthmore College, where she majored in psychology and philosophy through the honors program. This prepared her well to consider doing the impossible- seeing beyond the diffraction limit of conventional light microscopy. Following college she spent a couple years teaching at a girls school in Kenya, and then at a boys school near Palo Alto, following which she studied biology/biophysics with Phil Hanawalt at Stanford (M.S. on excision repair of E coli DNA).
For her PhD, Dr. Lippincott-Schwartz worked with Douglas Fambrough at Johns Hopkins University, showing that a lysosomal protein (LEP100, now LAMP-1) repeatedly cycled to the cell surface. She then moved to NIH to work with Richard Klausner, developing techniques to follow trafficking through multiple organelle systems. Using Brefeldin A she first showed how the Golgi apparatus and ER interchange parts. Continuing her work at the NIH as an independent investigator, she has pursued techniques that allow more precise and versatile visualization of cellular traffic flow. She was an early adopter of green fluorescent protein (GFP) and by using photo-activatable GFP developed in her laboratory, was able to watch the dispersal of constituents of a single lysosome to others within the cell in a relatively short time. It also made possible the development of the PALM technique, whereby sequentially, sparse populations of fluorescent particles are precisely mapped to develop over time a dense map at high resolution. Wednesday’s lecture will discuss use of this super-resolution imaging microscopy for live cells.
Dr. Lippincott-Schwartz is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine, Fellow of the Biophysical Society and AAAS, and recently (2014) served as president of the American Society of Cell Biology. She is recipient of several awards related to microscopy, including the Robert Feulgen prize (Society for Histochemistry), Pearse prize (Royal Microscopy Society), and Keith Porter award (ASCB). She, is active on editorial boards for several journals, including Current Protocols in Cell Biology and Journal of Cell Science. She has coauthored a textbook on Cell Biology now in its 3rd edition and is author of around 200 publications.