University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
For most of us fruit flies are a tiny nuisance, but the research of Professor Nancy Bonini, professor of biology at the University of Pennsylvania, reveals these pests as offering major insights into some of the most vexing human illnesses. Professor Bonini’s lab uses Drosophila melanogaster, the common fruit fly, to study the mechanisms of human neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and ALS. Her research has appeared in numerous scholarly publications. As a neuroscientist, she has been a guest on the Charlie Rose program’s brain series, and in 2012 she was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences, among the highest honors accorded to U.S. scientists. Dr. Bonini holds degrees from Princeton University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.